Have a drink!

Water, water everywhere,

Have you a drop to drink?

One the goals of my healthy living program is to drink at least one glass of water every morning before eating or drinking anything else. Your body has been working all night repairing, growing, building, and removing toxins. Replenish it by giving it what it needs most, water. The human body is about 2/3 water, from about 20% in the bones, to up to 95% in the brain. No wonder you get a headache if you don’t drink enough!

Water is involved in vital functions such as transporting nutrients and oxygen, metabolism, regulating body temperature, and detoxification. It also moisturizes the air in the lungs and protects the organs and joints.

Not drinking enough water can lead to tiredness, hunger, headaches and migraines, constipation, dry skin, muscle cramps, and eventually blood pressure and kidney problems, then death.

How much water should you drink? You have probably heard the 6-8 glasses suggestion. How big are the glasses though? Does a 100 pound girl need the same amount as a 250 pound quarterback? A general rule of thumb is to divide your weight (in pounds) in half and drink that many ounces of water. So if you are 120 pounds you should drink 60 ounces of water, or six 10-ounce glasses. If you are 200 pounds you need 100 ounces, or ten 10-ounce glasses. If you are very active, or in a hot environment, you will need more.

Here are some tips for getting enough water:

Start the day with a glass of water. Rinse out your insides and energize yourself while getting a head start on your water intake for the day.

Get a water bottle you like and fill it up each morning. Carry it around with you throughout the day and take sips whenever you think of it. Refill as needed. Stainless steel and glass are the best materials for a water bottle because there is no risk of them leaching chemicals into the water. If you get an aluminum one, check that it doesn’t have a lining that may contain BPA or other chemicals. If you get a plastic one, make sure it doesn’t have BPA or phalates. The label may say if it is BPA free. If it doesn’t, check the recycling number on the bottom. Numbers 1,2, and 5 are generally safe. Avoid 3 and 6 at all costs, and only get number 7 if it explicitly says it is BPA free.

If you think you are hungry, drink some water first. Often the feeling of hunger is actually a sign that your body needs water.

Add a squeeze of lemon or lime.

Take a cue from the fancy gyms and spas and flavor your water with slices of strawberries, melon, mint, and other herbs and fruits.

Sparkling water is fun! You can buy a carbonator and make your own at home. If you want flavor, or need to wean yourself off soda, add some unsweetened juice, or mash up some berries and mix them in.

Unsweetened fruit juice and herbal tea count toward your daily water intake. Watch the amount of juice you drink if you are watching calories though. You can always dilute juice with water.

Juicy fruits and vegetables can help you reach your water goals while also giving you valuable nutrients. Great multi-tasking!

So drink up everyone!

PS. Thank you to Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Hope you don’t mind the reference.

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