Last week I had a little moment. I didn’t quite spaz out but I got annoyed. I left my trusty, always handy and available water bottle across town and wouldn’t be able to get it back until the middle of the next day unless I drove close to an hour to get it. I was upset and my friend couldn’t understand my disappointment or why it was so important for me to get it back the same day. It’s just a water bottle, he said. Insert my angry face.
It’s not just a water bottle, though! I mean, is your cell phone just a cell phone? If you left it somewhere would you go back to get it right then because you can’t be without it for less than 24 hours? I'm not mad y’all, I promise. I just like to prove my point with passion.
Forget about the cost, my water bottle is just as important as my phone. Remember the gum commercial a few years ago with the jingle “phone, keys, gum” reminding you to grab the necessities before leaving home? Before I leave the house it’s “phone, keys, purse, glasses, water”. I carry my water bottle with me everywhere I go. Everywhere. I never want to be in the position of having to find water when I feel like I need it. I never want to feel like I need it. It’s that major.
Water is major. It is the elixir of life. We need it like we need food and shelter. It’s one of life’s necessities, making it essential for survival.
Our bodies are made up of at least 60 percent of water. We need water for, pretty much, every bodily function we have. It aids in digestion and regularity and also acts as an appetite suppressant. Water helps to regulate body temperature (this is why we sweat). Water also helps the kidneys remove waste from the blood and it also improves blood volume and circulation. Water helps with joint lubrication. I could go on.
These bodily functions, by the way, are made possible by electrolytes. Electrolytes come from what we eat and drink. Sodium, potassium, and calcium to name a few.
How Much Water Do We Need?
Aim for at least 64 ounces a day. However, that increases with your activity or the temperature outside. If you’re active, you should aim for half of your weight in ounces. Same for summer months. Might as well just do it all the time! So, if you weigh 200lbs you will aim for 100 ounces daily. Remember, you lose water when you sweat and breathe.
What Happens When You Don’t Drink Enough Water?
You know when I said the body uses water for nearly every body function? Imagine what happens when there isn’t enough of it.
Dehydration begins before you feel it. If you’re feeling thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. Not drinking enough water can cause constipation, an increase in blood pressure, muscle spasms, and dry hair and skin. Also, cellulite is more visible when you’re dehydrated. Our mucus is thicker. Your body will want to hold on to the little water available when you’re dehydrated. It’s wanting to hold on to the remaining electrolytes. The results, you’ll look bloated and have swelling in your hands and feet.
I just imagine my insides would look like Sponge Bob did on that one episode. Extra dry-like. I can’t!
Ways to Increase Your Water Intake
Add fruits and vegetables with high water content to your diet. This includes watermelon and zucchini.
Another way to ensure you’re getting your daily water intake is to download an app to keep track. The Fitbit app includes it and there are several other apps on both the Apple and Android platforms to remind you to drink up!
To increase your intake, you can also buy a good water bottle that holds at least or close to half of what you’ll need to drink in a day. If you need to drink 100 ounces (weighing 200 lbs) you’d need to find a bottle that holds 40-50 ounces. If you buy bottled water, use a water filter, or use the faucet simply fill it up throughout the day. You’d just be carrying one bottle and you’ll be halfway done when you complete one bottle full. You’re likely to drink more if it’s always there (kinda like eating junk food).
I’m not a big fan of it, but if you feel that water tastes boring, try infused water. Add fruit to your water. Sparkling water is another option. Be careful not to drink either if you fast.
Can You Have Too Much Water?
Simple answer, yes. Can it be deadly? It’s extremely rare. However, you can have more than enough. And just as with dehydration your body will tell you.
You’ll have to urinate way too often. Good thing, you’re flushing out toxins. Bad thing, you’re also flushing out necessary electrolytes. Too much water has a similar affect on the body as dehydration. An electrolyte imbalance hurts. Imagine a hangover. Well, that’s exactly what it is. You retain water and swell. You get a nauseous feeling. Blood pressure goes up and your muscles will spasm.
Balance it out by drinking water that has electrolytes included. Water is sold like this or you can purchase drops to add to your water. Add lemon to your water or drink coconut water. Also eat healthy foods that are good sources of electrolytes. You don’t have to drink only water with electrolytes. Just incorporate some with your daily ounces.
I wish I would’ve thought about all of this to say last week to help prove my case. It’s always afterwards when we think of the good stuff to say! Oh well, I had very good reason to make that trek back for my ‘lil water bottle'.
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