I Have to Drink How Much Water?!?!?

November 12, 2011

Getting more water into your day is not as hard as it sounds. If you drink a glass of water with each meal, you've already drank one-third of your day's allocation!

When people find out how much water they should be drinking, they often react with the question above. Then they ask, "How am I going to work that amount of water into my daily schedule?" Eighty ounces (8 10 oz glasses) sounds like a lot, but it really isn't in the grand scheme of things. This article looks at why water is important, how you can get the recommended amount of water you need for your body to function properly, and gives you tips on how to start drinking more water without going nuts from breaking the caffeine habit that's been formed by visiting the soda machine at work or if you don't like water in the first place.

Why is it important?

Water is one of the main component that makes us who we are. It makes up about 60 percent of our bodies. Our cells are filled with it, and are bathed by it. It helps carry away the toxins from metabolic processes to the kidneys so they can be excreted in the urine. If you are on a lower carbohydrate diet this last function is especially important.

We can go without food for long periods of time but we cannot survive more than two or three days without water. And because our bodily processes use water, we need to replace it so that our body can work better. Drinking fresh, non-carbonated water can do help you in several ways.

Water aids the metabolic processes. Water helps move nutrients to our cells and then helps rid the cells of toxins that result from the processes that keep us alive. If you are drinking enough water, your urine will be a very light yellow color or clear. If you're not drinking enough water, your urine tends to be a dark yellow.

Water helps make you feel full. We've all heard the adage drink a glass of water before dinner and you won't eat as much. And that is true. Water fills up some of the space in our stomachs so we are less likely to overeat.

Water helps curbs hunger responses. If you are dehydrated, your body may signal that it wants food when it really needs water. By the time we experience thirst, your body is already slightly dehydrated. Also even when you no longer feel thirst your body may still need more water, so drink a little extra.

Drinking water also has a couple of added benefits. It helps make your skin look clearer and fresher. When I was drinking nothing but water, I also found that I didn't have to go see the beautician as often to get rid of the problem hair areas on my chin and neck. It also helped me get rid of the swelling in my feet and ankles because my body was better able to rid itself of the waste materials it was producing.

How do I get more water into my day?

Getting more water into your day is not as hard as it sounds. If you drink a glass of water with each meal, you've already drank one-third of your day's allocation!

Drink the rest between meals and before and after you exercise. Be sure to pace yourself with your water intake as well. If you drink a lot of water at once, you will need to make a number of trips to the restroom because your body wants to get rid of the excess fluid.

You may find initially that you need to visit the restroom more since your body isn't used to the amount of water you are drinking. This reaction should decrease over time as you become used to drinking fresh water. If it doesn't, please visit with your healthcare professional since it signals that you might be suffering from Type II Diabetes.

If you are trying to kick a soda habit, how you incorporate more water may depend on how much soda you are drinking. If you are drinking a lot of soda, you need to cut the amount of soda down since the caffeine and the carbonated water in soda act as diuretics. Start out easy by drinking two glasses of water for every soda that you drink. This will get you used to drinking more water and also help you avoid headaches caused by caffeine withdrawal.

As you adjust to drinking more water, start increasing the number of glasses of water you drink before you can have another soda. Pretty soon you may find that soda is too sweet (if you are drinking regular soda) or that you can't stand the taste of the sugar substitute (if you are drinking diet soda). Once I adjusted to drinking more water, I found that I couldn't drink more than about a third of a can of soda because it just didn't taste good any more.

Additional Tips For Raising and Maintaining Your Water Intake

If the tap water in your area doesn't taste good, invest in a good water filtration system. Brita and Pur both make pitchers, containers, and faucet filtering systems that come with replaceable carbon filters. The filters help get rid of impurities and compounds that may make the water taste bad.

If you think water is too bland, try adding a little flavor to it with lemon, lime or orange slices. If you are low carbing, be very careful about adding too much fruit due to the carb content.

Ask if you can get a water selection in the company soda machine. If you can't get that, then go to Sam's Club or Costco and look at getting small 16 oz bottles of water to carry with you.

If you want to keep your water cool while it is at your desk, invest in an insulated mug.

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