I’m always completely amazed when someone tells me that they “hate” water. I just can never wrap my head around this statement, because water is actually my favorite drink! Not only is it my beverage of choice, but I love it for all of the reasons that people give me for hating it, ironically. It has no taste. It has no odor. It has no color. For some, qualities like these equal something that’s boring. For me, qualities like these equal something that’s guaranteed to be consistent and refreshing. I never have to worry about getting tired of or adjusted to a certain “taste” or “scent” since it has none. It’s a winner to me! Plus, when you factor in all of the health benefits behind it…whew!! I’m completely sold! So now, let’s talk about my favorite drink…
Commandment 1: Thou Shall Drink Water
Next to oxygen, water is the most important factor for survival of man and animals. A person can do without food for five weeks or more, but without water he/she can survive for only a few days. Water is your body's MAIN chemical component, and makes up about 70% of your body weight! So, if you do the math, you’d realize that just about every system in your body depends on water…not soda, not energy drinks, nor any other liquid! For instance, it protects your organs and tissues, it prevents constipation, it dissolves minerals and nutrients so they’re easier to access by your cells, it regulates your body temperature, it lubricates your joints, it flushes out toxins, and it carries oxygen to your cells, just to name a few.
Commandment 2: Thou Shall Drink Water Daily
Every day, every moment actually, we are losing water! People typically only think about losing water with urination, but you also lose water through your breath (respiration), your sweat (perspiration), through your bowel movements, etc. This is something that should be taken very seriously, because in order for our bodies to function properly, we are responsible for replenishing our own water supply by consuming the appropriate amount daily.
Commandment 3: Thou Shall Drink The Correct Amount of Water Daily
I know in school, we were all taught about consuming our 8 glasses of water a day. This is a great start, but it’s not the end all in figuring out how much water to consume daily. This is because the answer varies from person to person, depending on weight, activity level, environment, etc. This “8 glasses a day” is much too cookie-cutter for me, and needs to be a lot more customized. For instance, obviously the person working out for an hour a day, 6 days a week will need more water than the person who works a 9-5 desk job with little to no exercise. The person who lives in an environment causing increased perspiration (i.e. hot or tropical climate zones) will need more water than the person who lives in a more standard temperature zone. Lastly, the person who weighs 210 lbs will need more than the person who weighs 175 lbs. Luckily for you, there is a simple and quick way to determine roughly the minimum number of ounces you should be consuming per day. The equation is to take your current weight and divide it in half. The answer you get is the magic number! So, an individual weighing 188 lbs should be consuming a minimum of about 94 ounces of water per day. I say “minimum” because of course this number increases as your activity level increases, if you live in an environment causing increased perspiration, etc.
Wondering just how to get in this much water each day? Well, I have many tricks up my sleeve for doing this! Stay tuned for part II of this blog to get tips on just how to get in half your body weight in ounces each day that really work! I want you to start reaping the health benefits of adequate water hydration, because once you see what water can do for your wellness, you too may start calling it your favorite drink!
Katherine Igah-Phillips, MD, MHA
Returning to Nature, LLC.