We all know we should drink more water. We hear it everywhere... on TV, in the paper, on the news and in every single diet book. So why don't we do it? Why is it so much easier to pop the top of that soda can instead?
But I'm a woman of science and just hearing all of these smart people say I *should* drink more water isn't enough to convince me. I want to hear the details. Why is water so important? What kind of significant difference will it make in my life?
Then I received an email that put everything into perspective. Here is a portion of what it said:
#1. 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated..
#2. In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is mistaken for hunger.
#3. Even MILD dehydration will slow down one's metabolism as 3%.
#4. One glass of water will shut down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters studied in a University of Washington study.
#5. Lack of water, the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue.
#6. Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers.
#7. A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a printed page.
#8. Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, plus it can slash the risk of breast cancer by 79%., and one is 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer.
So I should obviously drink lots and lots of water. Many of my health issues could be dealt with very easily just by making the decision to do the right thing and drink more H20.
But what about those other drinks? They contain lots of water, right? Well, maybe not....
#1 The active ingredient in Coke is phosphoric acid. It will dissolve a nail in about four days. Phosphoric acid also leaches calcium from bones and is a major contributor to the rising increase of osteoporosis.
#2 The number one ingredient in most "fruit" drinks and sodas currently on the market is high fructose corn syrup, an ingredient currently under investigation by the FDA for its relationship to increased cases of juvenile diabetes, obesity, allergies, epilepsy, and ADHD.
#3 Even milk products are not immune from problems. Research shows that the more Americans are lactose-intolerant than previously believed, including many infants and children. The rising instances of childhood allergies, stomach ailments, and a number of immune system issues have been linked to the condition. Most people, however, do not realize that the discomfort they experience is linked to lactose.
Clearly drinking more water is essential to our health and all of those other things may actually cause us more problems than they are worth. By replacing just one of those drinks with a glass of water, you can significantly impact how you feel and your future health.
So what should you do if you don't like water? Well, there are number of options open to you, but be careful! All of those packets you can mix with your bottled water are not good for you! Look at the ingredients to make sure you are not consuming a staggering amount of sugar or a lot of chemicals.
Instead of those packets, make your own flavored water. Any real fruit juice can be added to your water to give it a boost. Some favorites? Lemon, lime, strawberry, pomegranate, and white grape. Not only do they taste great, but they also add nutrients to your drink. Best of all, they are natural! Using fresh fruit to do this will give you a great excuse to eat more fruit, but if you are not ready for that, there are many fine juices out there that will serve the same purpose. Be sure to check the ingredients, however. If the first ingredient isn't fruit, say no.
Drinking water is not your only option. Many excellent foods are very good sources of water. Any melon and many crisp vegetables are made up almost entirely of water mixed with fiber, vitamins and assorted nutrients. By increasing your intake of these types of foods, you can increase your water intake as well. Sneaking these foods into your diet can be as simple as choosing jello instead of pudding, fruit instead of cookies, or a salad instead of soup.
In my last post, I talked about switching to green tea. Drinking more tea can increase your water intake as well since it is largely water, but be aware that tea has it's own problems and should not be your sole drink. In addition to being a diuretic, tea often contains caffeine and other chemicals that may actually increase your thirst. Straight water is always your best choice.
As long as I'm encouraging you to drink more water, please also say no to bottled water. In addition to being horribly expensive, it is also environmentally irresponsible and there is a risk of chemicals including BPH leaching from the bottle and into your drink. Instead, invest in a reusable water bottle that you can sanitize regularly, reuse often, and refill from a filter pitcher. =)