You’ve heard it once, and you’ll hear it again: “drink more water!” While achieving ideal hydration can feel like a chore at times, drinking water is critical in maintaining great health. Every cell in your body requires sufficient amounts of water to regulate temperature and maintain normal function, including healthy detoxification, proper digestion, and joint support. But are you really drinking enough?
Drinking adequate amounts of water allows your body to effectively perform most of its major functions, including one of the most important steps in your body: natural detoxification. Your body naturally removes waste and toxins by excreting these substances through perspiration, urination, and defecation. Waste is flushed out with the help of the kidneys, liver, and intestines. You guessed it: this process does not work without water.
Water helps to soften stools and facilitate the movement of waste through your intestinal tract. It also enables your body to excrete wastes through urination and perspiration, since these functions cannot occur without adequate water intake.
The amount of water you need to drink every day is dependent on several factors. The altitude that you live in, physical activity, weight, and health status can all influence the amount of water you need. Even the amount of structured water in foods that you eat count toward your daily water intake. If you live at a high elevation and are very active, you may need to consume more water to compensate for water that is lost as perspiration during exercise. If you are heavier set or ill, you may also need to drink more water throughout the day to keep your organs hydrated and satisfied. If you eat a lot of raw food, such as fresh fruits which naturally contain high amounts of cellular plant water, you will supply your body with more high-quality water than if you eat high amounts of cooked food.
Some experts recommend multiplying your weight by 2/3 to calculate how many ounces of water should be consumed daily. For example, if you weigh 150 lbs., you should aim to drink 100 ounces of water each day. In addition, you should add 8-12 ounces of water for every 30 minutes that you spend exercising each day.
While it may be tempting to reach for a soda or other sugary drinks, your body will thank you for swapping that cola for a full glass of purified water! One easy way to increase your water intake is to get in the habit of drinking at least one full glass of water (8 ounces) before each meal. It is not recommended to drink water with meals since it will dilute your digestive enzymes. Additionally, adding a few slices of fresh fruits, veggies, or herbs (such as cucumber, strawberries, lemons, limes, or basil) to your water can help make drinking water a tasty experience!