Everyone has heard the hype about drinking H2O, but is it really as important as everyone says? Unequivocally, yes!
Drinking water is one of the most important things we can do for our bodies and our well-being every day. And the magic number is 8 to 10 glasses (250ml) per day. The fact of the matter is that water is essential for so many vital functions of the body – our bodies are, after all, made up of 60% water. So without proper hydration, we are bound to have health complications.
Not sure if you’re getting enough water? Are you prone to fatigue, frequent migraines, constipation, muscle cramping, irregular blood-pressure, kidney problems or dry skin? It could be due to dehydration, as they’re all common symptoms. In fact, there’s speculation that heartburn, headache and fatigue are not even stand-alone ailments, but dehydration-induced disorders. But the easiest way to tell if you’re hydrated is to monitor the colour of your urine. The more it looks like water (clear, colourless), the more hydrated you are.
So, what are the benefits of drinking water? Well, for starters, it can help boost energy levels, aid in weight loss, decrease frequency and intensity of headaches, aid in digestion and improve mood – who doesn’t want all that? Water can also reduce risk of urinary tract infections, help your skin look younger and more vibrant, improve your ability to concentrate and is said to even have cancer fighting properties. Plus, it can decrease the incidence of infections and help speed up healing time.
And, how about this…hungry? Try drinking some water! Dehydration creates a false feeling of hunger and we often get this confused.
Even knowing all of this, why is it that so many of us find it difficult to get our daily dose? Isn’t a glass of water one of the simplest things out there? I’ve heard all the reasons: it’s tasteless, I don’t have time, it’s not convenient, I just plain forget…
The bottom line is you need to make drinking water a habit:
- Carry it with you wherever you go so it’s always available. Be sure to use glass or stainless steel bottles, which are free from bisphenol A (BPA). BPA content is linked to an increased risk of breast cancer development and other negative estrogenic effects
- Keep a glass on your desk at work to remind you to keep drinking throughout the day
- Put water with a lemon wedge beside your bed and consume one cup of water upon waking. Lemon water has the added benefit of stimulating the liver
- Decrease your caffeine intake (coffee, soda) – it has diuretic properties, so you’ll need to drink an extra glass of water just to counteract the effects
- Make your water appealing to your taste buds by adding natural flavour – my favourites are: lemon or lime wedges with mint leaves, orange wedges, cucumber and mint, and frozen strawberry slices
Drinking water is such an easy and cost-effective habit to get into and the health benefits are tremendous. So, raise a glass of H20 and cheers, to your health!
In health & happiness,
Dr. Michelle Peris is a Naturopathic Doctor whose goal is to inspire health through educating, motivating and empowering people. She has a family based practice out of a clinic in Oakville, Ontario.
Contact Dr. Michelle today to book your 15 minute complimentary consult.