I’m starting this month with the statement ‘You must drink sufficient water to be healthy’ and I can see many of you in my mind’s eye, rolling your eyes, saying ‘I know that, this is nothing new’.
But how many of you are actually doing it?
Judging by the starting point of many of my clients I’m willing to bet more than half of you know you should do it, but don’t do it.
The body is made up of 60-75% water, so it’s no surprise that if we don’t consume enough, our health can suffer.
What is water good for?
Well, here’s a few reasons for why water is essential for good health:
Boosts skin complexion
Water is a natural moisturiser and anti-aging treatment. Sufficient water intake will quickly see improvements to your skin complexion. It also contributes to strong and healthy hair and nails.
Lubricates joints and muscles
Natural lubrication from water helps to prevent muscle cramps and sprain injuries.
Keeps you regular
Water aids the digestion of your food and keeps it moving along your intestines. Dehydration is one of the most common causes of constipation
Great headache remedy
Dehydration is one of the most common causes of headache, and significantly contributes to migraine and back pain. So before you reach for the pills next time, consider if you could just be needing a refill
Boosts your mood
When your body and brain are functioning at their best, your mood will naturally receive a boost
Boosts your immune system
A well hydrated person is far less likely to not only get minor ailments but water contributes to the fight against flu and cancer as well as a host of other serious conditions
How much should you drink?
This is very individual because body size for a start will determine a base level and on top of this you will need more when exercising, when it’s hot, at high altitudes, during, bladder infections, during pregnancy/breast feeding and when alcohol is consumed.
So it’s not as straight forward as drinking 8 glasses a day which is the volume often banded about (what size is a glass anyway??) This also doesn’t take into account whether you consume high water content fruits and veg. It should also be noted that although it is less common, too much water can lead to mineral imbalances and disrupted sleep.
It’s important to work out a level that is right for YOU! I suggest aiming for 1½ litres per day and see how you feel. If you drink virtually nothing now, don’t be scared by this amount. Simply start by drinking one more glass a day for a week, than you did yesterday. Perhaps replace a cup of coffee with water. On week two, drink two more glasses than you started with and so on until you achieve a level that feels right.
You’ll know what’s right when you feel more energised, your skin is clearer, you are less hungry, the brain fog is lifted and more….
Here are some suggestions to keep a track of how much you drink and encourage you to drink more:
- Keep a tally chart on a piece of paper
- Keep a bottle on your desk or somewhere handy and aim to finish it by the end of the day
- Pre-pour however many glasses you wish to consume and pop them in the fridge so they’re ready to go
- Take a glass of water to bed and drink as soon as you wake up
- Drink a glass before or with each meal
- Drink a glass after every bathroom break
- Replace 1 tea or coffee with water per day and aim to improve
- Try drinking hot water, you may find it better than cold
- Flavour water with fresh fruit. Avoid commercial flavoured water as they often have refined sugars added
- Set an alarm to go off every couple of hours as a reminder
A few years back, I rarely drank water, in fact I was rarely thirsty, or so I thought. I’d have my 3 cups of English tea per day and that was about it! I didn’t really consider the association between dehydration and the intense headaches and migraines that had plagued me since my teenage years. It was only when I consciously made an effort to start drinking water that the migraines stopped completely (haven’t had one in years) and I rarely get even a simple headache! I think we sometimes try to over-complicate what we need to do… drinking water was such a simple cure for me, after years of popping unnecessary pills….
So I challenge you…
to increase your water intake for 1 month! Document energy levels, skin appearance, digestion and so on, now. Increase you water intake and compare how you feel in 1 month.
I’d love to hear from you below. How do you make sure you drink enough water?