Ahhh water, it is by far the most important nutrient for all living things. In fact, water is so vital to humans, that we can only survive three days without it. But, very few people get enough water. It’s estimated that 75% of Americans suffer from dehydration.
How do you know if you are dehydrated? Well the first symptom is thirst. The thirst response is triggered by dehydration or insufficient water levels, through a series of reactions in the body. So, by waiting until you are thirsty to drink, you are already dehydrated. Another symptom of dehydration is often hunger. Dehydration can often cause individuals to receive hunger signals, causing the person to believe food is necessary. If you’ve recently eaten, and still feel hungry, try drinking some water and wait a bit, that may help.
Symptoms of Dehydration:
- Increased thirst.
- Hunger Pains
- Dry mouth.
- Tired or sleepy.
- Decreased urine output.
- Urine is low volume and more yellowish than normal.
- Dry skin.
- memory and concentration problems
What exactly does water do and why is it so important? The human body is 2/3 water. As you can see by the infographic below, all parts of the body are made mostly of water. Even the bones are 30% water. The list of functions on the infographic below is not all inclusive, but gives you a good idea as to just how important water is to the life, health and function of the human body. There isn’t a cell in the human body, that doesn’t use water.
What water does for us:
10 Tips to help you drink more water.
- Know exactly how much you need each day. See the infographic for instructions on how to calculate water needs
- Drink 16 ounces of water every morning, on an empty stomach, before breakfast. This “gets things moving” in your bowels, energizes your cells after a long night without water, and ramps up your metabolism
- Track your water intake, either on paper or using a phone app. Here is a link to 5 different apps for tracking water intake: Top 5 Drinking Water Apps
- Drink herbal tea. Herbal tea is wonderful! (See my article on the benefits of Rooibos Tea) Try to avoid caffeine, in soda, coffee and black tea. I’ll talk about caffeine in more depth later, but for now, know that caffeine is a diuretic, meaning it draws water out of the body.
- Get a nice bottle. The theory here is you’ll be more likely to use it.
- Keep your nice bottle near you-and full-at all times
- Don’t like to drink water? Add fruit to give it some flavor-lemon and limes, berries, anything you want. Get creative.
- Drink freshly pressed vegetable juice.
- Drink 8 ounces after each bathroom break.
- Eat your water! SAY WHAT? YES!!! Many fruits and vegetables are mostly water. The infographic below has just a handful. I’ll have a few recipes and other examples throughout the week. Take a look:
Well, those are the basics. All recipes throughout the week will be water-based, such as the Mango Ginger Tea recipe, which was published last night. Stay tuned on Thursday for the next edition of “How to Eat Healthy”.