Water: One of the Keys to Good Health
Water is vital for maintaining good health and is more important to our body than any of the other nutrients we require daily. We can survive weeks without food, but we would last only 3 to 4 days without water.
Although most people are at least generally aware of the importance of water, many people find it too bland and don’t drink nearly enough.
First, let’s examine why water is so important for the body. Approximately 60-70% of our bodies consist of water and our bodily fluids (urine, blood, sweat, and tears) are comprised of water. Water also aids digestion and keeps our skin hydrated. Most importantly, water carries nutrients to the cells of our bodies. Water also plays an important role in removing toxins from our bodies and in keeping us well hydrated and functioning properly. The importance of water cannot be overstated.
O.K. water is important, but what if I just don’t like the way water tastes?
Here are some ways to help enhance the flavor of water: * Add a taste of lemon or lime. This can be added to hot water or to ice water.
- Add mint leaves to water and chill in the refrigerator.
- Add berries to water and chill for 5 minutes before drinking.
- Drink only water. This idea may sound silly, however when a person is used to drinking sweet beverages such as juice, sugary drinks, or soda, the bland taste of water will not compare. Once you eliminate these sweet flavored beverages, your tastes for sweets will dull, and you may start to enjoy and even prefer the smooth taste of straight water.
- Always keep water near you. If you have it handy, chances are you will drink more of it and probably start enjoying it too.
- Trick yourself into liking water. Keep telling yourself that you like the taste of water. The more you reinforce this, the more you’ll actually believe it.
It can often be a challenge to consume the recommended amount of 64 ounces of water or 8 cups daily, especially after bariatric surgery.
Here are some tips:
- Don’t wait until you’re thirsty. Thirst is not a good indicator of how much water your body needs. The body is most likely mildly dehydrated when a person feels thirst. Remember to sip water throughout the day in order to get in all the fluids you need.
- Take scheduled “water breaks” throughout the day. If you consciously set aside times to drink water, you will be more likely to reach the goal of 64 ounces.
- If necessary, there is nothing wrong with adding a sugar free flavor packet into your water bottle from time to time. Remember, if the extra flavoring helps you to consume more fluids, then sip away.
The following are warning signs of dehydration:
- Dry Lips
- Dry skin
- Infrequent and dark colored urine
- Light headedness and loss of energy
Remember the recommendation is to consume 64 ounces (8 cups) of decaffeinated, sugar free, noncarbonated fluids throughout the day with pure water being the best choice.