The number one reason to hydrate properly is obviously that drinking more water will make you awesome like a ninja. Okay, maybe not exactly, but it does make you look and feel pretty kick-ass.
Conversely, lack of water causes so much havoc on our bodies and it is the most overlooked natural healer. That pesky headache, the constipation, dry skin…yeah, water can help remedy it all. Proper water intake helps keep your immune system revved up, improves mood, protects our joints. Shall I keep going? Water flushes toxins, oxygenates blood, cleanses the lymphatic system. “Alright lady,” you are saying. “You said this was a list of five.”
So without much ado, here are the top five reasons why drinking more water will help you reach your health and fitness goals:
Curbs appetite: Drink water before you eat a meal. This helps curb hunger by filling your stomach. And, sometimes thirst can be mistaken for hunger. So before you grab a bite to eat, drink a tall glass of water.
Saves calories: Drinking more water means you are probably going to be drinking fewer sugar-laden drinks. Why waste your calories on a beverage (unless it is wine)? It doesn’t fill you up, it spikes your blood sugar, and it isn’t good for your body.
Better poo: Water helps keep you regular. For obvious reasons, not being constipated is a good thing. Water hydrates our digestive tract and keeps our bowels happy. You know what your mom always said about that, “A happy bowel is a happy life.” Oh, she didn’t? Well, she should have.
Reduced bloating: Drinking water hydrates the cells within your body and reduces bloat. It seems counter-intuitive, but drinking more water actually prevents you from retaining water.
Nicer skin: Want nicer skin? Drink that water. Your skin is an organ comprised of cells. Proper hydration keeps these cells happy and prevents your skin from turning dry, flaky and tight—precisely the type of skin that is more prone to wrinkles.
You hate water? My stepson tells me this, so I know this condition exists in real life. Or maybe you just get busy and forget. Either way, here are a few ways to up your water intake:
Spruce it up.
- Add some fruit–a squeeze of lemon, a few raspberries, or a cucumber.
- One of my favorite ways to get the kids to drink up and get the bonus of vitamin c and liver cleansing properties of lemon is to make this healthy lemonade. Ridiculously easy to make, and my 7-year-old loves it.
Keep a water bottle nearby at all times. Seriously, take one with you in the car. Leave one on your desk. Keep it on the kitchen counter. If it is in your face, you are more likely to reach for it.
Measure your intake. Sometimes its not good enough to just guess if you drank enough water. Unfortunately, we get so busy chasing kids or rushing to meet work deadlines that we are out of touch with our intrinsic need to hydrate. In fact, they say if you are thirsty, you are already a bit dehydrated. Get a water bottle with the measurements listed on it, or make your own using a gallon jug with markings on it like this. Or here is a great one you can easily take on the go:
Make it a habit. Have a glass of water before each meal and snack. This will spur you to drink more water and may even curb your appetite.