We have all heard, over and over again, how important it is to drink water throughout the day. Water provides many health benefits: Studies show that drinking more water can reduce risks of some cancers, it alleviates headaches and constipation, assists in weight loss, aids in organ function, improves the health of your skin, increases mental alertness … the list goes on!
Our bodies are comprised of 70% water – our brains are 90% water. Water is a significant part of every single cell and drop of blood in our bodies. We are constantly using water within our bodies, not to mention sweating it out or through urination, throughout the day, so it needs to be replaced.
How much water do we need? Everyone differs in their hydration needs but a good rule of thumb is about 8-10 8oz glasses a day. Your weight, exercise intensity, kidney function and climate all affect your personal hydration needs. Your best bet is to pay attention to how your body feels and when in doubt, drink a glass of water.
There is a quick and easy way to determine whether you are dehydrated right now: When you pinch your skin, say, on the back of your hand for example, and if it takes a moment to bounce back, then you likely need a glass of water!
There are lots of ways to make your water more interesting, if adding ice just doesn’t cut it!
- You can add fresh fruit and/or vegetables to your water, such as cucumber, mint leaves or berries, which increases the health benefits as well. Use a fun straw!
- You can also pair your drinking with your daily activities, for example, when you leave for work or when you go out for a walk – fill up a bottle of water and take it along.
- Drinking a glass of water when you first wake up helps to kick-start your metabolism for the day – add a lemon for flavor, if you prefer.
It doesn’t take long for this to become a healthy habit. There are even apps available that will help you keep track of how much water you are drinking.
Drinking water is a great partner in dieting and for weight loss. Having a glass of water when you’re hungry can trick your body into feeling more full, not to mention aiding in digestion after you eat. Water is also a much healthier alternative than energy drinks or juice. In the workplace, getting up from your desk and going to grab a drink of water not only gets you up and away from your desk, to stretch your legs and get a break, but it’s a healthier choice than coffee or tea. Keeping these things in mind will all increase your water intake while aiding in your overall health.
And remember the environment. If possible, use a reusable container for your water. There are plenty available in a variety of shapes, colors and materials. Fashion meets function with your water too! Be sure to choose carcinogen free materials, such as stainless steel bottles. Avoid plastic bottles whenever possible.
Workplace Water Challenge: Create a water challenge in your workplace: Set a goal of how many glasses of water a day you will drink and invite your co-workers to do the same (make sure you are all measuring in the same way!) and make it a competition with a prize to who wins the challenge! Give extra points to those who keep the environment in mind!