H2O

22 Feb

Water.  H2O. Hydration.  We have all heard that we need water.  8 glasses a day in fact.  But where is “glass” defined?  And what else counts as water?  Does the water in our morning coffee factor into our “8 a day”?  Or the water in the bunch of grapes that we ate for an afternoon snack?  There are many answers here, but lets ponder water for a moment.

The body uses water for cell function and is essential for every thing that the body does. That is common knowledge.  It is also well known that for optimal benefits, we should drink water throughout the day.  We have all heard how important it is to stay hydrated.  But why?  Why can’t the body just pull water from storage?  When the body needs energy, it pulls and metabolizes from the food we’ve eaten and stored.  It is a very efficient system.  But guess what?  Our body needs water, uses water, has water in its systems and cells for function.  But it does not have any way to store water.  That is why we must pace our intake, and make sure that our intake is continuous.  But that can be complicated for some folks.

Some folks can be deficient with water intake.  There are many reasons for this such as decreased sense of thirst and the delicate issue of incontinence.  And some folks simply do not like the “taste” of water.  It is important to stay hydrated, so lets get creative with it.  A little lemon in water can make it very refreshing.  Cucumber water is also delicious!  Especially when it is hot outside.  It is important, however, to stay away from highly sugared or caffeinated drinks such as soda.  Bodies are amazing, and we can train them to do almost anything.  So if you do not like water, try to train your body to like it.  Another way to get more water is to try eating foods that have a higher percentage of water

Food that has a high percentage of water, such as watermelon and grapes, does indeed contribute to our water intake.  Drinking the “8 a day” is a good starting point for awareness of water intake, but it’s a bit more complex than that.  It is good to make sure that water intake occurs with regularity throughout the day.  And we can count on the food with high water content to help stay hydrated.

Listening to your body is crucial when focusing on good health.  And so is common sense.  Drink water throughout the day.  Eat some foods that are high in water content.  Watch the junky drinks.  It is helpful to keep track of water intake, and something as simple as a little checklist on the fridge or in our office can help keep track of our water.   Remember that the body does not store water, so drink it at a good pace.  Make it a new habit.  the “8 a day” is a good place to start, but you know your body better than anyone.  If you are thirsty, you are already somewhat dehydrated.  So keep sipping!

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