Most people know that water is very important to their health. Many people don't know why so we are going to take a look at some of the reasons water is so important.
We will then explore some commonly asked questions: How much water is enough water? Should you drink it cold or room temperature? Does it matter when you drink it? Do other liquids contribute to your daily water intake? Can you add flavorings to your water and if so, what?
Many of you have probably seen the ‘latest trend’ about drinking lemon water in the morning so we are going to look at that too!
Why water is so important:
1) Boosts your ENERGY! – Your brain is about 75% water! Drinking more water helps you think, focus and concentrate better. As an added bonus, your energy levels are also boosted!
2) Helps you LOSE WEIGHT! – Water helps move nutrients around your body, removes by-products of fat, reduces your appetite (drink a glass of water before a meal), raises your metabolism and also has zero calories!
3) Helps remove TOXINS! – Water flushes toxins and waste from the body through sweat and urination and transports nutrients to where they are needed. This reduces your risk of many health conditions and issues.
4) Boosts your IMMUNE SYSTEM! - Water basically helps all of your body systems function at the optimal level. Your immune system is the body system that keeps you healthy and fights illness when it occurs. When you drink plenty water, your immune system is more efficient at sending out the 'agents' that help fight and prevent infection.
5) Keeps you REGULAR! Drinking plenty water helps avoid issues like constipation. Water also helps directly in the process of breaking down the food you eat through your saliva. Having a well orchestrated digestive system is essential to a healthy weight loss.
How much water is enough and how should I drink it?
There is not single right answer to this question. It depends on many factors, including your size, your activity levels and where you live. I’m sure most of you have heard of the 8 glasses a day rule, and I would certainly recommend aiming for that, but most importantly I think you need to become more aware of your habits and watch out for possible signs of dehydration.
Here is the bottom line; if you feel energized, are going to the restroom 6-10 times per day and your urine is a mostly clear in color with a tinge of yellow you should be good!
There are medications and some supplements that can affect urine color and frequency of medication and if you have any concerns about that I am happy to answer your questions.
Does it matter if I drink my water cold or room temperature?
There are different schools of thought on this matter and many experts agree that there are some benefits to both.
Personally I feel that it is much easier to drink more water if it is room temperature or above and that is one of the main reasons I usually stick to that.
Warmer water is better for your digestion and increases blood flow to your tissues which has several potential benefits including reducing pain.
During the summer months and after intense exercise, when you need to cool down drinking cooler water is a preference for many, including myself.
Some experts say that drinking cold water helps weight loss because your body has to expand energy to warm the water up. This may be true, but warmer water aids in digestion and having good digestion will also help weight loss.
Does it matter when I drink water?
WHEN you drink water is a lot less important than making sure you drink enough. The key is to drink when you are thirsty and learning to recognize what that feels like. I would recommend starting your day with a glass of water (more on that in a bit) and then sipping on water throughout your day. Learning to recognize when you are thirsty and then responding accordingly is something that can take a while to adopt. Self-awareness is key and I recommend that you monitor your water intake for a few days taking note of the total volume of water consumed. This is very easy to do if you use a reusable bottle that has a specific volume capacity. Simply note how many of those you go through a day and if it is less than 64oz (generic guideline) you may want to try to increase it gradually.
Do other liquids contribute to your daily water intake?
Technically yes. Coffee, tea, juice and soda contain water for sure! However, many of those drinks can have added ingredients that are not good for you. IF you are on a journey to better health you want to minimize consumption of sugary drinks. Fruit juices are very high in sugar as well as calories and you are much better off eating the fruit! Soda is obviously high in sugar too but diet sodas are actually worse for you despite the fact they do not contain calories. Any drink flavored with artificial sweeteners can be detrimental to your health AND your waistline as research has shown that our bodies don’t know how to metabolize the artificial ingredients contained in these sweeteners. One reason many people do not like the taste of plain water is that their taste buds are used to overstimulation from too much sugar. My recommendation is to get used to drinking plain water as a weapon against sugar consumption! Your taste buds WILL adjust and learning to love plain water will help you learn to love healthier foods also, so double win!
Can I flavor my water?
Yes you can. Whatever you do though, don’t resort to flavoring your water with zero calories sweeteners. I have seen people who have struggled to lose weight for years, give up artificial sweeteners contained in ‘diet’ products and other processed foods and all of a sudden the excess weight they have carried around for years starts coming off. Artificial sweeteners contain no calories but they do contain chemicals your body cannot metabolize.
Try flavoring your water with slices of oranges and lemons, cucumber and mint or watermelon, strawberries and basil. Experiment with flavors and try different fruits and herbs!
You have probably seen the lemon water craze all over social media and the Internet recently. You may also have noticed that I recommend you drink a glass of warm lemon water each day. My grandmother drank lemon water each and every day, so does my father. I started this myself a few years ago. So why drink lemon water? Let’s start by looking at the fruit itself. Lemons are the smallest fruits in the Citrus-Lemon fruit family. However, they have more comprehensive health benefits than other members of that family.
Lemons are high in vitamin C and help protect against cardiovascular disease, immune deficiencies and prevention of kidney stones amongst other benefits.
Citric acid is prevalent compound found in lemons. It is a natural inhibitor of toxins that can build up in your body in the form of crystals. Drinking warm lemon water helps your liver get rid of unwanted toxins and as such is a great habit to get into. Other benefits of drinking lemon water include aiding digestion. Lemons contain something called citrus flavonoids. There are many advantages to these compounds and they have been shown to assist in the digestion of fats as well as having anti-inflammatory properties.
One of the most talked about benefits of lemon water is the ‘alkalizing effect’. What is this all about and is it a real benefit? First of all, how is this important and secondly how can something that is acidic, like a lemon, be alkalizing?
Firstly, whether a food is acidic in terms of taste or not is not really relevant to the effect it has on the acidity or alkalinity of your blood. Lemon juice outside the body measures acidic for sure but once inside your body and metabolize it actually has an alkalizing (raises the pH) effect.
The pH or our blood is well regulated in general with the aim to keep your pH level between 7.35 and 7.45 in order to support its proper function. Any liquid with a pH of 7 is considered neutral, anything below 7 acidic and anything above 7 alkaline, so the natural state of our blood is slightly alkaline. Pure water is usually considered as having a neutral pH, so around pH 7. In comparison, soda has a pH of around 3 so it is actually 10,000 times more acidic than water because the pH scale is not linear but rather logarithmic, meaning that a liquid that has a pH of 6 is actually 10 times more acidic than a liquid that has a pH of 7 and so forth.
Your cells produce acids as part of their normal cellular functions. As foods are digested and metabolized they often have either an acid or alkaline effect. Fruits and vegetables are generally considered alkalizing meaning they help your natural buffering mechanisms maintain a pH in the range mentioned above.
Processed foods such as soda, white bread and anything containing artificial sweeteners, have an acid forming effect. If you eat a balanced diet, you have little to worry about. However, when people ingest large amounts of acid forming foods and don’t eat enough alkaline forming foods, an imbalance in the pH of your blood can result.
Many diseases and life-style induced conditions thrive in a more acidic environment. The ideal is to make fresh, unprocessed foods the front and center of your diet and lemons are an excellent way to aid this process.
In summary, drinking plenty plain water IS important to your health and most people do not get enough! Drinking warm lemon water has multiple benefits including aiding digestion, cleansing your liver and aiding your body in maintaining its slightly alkaline pH.
Yours in Love, Peace and HEALTH
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