Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Healthy Habit #8 for 2010: Drink More Water

Drinking enough water has never been easy for me.  I tend not to be a big drinker.  However, my goal for this year is to drink at least eight cups of water a day. I've discovered that the key for me achieving this is to start early.  If I drink a cup first thing in the morning, then 16 ounces after exercising, another cup mid-morning and a cup with lunch, I'm over half-way there already!

Keeping a big cup of water within easy reach as I work is also helpful. Drinking it out of a "special cup" can make it more appealing, as well as can adding a squirt of fresh lemon or lime juice.  

Although eight cups a day is a good rule of thumb, a more accurate way of determining how much water you need is to take your weight and divide it in half.  That number is how many ounces of water you need each day.  So, if you weigh 150 lbs., you need to drink 75 ounces of water a day.   Of course, even more water is needed if you live in a hot climate or exercise vigorously.

Why drink more water?

As I was doing some research for this post, I discovered the following amazing hydro-facts:

  • 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated.
  • In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is often mistaken for hunger.
  • Even MILD dehydration will slow down one's metabolism as much as 3%.
  • Lack of water is the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue.
  • Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back, and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers.
  • 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.
According to Jordan Rubin, in Perfect Weight America, "Regular ol' water can play a significant role in losing weight because of the way it revs up your metabolism and hydrates cells so that they can process carbohydrates and fat more efficiently.  When your body's cells are well hydrated, you accelerate the liver's ability to convert stored fat into usable energy and help your kidneys flush out toxins.  If you substitute water for soft drinks -- and and ignore everything else written in Perfect Weight America, -- you'll still lose three pounds in short order. . . "

Fortunately, I am one of the few Americans who is not fond of soft drinks, so I don't have that habit to break, but I do have a weakness for good ol' southern sweet tea!  :)  I am doing much better about that, and just drink a glass of sweet tea occasionally, like at church dinners or when I go to Chick-Fil-A!!!    :) 

For the most part, I am sticking to water and trying to make sure I consume my daily quota.  I've discovered that I'm not the only blogger who is focusing on drinking her H2O this year -- check out this post to read another perspective on the merits of drinking more water.


Amy Ellen said...

Hey! I posted about water today too... great minds think alike :-)

Love and peace, ae

Kristi Lea said...

I've Never liked water. Even growing up when I was active in sports, I prefered Gatorade or lemonade. I am trying sooo hard to focus on drinking more water because I know just how important it is!

tlmalcolm said...

Have you ever tried flavored seltzer water (no sugar but just flavor) I drink a lot that when I want a "special treat" besides plain water. I know the cabonation is not the best but it is a great alternative to other sweet drinks. I love the vanilla flavored or the black cherry made by polar seltzer.

mommyx12 said...

I love water. Especially with lemon. I never used to be a water drinker until I began nursing babies!! Now I'm hooked!

Mom's Coffee Time said...

Great post, something I need reminders of often!! Blessings! ~Amy

Rebecca's Refining said...

I am working on drinking more water myself. I tend to drink more coffee, hot tea, or hot chocolate in the winter months. So, I need to get back on track with my 8-10 glasses each day too!

Kathy - mom of many said...

Steve learned at the IBLP health conference that drinking enough water cuts your chances of getting breast cancer significantly.

I am like you, I'm not a big drinker normally.

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