This One Little Change Can Make All the Difference – Drink Water
I encourage you to make ONE – just one change in your life right now. We’ll keep it simple, achievable, and something that truly makes a difference in your life right away. I have just the one for you! Here it is: Drink more water. You might be saying – what? Is she serious? That’s too easy.
Well, for most people it isn’t easy to consistently drink enough water on a daily basis. It is critical to feel successful when we are embarking upon making any changes. We tend to make long overwhelming lists when we are making changes. For example: I will exercise more often, I will get out walking, I will eat better, get to bed earlier, watch less TV, eat breakfast and less junk food, I will stop swearing, get a new job, etc. and on it goes. What happens is we take on too much at once. Or we spin our wheels because we really don’t know where to begin.
Why did I choose water as the one small change to make? Our bodies’ cells are comprised of 65-90% water. We cannot live without water. We use it in a multitude of ways in daily life – we clean ourselves in the shower, brush our teeth, water our plants, flowers and gardens. We cook with it, swim in it, relax in it. It cleanses & lubricates all of our organs, cells & tissues like a giant internal bath.
Camels can lose up to 30% of their body water and still function at their optimum level. Whereas, if humans lose as little as 5%, headaches, confusion, fatigue, forgetfulness and elevated heart rate occurs. So – staying hydrated is a simple strategy to combat fatigue.
We need to drink a minimum of 6 and up to 12 – 8 oz glasses of pure water each day. This depends on your level of physical activity. If you are bumping up the amount of water you consume, do this slowly to allow your body to get used to the additional intake. Your kidneys need to adjust for this increase. And don’t try to catch up at the end of the day or drink your quota all at once.
Lack of clarity, headaches, indecision and improper digestion are just a few things that can go awry with being dehydrated. The most important time to drink water is first thing when you rise in the morning. While we sleep it is as though we have gone on a mini fast. Our body has been cleaning our 100 trillion cells – water washes away all of the metabolic waste before it begins to be reabsorbed by the clean tissue.
Drinking water clears away many of the toxins we may have accumulated in the previous day through breathing, eating and from stress. The body naturally eliminates toxins in the morning, so help it along. An even better way to help you stay hydrated is to add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to your water. And if you are really keen, start your day off with warm water and lemon.
How will you know if you are getting enough water? By the colour of your urine. If it is clear or light yellow you are getting enough. If it is dark yellow or has a strong odour, you are not getting enough water (or taking B vitamins.) This means your kidneys are working too hard. We efficiently metabolize and use about 4oz. at a time when we consume water. If we down a glass of water quickly5 the brain tells the kidneys – it’s time to flush you out. So then all we do is urinate it back out.
PMS sufferers, here is a good tip for you. You need to drink more water too. The University of Alberta found that PMS sufferers tend to drink less water. Drinking water does not cause fluid retention and can actually help the body to get rid of excess fluid and reduce bloating.
Here’s another tip for those trying to maintain a healthy weight. When you get hungry or have a craving, drink a big glass of water instead. It will make you feel full and you will therefore consume fewer calories. If you tend to drink a lot of juice or soft drinks, try replacing them with water at least once per day. Or, add a few ounces of juice to your water to give it more flavour.
Caffeinated beverages like coffee and tea are diuretic in nature which means you will have to replace the lost water. Drink an extra two glasses of water for every cup of coffee. Herbal teas are fine and can be added to your daily intake amount.
Room temperature or slightly warm water is best. Add a teaspoon of fresh lime or lemon juice to rehydrate the tissues and balance your electrolytes. Try drinking water with a straw; we take in less air and only the water, so you will tend to drink more.
It is important for athletes to drink enough water prior to activity. There is an increased chance of injury with dehydration. Think of a stick of gum when you take it out of the package. Have you tried to stretch it? If you did, what do you think would happen? It would snap right?
Now take the piece of gum and chew it for awhile… now stretch it… viola! With the moisture from your saliva the gum will stretch without breaking. Think of your ligaments and tendons, they are the same as that stick of gum, they need to be warm and lubricated before we move them efficiently and without hurting ourselves.
One way to ensure that you get your daily intake is to make water consumption as easy as possible. Place a glass beside your bed at night to remind you of your first glass of the day. Keep a full glass at your desk or wherever you are sitting or working. Take some with you in the car. Keep it handy. Your body will love you for it.
As always I am here to support you in this life journey of ours and love your feedback.
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