So what's the hype on drinking water anyway? Listen to find out not only why it's so important we do it, but tips for us who struggle.
It's amazing how something so simple like drinking water can be such a challenge for so many of us. However it is one of the most simple ways to help with so many body issues!
My guest today, Meg Carber, is a Registered Dietitian and owner of Nourished & Strong Nutrition Counseling in Huntersville NC and online.
Her and her team use a non-diet approach to help clients reach their health and performance goals.
You can find her @megcarberrdn on Instagram/Facebook/Pinterest and email her at Meg@nourished-strong.com
The Importance of Drinking Water
Drinking water is such a simple goal, most don't drink enough. Me included!
Our bodies are 60% water. Without enough we feel things like headaches, dizziness, fatigue, irritability and we function slowly.
Crazy enough, our brain shrinks when we don't drink water to compensate for not having enough! It's a large organ that needs a lot of water to function so when it doesn't get enough, it starts to compensate.
What happens to your body when you drink water?
Drinking enough water helps with so many things. All of our processes are more efficient and function smoother.
When we are properly hydrated our body is at it's peak and everything functions at it's best. But when we don't have enough water, our systems start to halt.
Here are things that happen when we are properly hydrated:
- Brain function- our brain is mostly water and needs it to help us focus, be productive, give us energy
- Digestion- keeps things moving and regular so that we aren't constipated
- Liver function and being able to detoxify
- Kidneys excrete urine properly
- Joints stay cushy and hydrated to prevent aches, pains and injuries
- Our blood pressure stays regular
- Our heart rate is regulated
- Temperature regulation
- Overall homeostasis of cells
How is Drinking water Connected to Losing Weight
We hear a lot about the connection with drinking water and losing weight. So how are they related?
While it's important to drink enough water for our bodies to function well, when you use water as a food replacement in order to try and lose weight, you are creating a further disconnect between you and your body.
You are ignoring hunger and pushing it off by drinking. This does help hydration but it does not help your nutrition.
But water can be used in healthy ways to help with satiating your body. Since it takes 10-15 minutes for your brain to know you are full, it can be helpful to drink some water after you eat a healthy portion of food to allow your brain to catch up.
If you're still hungry after that, then you know you are truly hungry, but more often than not, your brain is able to get the message that you've eaten enough and helps prevent overeating.
Different Types of Water
First off, this is for sure a privileged topic in and of itself. So many struggle to get any water in this world, while others fall victim to the marketing of the "healthiest" type of water.
The biggest one is alkaline water. It claims to help the body neutralize ph. Homeostasis (the state of happy cells) needs a nice neutral ph and alkaline water claims to help achieve that.
Overall, there are no studies to back up these claims. Our body knows how to regulate itself. So if you can afford to spend extra money on fancy water, and you enjoy the taste, then go for it. But don't fall victim to claims that are not supported by evidence.
Can you drink too much water?
Over drinking water isn't a common issue, but not drinking enough is. Starting with half your body weight in ounces is a general rule of thumb, but really everyone is different.
You're going to need more if you exercise or live in dry climate, so it really does depend on a lot.
Meg says start with 75 ounces a day, even a 1-3 % lack of hydration can show symptoms of dehydration!
How Often to Drink Water
Meg says: ALLLLLL day long! Start your day with water, drink 8 ounces when you wake up and before coffee.
Then do what you need to do to keep drinking.
Tips to Keep Water Intake Up
Here are Meg's tips for drinking water all day every day!
- Find your drinking personality:
- Is it a straw or wide mouth?
- Do you like cold or room temp water?
- Do you like glass or plastic or stainless steel?
2. Try tricks to keep it going: a bottle with labels for times, a timer, rubber band system where you move the rubber band from one wrist to the other when you refill, draw dots/lines, etc
3. Use an app like Plant Nanny to keep it fun! It makes you feed your plant water in order to help it grow.
4. Start early in the day, the later you start the more you'll need to play catch up.
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