Did you know that what you drink is almost as important as what you eat? What you put into your mouth affects your health. Nutrition isn’t just about what you eat. It includes also includes what you drink.
I know you have heard that you should drink water, but you might not know why. Water is essential in regulating your body’s temperature, protecting your digestive system and your vital organs.
Hydration: How Much Water Should you Drink?
I don’t have the answer to this question because everyone’s needs are different. For example, you will require more water if you run during the day compared to someone who may only walk. You’ll need to drink more on days that are hot versus a cold day. Other factors are a person’s age and weight, the weather and their current state of health. In fact, a person can become dehydrated and not feel thirsty at all.
The Institute of Medicine has recently completed a study in which the goal was to determine how much water women and men should drink on a daily basis. They determined that women should drink 9 cups while men should drink 13 cups. These results do not take into consideration how much you are working out and/or sweating. The standard 8- glasses-a-day rule is a simple guideline to follow and this amount can be adjusted according to one’s individual needs. Also, it’s best to limit sodas and other drinks that can dehydrate you.
Benefits of Hydration
- Keeping your body hydrated will ensure that toxins will be efficiently and quickly removed from your body. Toxins can include what the body absorbs from the air, foods you eat and liquids you drink. I like to think that water is the river that drowns out the toxins I don’t want.
- Hydration is also very helpful in keeping regular bowel movements. This is not a topic many prefer to discuss, but it’s an important one. Irregular bowel movements can cause unwanted health problems that can be prevented just by drinking water.
- A quick trick to not eating more than you wish during a meal is to drink a glass of water prior to eating. Not only will you get extra water, but you probably will feel full and avoid overeating. The next time you feel hungry and it’s not time to eat, drink a glass of water!
Water isn’t the only form of hydration. There are a number of hydrating beverages available on the market today. But water is the purest and is assimilated by the body in the most natural way. Regarding those hydrating beverages – watch the calories. They can add up.