Water…how important is it really?

water-tapNo matter if you’re trying to lose weight, gain weight, eat clean, lower blood pressure/blood sugar/cholesterol, etc. your doctor or dietician will likely tell you to make sure you drink lots of water. The human body is made of approximately 60% water, so staying hydrated is crucial to ensuring your body is functioning properly. Most people don’t drink enough water, and they count their tea and coffee as part of their water consumption…and unfortunately, it doesn’t really work that way. Caffeine, which naturally occurs in tea AND coffee (yes, even in decaffeinated there are trace amounts), will actually dehydrate you. Some signs and symptoms of mild dehydration are: increased thirst, dry mouth, fatigue, low urine output accompanied by a yellowish/golden tint, headache, dry skin, dizziness, dry eyes, etc. If you suffer from any of these symptoms and know you don’t drink enough water, then the solution is simple…drink more water 😉 ….64oz per day is the goal.

For those that are trying to lose weight, water is crucial! It flushes toxins from your system, makes sure that all of your organs are functioning properly (including your colon), and helps to keep you full! Most of the time when people feel hunger pangs in between meals, it’s because they are actually thirsty…not hungry! If you drink water with your meals you will eat less as well. In addition to helping you feel full, water helps to increase your metabolism! It allows your body to burn calories more efficiently; those that are at least mildly dehydrated tend to burn less calories and have a slower metabolism!

One issue that people complain about the most when trying to increase their water consumption is, “If I drink more water, I’m going to be in the bathroom every 5 minutes!” Yes, if you drink more water you will have to urinate more often, but that’s because your body is actually able to cleanse itself! However, just because the goal is 64oz of water per day, it doesn’t mean you have to drink 64oz of water tomorrow…what I tell all my patients and clients is start off with tracking how much water you currently drink. If it’s none, then start and see how much you get in over the course of a day. If it’s one 16oz bottle of water per day, then work toward 1 1/2, then 2, then 2 1/2, and so on… Eventually you will reach your goal of 64oz. Why don’t you want to start off immediately with 64oz?? You can, but you will be in the bathroom very frequently because your system is not hydrated. The example I like to give people is this….If it hasn’t rained outside in weeks, and we are in a drought, then suddenly we get a big rain storm that comes through with heavy rainfall…what happens? All that water rushes straight over the ground and into the drainage system because it’s coming down too hard and too fast for the ground to absorb it….same thing goes with your body!! If you are dehydrated, the best thing to do is to slowly hydrate yourself until you get to that goal of 64oz. If you are only consuming 8-16oz of water per day, it may take you about 2 weeks to get to 64oz. But, that’s okay! Progress is progress!! 16oz per day is better than 8oz per day!

So bottom line is…go get yourself a bottle of water and start drinking 🙂 It’s good for you!

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