This is week #2 – are you flossing your teeth every day? Good for you! There’s still time to start if you forgot to buy dental floss.
Water, water everywhere: You can’t survive more than a few days without it. How much do you consume in an average day? Do you know how much you should drink daily?
Approximately 60-70% of your body is water. Babies are about 80% water when they are born. Water lubricates joints, flushes toxins, regulates body temperature, moistens eyes, nose, mouth and throat, helps ward off constipation, dissolves minerals and nutrients to make them available to your body, and carries nutrients and oxygen to your cells. Drink enough and you can see a new you emerge within days. Quite impressive for this lowly and free liquid!
The basic recommendation has been “eight 8-ounces glasses of water a day”. That’s just under the needs for an average adult woman, and quite a bit less than the needs of an average adult man. There are formulas to calculate by weight, age, activity and geography just how much water a child or adult should consume daily. Someone living in a drier climate requires more water than one living in a humid zone. Exercise requires more water. Illness requires more water.
By the time a person actually feels thirsty, he or she will have lost at least 1% of their total body amount of fluid. You have got to be proactive and stay hydrated!
Headaches can be caused of lack of fluids, and so can dry eyes, dry skin and constipation. The most common cause of daytime fatigue is mild dehydration. Feeling hungry? Try a glass of water. It helps regulate appetite and increase metabolism.
Drink more water, lose more pounds. In 2008, the Journal of Dietetic Association published the first-ever study showing that over-weight and obese adults who drank 2 cups of water half-an-hour before breakfast consumed 75 fewer calories/day on average. Water alone resulted in an easy 44% more weight loss at the end of 12 weeks, doing nothing else different than the control group.
Most foods contain water or at least “moisture”. Think of soups and juices and sauces. Some foods you might not have thought of include yogurt, pasta, fruit and vegetables. They add to your body’s daily intake of water. However, none of these are quite the same as water itself.
You see, foods and beverages made with water need to be digested. They go through quite a lengthy process. Crazy as it sounds, your body needs water to digest food properly.
Caffeinated beverages can cause dehydration, making you feel thirsty after you drink them. Counter-intuitive? It would certainly seem so, yet store shelves are loaded with various drink products besides just water. Some restaurants won’t serve water unless you specifically ask.
While there is controversy over bottled-vs.-tap-vs.-filtered water, one truth remains: you need to drink enough water daily. One easy way to measure whether you have enough is by how your body eliminates toxins. Constipated? Try a couple more glasses of water. Urine not light yellow? Another glass of water for you!
Interestingly, our Earth is covered with about 70-75% water, but less than 1% is usable for humans. Most fresh water is stored inside the earth in aquifers, rather than on the surface in freshwater lakes and streams. Worried that the world’s water supply will dry up? Not exactly. The Earth is a closed system much like a terrarium. Much of the same water volume that existed millions of years ago is still present today.
So drink to your health! Water, that is. One extra glass every morning and every afternoon. Let it flush out the toxins and moisten your skin. See if you don’t feel fresher, more alert, and ready to floss your teeth. Ok, I threw that last one in so you’ll remember to do it. See you next week with another health tip.
Disclaimer: As always, seek medical advice when you have questions about your health.