One of the most overlooked diet essentials that I see is water. Not drinking enough of this good stuff can have a profound negative impact on many aspects of our health, but a lot of people just aren’t drinking enough.
Did you know that our body is made up 75% of water and that our brain is 85% water? We can go weeks and survive without foods, but not more than 48 hours without water; it is that important.
How much water each individual needs does differ depending on age, activity, the climate you are living in and the diet that you eat. For example, if you are on a raw food diet, you will need less water than someone who does not eat hydrating foods. If you work out in the sun all day long, you will certainly need more water than someone who works in an office.
On average, 8-10 glasses (1- 1.5 litres) of water should be enough for the average person’s needs. However, tune into the signals that you own body gives you. If you are thirsty, it probably means you have waited too long and you are dehydrated. This is never good, it is much better to drink before you are thirsty. Sometimes we can mistake the feeling of being thirsty for that of hunger. If you think you feel hungry, drink some water first!
You can also check your urine as a great indicator of whether you are needing more water. Clear coloured is good, while cloudy means you need more water.
It should be noted that fizzy soda, coffee, tea, Kool-Aid, and cordials are NOT water. By adding something to the water we are taking away the hydrating quality, so don’t count any of these items in your water tally for the day. In fact, drinking these liquids may actually increase your need for water as they are dehydrating.
When it comes to actual water, there are many different kinds you can choose to drink:
- Tap water is what comes out of the faucet. Depending on where you live, this may or may not have been treated. In Western countries tap water has usually been treated, processed and disinfected and often it is purified with chlorine and has added fluoride.
- Distilled water is water that has been vaporized and collected, so that all of the naturally existing minerals have been taken out.
- Reverse osmosis water has been forced through filters that remove larger particles, pollutants and minerals. Reverse osmosis water is not alkaline like most water is. This water is commonly found in bottles or gallons which are used in places where the tap water cannot be drunk.
- Spring water is clean, natural and pure, it has minerals, magnesium, potassium and sodium, although not enough to meet all the necessary requirements to be healthy- we still need whole foods for these.
- Alkaline water can be made using a filtration system. Alkalinity is the key to a healthy immune system.
One important thing to be wary of is that the plastic bottles that a lot of store-bought water comes in contains high levels of BPA in the plastic. This toxic compound can leech into the water and then into our bodies, potentially causing many future health problems. Never let a plastic water bottle sit in the sun, as this increases the chance of the BPA entering the water you drink, and don’t re-use those bottles more than once.
If you find the taste of water bland, and that is why you don’t drink enough of it, then you might like to try infusing your water to add natural flavours to it.
Simply put the water into a jar and add fruits and or herbs to the water and let it sit in the fridge for a few hours. You can try adding lemon, orange, cucumber, strawberries, blueberries, mint and even rosemary to make flavor you water. Don’t be afraid to experiment! I also like adding in drops of essential oils such as lemon or mint to safely flavour the water that I drink.
No matter what way you drink it, there is no denying it that water is a necessity for a healthy life!
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