In this new era of food competition each beverage company is suiting up their best players to move forward and compete for our consumption. In recent years, there has been an increasing amount of options available to us: sodas, fruit juices, vitamin waters, milks, teas, energy drinks, alcohols, coffees. With such a vast array of sweet and addicting options on the table one rarely thinks to indulge in a cool refreshing glass of water. Along with the numerous amounts of health benefits, water is what comprises the majority of our composition! Please let me explain a few reasons why you should ditch the sugary beverages and pour yourself a glass of water!
No Added Sugar !
Although there are numerous beverage options, there seems to be a certain trend, either there are copious amounts of added sugar or sugar alternatives. Both of these additions will trigger your brain to crave more sugar throughout your day, resulting in over consumption. On the contrary, water contains no additional sugars, sweeteners or flavors! If you are not a fan of the taste, there are many ways you can make water less bland. You can always jazz it up with fresh lemon, lime or mint leaves!
Increased Energy !
Most people consume coffee or tea to get their day started, but did you know that a glass of water can give you a similar boost of energy? While you sleep, your body flushes out extra water, which can leave you tired and dehydrated in the morning.
Typically one does not think of water as a drink that boosts their energy levels. To get the day started, most people consume coffee or tea, but while you were asleep, your body was flushing out excess water, leaving you dehydrated. Dehydration is known to make individuals feel groggy so the next time you feel that you need that extra cup of Joe, instead, have an ice cold glass of water. You may find that this was all your body needed to make it through the day! On top of that, without the extra caffeine, you may find it easier for you to fall asleep and stay asleep, thus naturally improving your mood and energy level for the following day.
Increased Weight Loss !
You read this right, the number one diet trick does have a lot of truth to it! Increasing your water consumption can help increase your weight loss results as well as help you maintain your current weight. Consuming water before and during a meal will help your stomach realize that it is full before you over indulge and will keep your body properly hydrated. If you are not drinking enough fluids, your body may trigger a food craving response in an attempt to extract water from them. When you are hungry, instead of immediately grabbing a snack, try having a glass of water. After about 10 minutes, see if that craving has subsided. If it has, you were most likely dehydrated and your brain tricked you into believing you were hungry! Finally, every time you choose water over another beverage you are avoiding the consumption of extra carbohydrates, sugars, and calories that reside in water alternatives!
Body Detoxification !
While we have all seen the numerous “detoxes” or “cleanses” on the market or on social media sites, nothing will eliminate your body of impurities quicker that getting the proper amount of water in your system (and no, the liquid from your teas, coffees, and juices do not count)! Water specifically helps your kidneys remove toxins and waste so that you may properly flush them out of your system. Also, having a healthy water balance allows all of your cells to transport nutrients more efficiently! Consuming beverages like coffee, soda or sports drinks make your kidneys work harder in order to flush out these impurities. While these alternative beverages may still contain water, they are not doing your body any favors from a hydration and detoxification standpoint. Next time, before you buy into a fancy detox cleanse simply try consuming more water and seeing how big of a difference it can make!
Natural Medicine !
That is correct, you can forgo many medications simply by drinking more water! Dehydration is one of the top causes of muscle cramps, headaches, dry skin, and even bad breath. Before you reach for the Advil or Ibuprofen, drink extra water as your body may be crying out for it! Also, by reducing the amount of over-the-counter drugs you consume, you will help reduce the amount of work needed to break down these medicines and clear them from your system. Consuming healthy amounts of water can also help with long standing health issues. By drinking more water, your body is creating a healthy immune system. The result is improved skin completion, and reduced dehydration and risk of numerous health conditions (gout, kidney stones, and constipation, just to name a few).
Now that we have you attention on just 5 of the amazing benefits of water you may be wondering how much water is the “perfect amount”. You may be drinking enough to comply with typical consumer standards (32-64 oz of water), but while this is a great start, some studies show that we cannot follow this standard indefinitely. We cannot set a regulated amount of water consumption based on a standard and say that it is ideal for everyone. There are many factors that may require you to consume more water such as exercise, climate, and food intake. Some studies say you should consume 1oz of water for every pound you weight (135lbs=135oz of water/day) while others say have 8 8oz glasses. There is going to be a different rule and equation in every article you read. Now you’re thinking, “alright well how much water is the perfect amount for me? How do I come up with this magic number?”. Honestly you cannot, it will be a game of trial and error. My advice to you is to follow these 5 steps:
- Drink water when you wake up.
- Drink water when you are thirsty.
- Drink water when you exercise.
- Drink water when your have a headache/chapped lips/ or are constipated.
- Drink water after you use the bathroom.
After drinking all this water, and drastically reducing those sugary drinks, you really will feel the difference! Go out and buy yourself a large water-bottle, keep it with you always, and enjoy!