This summer I’m all about drinking more water. It has been my New Year’s resolution for approximately the past five years, but it never stuck. Since the thermometer reads well over 100 degrees most of the summer here in Phoenix, it made perfect sense to try again now.
My personal trick is a big, heavy-duty plastic cup with a built-in straw. I rarely leave the house without it loaded up with ice-cold water. I also manage to drink significantly more through a straw. I haven’t found any science to back that up, but it works for me. (nb: not a good idea when drinking frozen margaritas) When temperatures cool down, I hope to have a good water drinking habit in place – though I may find myself substituting some hot tea to start my day.
The adage “drink 8 cups a day” has gone by the wayside. The Institute of Medicine recommends men drink 13 cups per day and women 9 cups. These numbers are based on the formula: consume the number of ounces of water each day equal to half of your body weight. However, these ounces are not only made up of drinking water, but take into account all beverages as well as foods (usually about 20% of our intake).
What will that water do for you?
One of the easiest, cheapest and most effective ways to improve your health and well-being is to drink lots of water.
Weight Loss? – There don’t seem to be any reliable studies showing increased water intake will cause you to lose weight. However, researchers have found that eating foods with a high-volume of water (fruits, vegetables, broth-based soups, oatmeal) can help with weight loss because they boost your feeling of satiety. Perhaps even more effective is swapping out high calorie beverages (orange juice, sweetened tea, soft drinks (diet and regular), sugary coffees) for water.
Improved Kidney Function – Water is key to flushing water-soluble waste out through your urine. If you urine is any darker than pale yellow, drink more!
Maintain Normal Bowel Function – Along with adequate fiber, water will help things keep flowing through your GI tract. No better way to start your day, eh?
Boosts Immunity – Adequate water helps keep all your bodily systems at peak performance. It’s my first line of defense when I feel a cold coming on.
Headache Remedy and Prevention – Dehydration (along with tension, eye strain, low blood sugar) is among the top causes of headaches. It’s an easy fix.