Water is the only drink for a wise man.
~ Henry David Thoreau
I never drink water; that is the stuff that rusts pipes.
~ W. C. Fields
Have you seen pictures of W.C. Fields? Getting enough water every day is important for your health. Healthy people meet their fluid needs by drinking when thirsty and drinking with meals. If you are like me and like your diet soda and coffee, you need even more water to flush out your system. During the dog days of summer, it is more important than ever to get 64 ounces of water in daily. If you are very active, especially out in the heat, I suggest closer to 90 ounces of water of some sort on a daily basis.
Water helps your body:
- Keep your temperature normal
- Lubricate and cushion joints
- Protect your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues
- Eliminate waste
Your body needs more water when you are:
- In hot climates
- More physically active (no danger for you Greg)
- Running a fever
- Suffering from “viral” symptoms
- Taking medication such as allergy meds that “dry” you out. I have learned this from personal experience.
If you think you are not getting enough water, these tips may help:
- Carry a water bottle for easy access when you are at work of running errands. If you have a desk-job, buy a 32 to 64 ounce water bottle, fill it in the mornings, set it on your desk, and make sure you get your 64 ounces per day. If you are hurting for exercise, stick with a 16 ounce bottle so you have to make more trips to the water cooler/faucet.
- Freeze some freezer safe water bottles. Take one with you for ice-cold water all day long.
- Choose water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages. This can also help with weight management. Key point here: Don’t drink your calories!
- Choose water when eating out. Generally, you will save money and reduce calories.
Here are a few creative ways to increase your water intake:
- Add fresh fruit. Citrus fruits, such as lemons, limes, and oranges, are classic water enhancers, but other fruit flavors might also tempt your taste buds. Try crushing fresh raspberries or watermelon into your water, or adding strawberry slices. Cucumber and fresh mint are refreshing flavors as well — especially in summer.
- Use juice. Any fruit juice can be a good base flavor for water, but tart juices, like cranberry, pomegranate, grape, and apple, are especially delicious. Go for juices that are all natural, with no added sugars. And remember: Fruits and their juices don’t just taste good — they contain vitamins and antioxidants that can benefit your health too.
- Make it bubbly. Many people prefer sparkling to still water. If plain old water isn’t inspiring to you, try a naturally effervescent mineral water — which will give you the added benefit of minerals. Or try bubbly seltzer, a carbonated water. You can add fresh fruit or natural juice flavors to your seltzer, as suggested above, or look for naturally flavored seltzers at your local market. If you become a seltzer devotee, you might want to consider getting a seltzer maker for your home. If you ever travel to Europe, you have to ask for still water or you are automatically served sparkling water.
- Get creative with ice. Some say that ice water tastes better than water served at room temperature. If that’s so, flavored ice cubes may make an even better drink. Use some of the flavoring suggestions above and start experimenting with fresh fruit, mint, or cucumber ice cubes. Simply chop your additive of choice, add it to your ice cube tray along with water, then freeze. You may also consider juice, tea, or coffee cubes. If you want to be more creative, use ice cube trays that come in fun shapes, like stars, circles, or even fish.
- Drink tea. Herbal, fruit, green, white, and red teas are generally considered to be better for you than black teas (or coffee, for that matter) because they contain little to no caffeine. And there are countless flavors of these teas to choose from. Start with the selection at your local market or health food store. If you’re interested in pursuing more exotic flavors and sophisticated teas, start researching the vast array of specialty teas that come from all parts of the globe.
- Try bouillons, broths, and consommés. If your palate leans toward the savory, you may pass on tea and start sipping one of these hot and savory liquids instead. Choose low-fat and low-sodium versions for maximum health benefits. Because soup is water-based, a cup of hot soup will count toward your daily fluid consumption. This doesn’t sound that great in July but do what you must to keep your water intake up. I had a coach in college tell me that hot water was much better for me than cold water anyway. It was better for him because he didn’t have to put ice in the water jug..(See Wayne Norfleet)
- Add fast flavor. If you’re looking for a quick-and-easy flavor booster, you might also consider sugar-free drink mixes, and flavor cartridges that can be used with your faucet filter system. Be cautious with these as we still don’t know all the lasting impacts of sugar-free additives. If you use one, be sure it is Stevia-based.
Don’t Stay Thirsty, my friends.
Source: Jen Laskey, Everyday Health