When was the last time you felt totally hydrated? Truly HYDRATED? Today I’m going to talk about why water is so important to us. In fact, I’ll give you ten reasons to drink plenty of water (in no particular order).
- Water plumps up our cells and makes our skin look much healthier. Dehydration reduces our skin’s elasticity and leaves us looking older and more wrinkled. Quick! Pour a glass of water for me, please!
- Water keeps us from getting headaches. Did you know that our brains are 75% water? Picture your brain dehydrated and all shriveled up like a prune. Oh wait, that’s how it looks when it’s healthy. You get what I mean though… On the rare occasions that I get a headache, I almost always feel better if I drink a big glass of water. That’s ALWAYS my first approach for treating it, before reaching for anything else. (Note: I understand that migraines and sinus headaches are totally different.)
- Water makes us feel fuller and less likely to overeat. Often when we think we’re hungry, we’re actually just thirsty. Seriously, next time you want to go buy a candy bar at 3 PM, try drinking a glass of water and waiting abut 15 minutes and see if you are still starving.
- Water helps keep our muscles from cramping. Dehydration slows the flow of blood down, thus delaying the transport of fresh oxygen to our working muscles.
- Water aids in digestion and helps our food move through our system more efficiently. People who are constipated are often dehydrated. The lack of water in the intestines drys out the poop (yes, that’s my technical/professional term for it) and causes it to practically stop moving.
- Water helps flush sodium out of our system and helps keep us from getting that puffy look. When I got out to eat (which usually means eating more sodium laden foods than usual), I always try to drink lots of water afterward.
- Water flushes toxins out of our bodies and makes us less susceptible to infections. When our lymphatic system is well hydrated it is able to work more efficiently removing wastes that can cause infections.
- Water helps fight bad breath. Our saliva becomes thicker when we are dehydrated and bacteria isn’t washed out of our mouths as easily, leading to bad breath. Ugh!!!
- Water helps keep our urinary tract system healthy. Dehydration slows the flow of urine through the system and allows for toxins and waste to stay in the bladder longer. Moving it through more quickly will reduce the risk of UTI’s. Your pee (another technical word) should be a very light yellow, not dark.
- Water helps our joints by keeping them lubricated. Well lubricated joints move freer and are less likely to hurt. If I wake up with stiff knees or ankles in the morning, I think back to my previous day and can usually pinpoint it to being dehydrated. A big glass of water helps tremendously!
I’m sure you’re asking how much is the right amount of water for you to drink per day. For years it was suggested that everyone drink eight eight-ounce glasses of water daily. Today individual body weight is taken into consideration. It’s widely suggested that we drink (in ounces of water) 2/3 of our body weight (in pounds). For example, I weigh about 135 pounds, so I would multiply 135 x .66 and get 89 ounces of water (my daily goal). If I am outside sweating excessively while on a run, I should increase that amount of water. For every hour of exercise, I should add 20-24 ounces of water to my daily total.
Now that I’ve talked about the benefits of drinking enough water, let’s discuss ways to make sure you ingest enough water.
Drink plenty of this….
And not so much of this…
But if you do… The old rule of thumb is to drink double the ounces of water after drinking a caffeinated or alcoholic drink to replenish the diuretic effects of those drinks (12-ounce beer followed by 24-ounce water).
Most of us think that we are drinking far more water than we really are. One way to make sure you’re drinking enough water is to download a water app to your phone.
One of my clients has a very simple method she uses. She keeps eight rubber bands on her water bottle and every time she refills the bottle, she moves a rubber band from the top of the bottle to the bottom. By the end of the day, she makes sure all of the bands have made their way to the bottom of the bottle!
Another way to get water into us is by eating plenty of fruits and vegetables…
Just a little side note, I had to stop writing my post to go to the bathroom about six times while writing this post. Ahhh, the benefits of being well hydrated! 🙂
- Do you feel that you are good about staying hydrated?
- How many ounces of water per day is right for you?
- Like me, do you know where every bathroom in every store you shop in is located?
Happy Running! ~ Deb