Did you know the human body is more than 50% water? And your brain itself is 80% water.
We need water for EVERYTHING, from good digestion to healthy skin.
This means that dehydration and over-hydration both have serious health consequences, and water contaminated with any kind of toxins or chemicals will spread the damage through every cell in your body. The quantity and the quality of water you drink can be just as important as the food you eat.
The old rule of thumb was to drink 8 glasses of water every day. But that really depends–on your weight, your height, the amount of exercise you do, how much you sweat, etc. I usually suggest to drink a tall glass of water (preferably room temperature with a squirt of fresh lemon juice) when waking in the morning before starting any morning routine. Keep a glass on your kitchen counter and get into the habit. Every. Single. Day.
Then try to drink water throughout the day, before meals to aid in digestion, while working out and stopping a couple hours before bedtime so you’re not up all night going to the bathroom. Not only is water imperative, but good quality sleep is too!
So why should you drink water? Other than your body being comprised of more than 50% of it (which means you need to replenish it every day), it helps to cleanse the body of toxins. And whether you believe it or not, your body is filled with toxins. I don’t care how much spinach or how many green smoothies you drink, your body is filled with toxins that need to be removed.
Not sure if you’re getting enough water? Here are 5 signs you need to drink more water:
1. You’re not pooping enough. When people tell me they don’t poop every day, I cringe. Think about all the food you ate and how it’s just sitting there backing up. Water helps move your waste through your colon and out of your body. 1-3 bowel movements is typical in a day
2. Your skin is breaking out. Whether it’s acne, eczema or something else, you might not be drinking enough water to rid your body of toxins. Drinking half of your body weight in ounces is preferred.
3. You have no energy. Notice how you NEED coffee to wake up in the morning and you tend to get sleepy around 3 pm every afternoon? Instead of reaching for sweets or caffeine, drink a tall glass of water. You’ll get a healthy jolt of energy.
4. You crave sweets. When you’re dehydrated, you can get cravings for food. While you can crave anything from chocolate to potato chips, cravings for sweets are more common because your body may be having trouble with glycogen (the main way the body stores glucose for later use) production. If you do get a craving, drink a glass of water first. If the craving persists, reach for a snack that has high water content, like a piece of fruit (apple, berries, etc.) or some veggies (carrots, celery, peppers, etc.) with hummus.
5. You get headaches. Your body is constantly losing fluid. That means you’re also losing essential salts, like sodium and potassium because those are in the fluids you’re losing. That salt loss changes the chemical makeup of your blood. Your brain, in turn, is super sensitive to that change—and it’s that sensitivity that triggers a headache. The headaches get even worse, depending on how much water you lose.
Some of the best sources of increasing your electrolytes which stave off dehydration are coconut water, pickle juice, water with a tablespoon of celtic salt or Himalayan salt. And if you’re into powders, my favorite is Be Sustained by Lifeplus is an excellent balance of electrolytes for your body. This comes in a canister or convenient carrying packets to use at the gym or any sporting events. And if you simply find water to be boring, get creative and infuse it with mint and/or fruits.