Did you know humans are made up of about 80% water?
Water is extremely important for health. Most of us don’t consume enough water. Drinking water each day is crucial for many reasons. Water helps to regulate temperature, lubricate joints, deliver nutrients to cells, prevent infection, get rid of waste through urination or bowel movements, and keep organs functioning properly. Appropriate hydration also improves sleep quality, cognition, and mood. Drinking enough water prevents dehydration, which can result in unclear thinking, mood changes, headaches, the body to overheat, constipation, and kidney stones. Dehydration can also cause dull skin showing up in the form of ashy, dry skin that seems less radiant and elastic.
Daily total water intake recommendations vary by age, sex, pregnancy status, and breastfeeding status. However, the recommendation for water intake is about 74 oz per day for women and 100 oz per day for men. This can be plain water or water flavored with fruit or veggies (lemons, limes, cucumber slices, etc). It is best to stay away from sugar-sweetened beverages while trying to stay hydrated. Many Americans are so conditioned to sweetened beverages because we drink so much soda, fruit juice, and other sugar-sweetened beverages. These are harmful to our health. Even energy drinks and vitamin waters are loaded full of sugar or other artificial ingredients and not worth consuming.
Did you know that once you begin to feel thirsty, you’re likely already dehydrated?
In addition, when your body is thirsty, it will feel hunger first leading you in search of food, not water. People often mistake thirst for hunger and they eat more, but really just need to drink more. Oftentimes, a glass of water relieves those hunger cues. Sweetened beverages can cause your body to crave more sugars and can make you feel hungrier throughout the day. Water has no calories, so it can help manage body weight and reduce calorie intake when substituted for drinks with calories, such as sweet tea or soda. So, yes, water and the types of beverages you consume can certainly affect your weight loss.
Here are some helpful tips to help you consume more water:
- Carry a water bottle with you and refill throughout the day
- Freeze some freezer-safe water bottles for on-the-go cold water all day
- Choose water over sugary drinks
- Consider no sugar-added seltzers
- Opt for water when eating out; you’ll save money and reduce calories
- Serve water during meals
- Add a piece of lemon or lime to your water; helps improve the taste
- Ensure kids get enough water too
Here is an insightful video on how drinking water affects weight loss: