You have heard it time and time again: drink more water.
Yet the message has never completely stuck. In 2013, it was estimated that nearly 75% of the population was functioning in a chronic state of dehydration. As water makes up about 60 percent of our body weight, it is a principal element for our health and survival. Learn why we need to drink water, the recommended daily amount, and the plethora of benefits this relatively simple habit delivers to our body.
Benefits of Drinking Water
On average, the Mayo Clinic recommends that men drink about 15.5 cups daily. Women should consume 11.5 cups daily. Since we often ingest some water through other foods and drinks, becoming seriously dehydrated is difficult. However, without regularly taking in the entire suggested amount, you may experience a number of mild side effects. These can include dizziness, fatigue, confusion and dark-colored or frequent urination. Likely to subside if you consume the adequate amount of water, if these symptoms persist or you can not keep fluids down, you should see your primary physician.
When you do consume the appropriate amount of fluids, you are likely to be surprised by just how good you feel. Water is essential for organ, muscle and tissue function, as well as the lubrication of joints. It regulates your temperature, and helps rid your body of waste and toxins – through urination, perspiration and bowel movements. Even more impressive, water can have anti-aging effects. By keeping our body properly hydrated, our skin improves, reducing the appearance of fine lines and decreasing the occurrence of blemishes.
It is important to note that it is possible for one to become overhydrated. This rare but dangerous condition, called hyponatremia, is due to low blood sodium concentration caused by consuming too much water. Be sure to adjust your intake based on your lifestyle, current health and activities. If you are breastfeeding or exercising, the body requires additional fluids. When you are sick or in a hot environment, you will need more water than usual, due to the extra amount being displaced,
Types of Water
Although the Mayo Clinic has found that regular water is good enough for most people, several variations are available.
Here are two commonly available types of water, as well as the pros and cons of consuming them.
Alkaline water – Alkaline water refers to the pH level, which is higher than that of normal water, typically of 8 or 9. This is believed to help neutralize the acid in your body, which some claim can assist with anti-aging, colon-cleansing, immune system health, weight loss and more. None of these have been backed by scientific research, although too much alkalinity does have known side effects, and can lead to metabolic alkalosis.
Distilled water – When all of the natural minerals in water have been removed, a pure from of water remains. Achieved through a process called reverse osmosis, this is a demineralized water. In some locations, distilled water can be healthier than tap, depending on the level of impurities in the municipal water supply. However distilled water can absorb materials from anything it touches, sometimes including plastic containers.
How to Make Drinking Water a Habit
While forming any new habit can be difficult, there are several steps you can take to assist your newfound motivation. Installing a home water filter will provide high-quality water. Several varieties are available – such as faucet-installed, countertop and pitcher models. Or consider home delivery of spring water or distilled water.
Also, take the time to find out how you enjoy drinking water. Some people prefer using a water bottle, or a straw, for a variety of reasons. No matter how you get the water down, what works for you is what is right. If you need a little extra help, you can set a reminder on your phone. The free Daily Water – Drink Reminder app is available on the App Store, while similar apps for Android devices are available for free on Google Play. After a few weeks of strict reminders, reaching for the water bottle should become second nature.
Keeping well-hydrated is part of a healthy lifestyle that includes reaching and maintaining a healthy weight. Solutions Weight Loss offers a program to fit the unique needs of each patient. Our team of licensed and friendly medical staff gives you the encouragement and guidance to help you stay on track or get back on track until you reach your goals. Contact us today to get started on your weight loss journey!