Let me start by admitting I have never been a fan of water. If water smelled like coffee and tasted like wine, things might be different. In the last few days, I have been adding a few glasses into my daily routine and I actually feel better. Maybe you could add an extra glass to your routine today?
Nutritionist, Allison Arnett talks water
I often hear clients tell me that they feel tired and sluggish in the afternoon and immediately reach for a snack, often selecting a less healthy option. The first question I ask is “how much water have you had today”?
Often when we feel hungry, we are actually thirsty and feeling thirsty is the first step in dehydration. While there is no exact number as to how much water a person should drink, I recommend at least having 2 glasses first thing in the morning, 1 before each meal and snack and plenty of water before, during and after exercise. Since a healthy body is actually very efficient at maintaining fluid balance, the color of our urine is a great gauge to determine hydration. Dark urine in a healthy person is often the body’s way of asking for more water while a light color usually indicates that our body is disposing of excess fluids.
Our body is about 60-70% water and this water is essential for many basic human functions. Water is in lymph fluid, which helps with immunity. Water is also an essential part of blood flow and muscle hydration, it is critical for regulating body temperature and metabolism and helps keeps our skin moisturized. In fact, every cell in our body relies on water.
As long as you have access to safe tap water, it is definitely the best fluid to drink, considerably more economical and environmentally friendly than bottled water. Drinking carbonated water is fine as well and if plain water gets boring, jazz it up with some fresh herbs (mint and rosemary are great infusions), citrus (lemons, limes, orange slices) or cucumbers. Or try brewing herbal tea to enjoy either iced or hot. Regular tea and coffee is fine in moderation (in small amounts, it is not particularly dehydrating) but try to stay clear of sweetened beverages, including fruit juice as they are not as hydrating and contribute unnecessary calories.
Eating fruits and vegetables is a delicious way to add water to your day. All fresh fruit and vegetables contain water but some have higher water content than others. High water content fruits include: watermelon, oranges, grapefruits, blueberries, grapes, pineapple, cantaloupe, peaches, apricots and cherries. Topping the vegetable list for water content: cucumbers, lettuce, zucchini, tomato, radish, spinach, green cabbage, cauliflower and eggplant.
Often it helps to leave a reminder note on the fridge or your computer to drink water. A reusable BPA free bottle is also helpful. Thank you for joining us in this simple step to better health.
Allison is a Registered Dietitian with a MS in Clinical Nutrition. When Allison is not working with clients on healthy eating strategies or delivering a nutrition presentation, she is frequently found making smoothies with her 3 and 1 year old. Allison believes that food should be wholesome, unprocessed and delicious and is excited to work with The Fresh 20 to help others enjoy balanced, nutritious meals.
20 NOTES ABOUT WATER
- THIRST is often a signal of dehydration. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
- Hate plan water? Try adding a spritz of lemon or lime to it, or have some tea instead. All of that counts toward your daily water intake.
- WATER IS NECESSARY to keep your skin moisturized, your blood flowing, your muscles hydrated and healthy.
- Not drinking enough water can affect your mental performance.
- Drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning is an easy habit to get into and provides plenty of health benefits.
- You can save up to four gallons of water each day by turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth.
- Drinking tap water costs about 50 cents a year. Bottled water can cost up to $1,400.
- Your body contains roughly 70 percent water.
- The high water content in fruit and vegetables adds to your daily water intake.
- A glass of water before a meal can help satiate hunger and make you eat less.
- Your body metabolizes fats better when you’re properly hydrated.
- If your urine is a dark color, it means you are not drinking enough water.
- Beverages that contain caffeine will tend to dehydrate you, as will alcoholic beverages.
- Depression and fatigue can be symptoms of dehydration.
- Keeping yourself hydrated is the best possible gift you can give your skin.
- The average person in the United States uses 80-100 gallons of water per day.
- Water has been proven to speed up weight loss by speeding up the metabolic rate of burning calories after 17 ounces of water have been consumed.
- Drinking enough water actually prevents water retention.
- Water helps improve your muscle tone.
- There are several great apps (Waterlogged, Water Your Body) to help you keep track of how much water you’re drinking every day.
TODAY’S AFFIRMATION BADGE