So, when you’re thirsty, what is the first thing you think of?
Coffee? Iced tea? Juice? Soda? Gatorade?
Although we could likely live without any of the aforementioned drink choices, the reality is, we cannot live without water. Your body is made up of approximately 60 to 70 percent water. Your muscles, lungs, and brain are all largely in part, water. Your blood is 83% water! You need water to regulate body temperature as well as to provide a means for nutrients to travel to your organs and tissues. Water also transports oxygen to your cells, removes toxins, protects your joints and organs and helps maintain a healthy digestive tract.
Okay, so we’ve established that we all need water. The next question is, how much? Many suggest that you take your total body weight and divide it by half. The number you’re left with is the total amount of water you should be drinking in ounces. My personal opinion is that for most of us, that is still not enough. If you are at all active, live in a dry climate (like us Phoenicians do) or suffer from allergies, you need to consume at least 3 Liters of water a day. If you’re suffering from a cold or a virus, then you should be drinking water and non-caffeinated herbal teas relentlessly throughout the day, every day until you heal. Also, for every alcoholic beverage you consume, you should drink an accompanying 8 oz. of water (this would be in addition to your 3 Liters a day) and this applies to caffeinated beverages, as well. One way you can tell if you’re drinking enough water is by the color of your urine. If it is a pale, pale yellow, then you’re on the right track. If it is dark yellow to orange in color and/or has a foul smell, then you need to hydrate with water, immediately.
Still not convinced you should drink 3 liters a day?
Here are 4 additional reasons to drink water:
- Weight Management – Drink 16 ounces of water before every meal. This is a nice little trick to avoid overeating. Your stomach feels fuller so you potentially eat less. (Avoid drinking excessive amounts of water, however, while eating. Doing so can potentially drown out critical digestive enzymes which enable digestion.) Additionally, excess toxins stored in our fat cells have a devastating impact on a number of metabolic functions, so water is key to detoxification which in turn, enables the body to maintain a healthy weight.
- Maintain Energy – Our energy level is impacted largely by our consumption of water. It has been medically proven that just a 5% drop in body fluids will cause a 25% to 30% loss of energy in most people; a 15% drop causes death! It is also estimated that more than 2/3 of all people do not drink enough water and suffer some degree of dehydration.The next time you feel an energy drop, grab a glass of water instead of that coffee or gatorade (which is mostly sugar).
- Headache Cure – A headache is a major symptom of dehydration. The next time you get a headache, drink 12-16 ounces of water and reassess in about a half hour. Ever wonder why you get a headache with a hangover? Dehydration! Your body is telling you to drink water immediately! Other signs of dehydration are muscle cramps and spasms, overall fatigue, nausea, and dizziness.
- Clear Skin – There is a lot of evidence out there suggesting that the way to clearer skin is to drink more water. For starters, acne and blemishes occur as a result in part by excessive system toxins and hormonal surges. As mentioned previously, the more water you drink, the more you flush out excess toxins. In the same way, you also enable the body to better metabolize excess hormones. Drinking more water helps bring necessary nutrients to your skin to keep it hydrated and otherwise heal any breakouts. Regular water consumption has also been known to help those with other skin problems such as rosacea and eczema.
- So, here is the challenge: drink 3 Liters of water a day, for 7 days straight! While you’re at it, cut down to 1-2 cups of coffee/tea (or caffeinated beverage of any kind) and minimize your overall alcohol intake. If you want to flavor your water, throw in a couple lemon or cucumber slices! Within 1 week’s time, you will definitely feel more energized, experience clearer skin and reduce aches and pains. Nourish your body with clean, healing water and notice the difference!