Quench That Thirst!

June 22, 2012

Health

 

Water!By Karen Bruce
The weather’s getting warmer and your thirst is more pronounced. This is your body’s way of telling you it is in need of hydration. The best way to hydrate? Drink water – and lots of it. The standard recommendation is daily consumption of half of your body weight in ounces of water. For example, if you weigh 150 lbs., aim to drink at least 75 ounces of water every day. Yes, you might need a bathroom a little more often, but trust me, your body adjusts.
Staying hydrated does more than manage our thirst. Our bodies are 60-70% water. Maintaining proper hydration aids digestion, boosts metabolism, helps combat daytime fatigue, facilitates weight loss, protects joints, helps maintain muscle tone, increases kidney efficiency, regulates body temperature, and improves mood and cognitive function.
    You’ve probably heard it before, but it bears repeating:  By the time you become thirsty, your body is already approaching dehydration. It is important, then, to continue to consume fluids even before you feel thirsty. This is a challenge for many of us, however. Here are some tips to stay well-hydrated:
  1. Try water at different temperatures. My father-in-law always said that drinking water was like medicine to him. However, he tolerated it warm or hot rather than cool because it reminded him more of coffee or tea. I enjoy very cold water, but hey – whatever works.
  2. Skip commercial “sports” drinks or “nutritious” waters. They are usually full of sugar and often contain toxic food colorings and other chemicals, including artificial sweeteners.
  3.  Kick caffeine and alcohol. Alcoholic and caffeinated drinks are extremely dehydrating. If you don’t eliminate them completely, a good rule of thumb is to add the same amount of water to your daily intake as your consumption of caffeine or alcohol. For instance, if a 200 lb. person consumes a 12 oz. cup of coffee and 8 oz. of wine over the course of a day, he should add approximately 20 ounces of water to the recommended 100 ounces for daily intake.
  4. Add fresh fruit or vegetables. Squeeze a lemon or an orange into your water. Try some cucumber slices. Some people enjoy fresh mint in their water. I like adding frozen orange or lemon slices or even strawberries to my water. Yum! Also, a cup of warm water with fresh lemon juice first thing in the morning is a great liver detoxifier.
  5. Increase your water-laden food intake. Leafy greens, cucumbers, celery, and melons are some of the wonderful cooling foods that can add water to your intake.

 

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