We've all heard it a million times before "drink 8 glasses of water a day". You know, and I know, that water is important for proper health, BUT how many of us actually drink that much? If you've forgotten why H2O is so important, let me give you a little "refresher".
1. Our body is made up of 75% water (roughly 42L for the average adult human). With a loss as little as 2.7L, a person can suffer from dehydration, displaying symptoms of irritability, fatigue, nervousness, dizziness, weakness, headaches. Next time you feel your energy dropping, DRINK A GLASS OF WATER!
2. The human brain is made up of 95% water. Deprive it of water, and you're going to have troubles focusing, reading etc.
3. Water is essential in helping move food through our systems and prevent constipation.
4. Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, breast cancer by 79%, and bladder cancer by 50%.
5. Water aids in eliminating toxins from our bodies.
6. Water also helps with the movement of joints, and helps protect tissues and organs in the body. In between joints in the body there is a lining of cartilage that exists. The lining of cartilage between the joints uses water as a cushion between the bones so that the joints can move easily. If there is not enough water being consumed, dehydration can occur in these joints, which may cause arthritis.
7. It is important in helping with digestion; the absorption of food, the regulation of body temperature and blood circulation, the carrying of nutrients and oxygen to the cells in the body.
8. It is also good to drink water for metabolic and weight loss purposes. Drinking water metabolizes stored fats. It is the liver's job to metabolize fat, and in order to do so it needs water. If not enough water is consumed, the liver takes over the job of the kidneys. When the liver takes over the job of the kidneys however, it is no longer able to metabolize fat in the body. Therefore the more water consumed, the more the body will metabolize fat.
9. It helps maintain proper muscle tone. It can also suppress you appetite. Next time you're craving something "forbidden" reach for your water bottle.
10. Drinking water on a regular basis can boost your health and keep your body feeling great.
So, how do you know if you're drinking enough? Check the color of your urine. It should be a very pale yellow (unless you're on medication that could potentially change the color). Don't forget that you need extra water if you've been exercising.
Now, how do you get your KIDS to drink enough water? Yes, that's a tough one because most kids would rather drink chocolate milk or other sugary drinks.
1. Let them pick out their own re-usable water bottle. I recommend something the is BPA free. Sometimes pretty packaging is all that is needed to motivate them. Say "do you want to drink from your (Dora, Spider Man, Cinderella... whatever) water bottle?"
2. Dilute their juice as much as possible. My daughter doesn't really like drinking straight water, but she'll drink juice that's been diluted 1 part juice, 10 parts water. She just wants that hint of flavor.
3. Make a fruit smoothie that's full of crushed ice cubes. We make a smoothie that is 1 cup frozen fruit, 1/2 cup juice, 1/2 cup water, and 1/2 cup crushed ice. It comes out pretty solid, like fruit sorbet, and we feed it to my daughter with a spoon. She thinks she eating fruity ice cream.
4. Give them a straw. Kids think drinking from a straw is fun and they'll usually drink whatever if there's a straw involved.
Have I made you thirsty yet? Go ahead, pick out a new (pretty) water bottle and STAY HYDRATED!
Me Ka Aloha (with love)