Water is an essential element of LIFE. All living organisms depend on water for growth and survival. Our bodies are about 75% water. Our individual cells are made of water, contain water, and float in a pool of water. Every one of our body’s tissues and organs, as well as every one of the body’s life-sustaining processes, such as thinking, nerve function, blood circulation, digestion, locomotion and elimination, require water to function properly. The benefits of staying properly hydrated are numerous, but here are just a few: more ease and better function in your joints, in particular your low back and knees, lower cholesterol levels, more normal and healthy heart function and blood pressure, improved function of nerve system and brain, clearer thought processes, better memory, more energy, clearer skin, healthier elimination, organs glide more smoothly over one another creating a state of heightened ease in your abdomen, fewer headaches, and your blood is of proper viscosity (thickness) and better able to carry oxygen to all the parts of your body.
So, how much water is enough? Well, that’s a really tough question to answer because so much depends on your activity level, the amount of caffeine you drink (both situations require that you need MORE water), and from what other sources are you getting water (i.e. food). There are a couple rules of thumb that you could follow and get adequate amounts of water. You could follow the 8 x 8 Rule, which is eight 8 oz. glasses/day. Ideally, however, you should aim for half of your body weight in ounces of water (i.e. if you weigh 150 lbs., you should drink about 75 oz of water). No matter which rule you choose to follow, please remember that you need to drink more water before, during, and after exercise and for every cup of caffeine that you drink you need to drink an extra glass of water because caffeine robs your body of water. You can also get water from the foods that you eat, particularly fresh fruits and vegetables.
If you wouldn’t currently consider yourself a water-drinker, don’t get overwhelmed with the idea of drinking 8 glasses/day. Instead, just start by drinking 1 or 2 glasses more than you drink right now. Slowly add more glasses and you’ll be up to 8 in no time. Don’t like the taste of water? Try adding some cucumber and lemon slices to a pitcher of water for a refreshing taste. Orange slices, lime slices and lemon wedges in warm water are great too!
Water is LIFE – Drink it Up!