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By - Zonya Foco, RD, CHFI, CSP
TEST YOUR WATER IQOne of my favorite habits that never gets the respect it deserves is DRINK WATER. Sure we all understand the importance of staying hydrated, but that’s the extent of our knowledge for most. To make sure your busy schedule isn’t compromising your health, TEST YOUR WATER IQ below and find out why DRINK WATER could be your most important habit for excelling in life without undermining your health.
These are ALL true!
Using Fowler’s car analogy from the book, Water with Lemon, if we use thirst as our first alert for dehydration, it would be like using our dashboard oil light as our alert for needing oil—by the time the thirst light goes on, we’ve already lost 1-2 percent of our body weight in water. If you haven’t yet read Water with Lemon or want more reasons why DRINK WATER is one the essential core habits for achieving a healthy lifestyle, read on. And let’s all start giving water the respect it deserves!!
And think before you drink anything else. Water is the body’s most important nutrient. It provides the healthy internal car wash you need for better concentration, fighting diseases and flushing fat. Begin drinking water first thing in the morning and add lemon or lime for a refreshing taste change throughout the day. Replace calorie-filled sodas with water because unconsciously drinking high-sugar beverages can account for up to 50 extra pounds you may be carrying around. And just one can of soda per day can double your chances of type-2 diabetes.
Our Body: A ”Walking“ Body of Water With most of our body weight made up of water, humans are truly a walking body of water. In fact, I like to think of our body’s dependency on water for efficiently transporting nutrients and removing waste much like Venice, the ”city of water,“ depends on water in its infrastructure for effectively transporting people and products.
Making up 60 to 75 percent of our body weight, water plays an integral role in virtually EVERY bodily function. This powerful yet simple nutrient definitely needs to move to the top of the list in BIG BOLD letters on everyone’s healthy lifestyle plan.
This essential, but forgotten hero...
Could you be suffering from chronic underhydration? Even though you may not actually be DEhydrated, you may very well be living in a constant state of UNDERhydration. Underhydration could be the cause of your dizziness, headaches, lethargy or confusion. Research and studies also show that chronic underhydration and dehydration can be the underlying causes to such conditions as asthma, allergies, arthritis, migraine headaches, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, kidney stones, urinary tract cancer, colon cancer and more.Stats to remember:
How much is enough? No doubt you’ve probably grown up hearing the proverbial, ”Drink 8 glasses of water a day.“ It’s one of our culture’s rules of life; much like ”get 8 hours of sleep,“ ”floss your teeth every day“ and ”don’t run with scissors.“
But, honestly, how many of us are actually drinking at least eight 8-ounce glasses a day? I must confess that as healthy as I THOUGHT I was by following my own nutrition advice with proper portions, fats and carbs; I have not always fully recognized the need for drinking enough water to stay properly hydrated. I never seemed to be thirsty, but I did suffer from headaches and mid-afternoon fatigue. I now realize how important water is in managing my energy, minimizing my headaches and curbing my appetite.
These guidelines will help you stay properly hydrated:
The benefits of adding lemon The biggest benefit to adding lemon (or other fruit such as lime, orange, cherry--or even cucumber) to your water is that you’ll probably drink MORE water if it has a bit of flavor. The key is to not add so much fruit juice that it raises your sugar intake and compromises the benefit of drinking water.
Juice from fresh lemons, limes and oranges enhances the flavor of water while increasing your intake of vitamin C, flavonoids and antioxidants for pumping up your immune system. Lemon juice has also been recommended by many doctors to deter certain types of kidney stones. And international travelers attest to the citric acid in lime juice for fighting bacteria in less-than-pure drinking water.
Whether you choose a slice of lemon, wedge of lime, chunk of cucumber or the convenience of portable envelopes containing crystallized True Lemon, True Lime or True Orange (all favorites of mine!) for your daily water enjoyment, the bottom line is: DRINK WATER!!!