Today’s blog will be the first in a series of blogs regarding the natural things that make us feel better. I’m not talking genetically modified supplements, the newest fad diet, or even the overpriced yet sadly underrated workout toys that promise three minutes of work for washboard abs the next day. We’re looking to the raw things in nature that were meant for our bodies, workouts and exercises to benefit our overall health, and realistic dieting tips because, let’s face it- with long days of swimming, sunshine and lazy nights, you’ll want to feel your best so you don’t miss a thing.
So, let’s start off with a question. If I were to ask you what the most popular drink in the United States was, what would be your first guess?
Was it water? If it was, sadly, you’re incorrect. As is stands, water is the second most popular drink in the USA right now, coming in behind soda.
So, getting back to water, although it’s recently been debunked that you actually don’t need to drink eight glasses of water every day, there are still many benefits to grabbing a drink of water over a sugary drink. According to Joan Koelemay, RD, a dietitian for the Beverage Institute, she says “Think of water as a nutrient your body needs that is present in liquids, plain water, and foods. All of these are essential daily to replace the large amounts of water lost each day”.
Many people have suffered from the dreaded feeling of dehydration. When was the last time you felt thirsty? That’s the first symptom your body sends your brain to get you thinking about a cool drink of water, which is probably well needed because about 60% of your fantastic body is made up of water. Did you know that water also helps influence your brain and aids in how it functions and processes everything your body does?
After researching, we’ve come up with a list of reasons why you should get up, get a glass of water and continue on reading so you can experience the benefits right now!
Water Makes Your Skin Look and Feel So Good!
What do you think helps make your skin feel supple and soft? You got it- water. Although you can’t drink enough to smooth out all wrinkles, it can help your skin to remain moisturized. When you become dehydrated you get that dry, flaky skin that’s much more prone to wrinkling. The truth of the matter is that when you drink that water your body needs, it’s distributed to other organs that help your body function before it makes it to your skin. Making sure you’re properly hydrated will keep everything functioning and you’ll be bound to see those smooth results!
Get Those Muscles Pumped!
Obviously maintaining a good level of fluid intake while working out is strongly recommended, but did you know that the cells in your body that don’t maintain their balance of fluid can shrink up which will cause muscle fatigue? According to the American College of Sports Medicine, guidelines for fluid intake for physical activity are 17 ounces two hours before exercise and regularly during exercise to replace fluids lost from sweating.
Feel The Weight Slide Off!
The best way to fill up is with a glass of water. When I was a kid, I was told to always drink a glass of water before any meal. As I’ve aged, I realize what a brilliant trick this is! No one is susceptible to overeating once in a while, but the best way to eat less and still feel full is to down 6-8 ounces before a meal. It seems like for years a lot of people drink copious amounts of water as a weight loss strategy, and they might be on to something. Food with higher water content seems to look larger and because of the higher volume, it takes more effort to chew and is absorbed by the body slower, making you feel full longer. Some of these superfoods include fruits, vegetables, broth-based soups, oatmeal, and beans.
Balance Those Body Fluids
As mentioned above, 60% of our body consists of water. That’s a huge amount when you really think about it! Let’s break it down further- the function all this water provides to your bodily functions include digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of all those nutrients, and maintaining a healthy body temperature. Seems like a lot! Kaiser Permanente neurologist Steven Guest, MD states, “Through the posterior pituitary gland, your brain communicates with your kidneys and tells it how much water to excrete as urine or hold onto for reserves”. Essentially, when you’re low on fluids your brain will trigger that thirsty feeling and you should listen!
As silly as it sounds, sometimes it hard to remember to drink as much water as you need. We lead busy lives and sometimes that conference call sneaks up on you, a crying child needs more attention, or we just plain forget and although we know we need more water it’s not the first thing on the list. I’ll be the first to admit that I am completely guilty of not getting as much water as I need. But, my challenge to you today is to drink one more glass of water than you usually do. That doesn’t seem so hard, right? Just one more than usual. After a week, maybe add in two extra glasses and before you know it, you’ll be seeing some pretty excellent benefits!