Do you want to look and feel your best, be clear-headed, and have plenty of energy? Be sure to drink enough water!
Water makes up about 60 percent of our bodies. Our brains have an even higher proportion of water to tissue, about 75 percent. Dehydration is the loss of 1 percent or more of your body weight due to fluid loss. By the time you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.
We would always advise first of all choosing a decent kitchen faucet to get your water out of!
Water is essential for every body system and process. All cell activities take place in a watery environment. Water makes up most of the blood and lymph fluids and is an essential part of our digestive system. It carries oxygen and nutrients to cells and helps move waste materials out of the body. Water cushions the brain and spinal cord, internal organs, and joints. Fetuses develop in a water sac. Sweating and breathing out moist air help the body shed excess heat, keeping us cool.
Inadequate water can decrease attention span and short-term memory and affect mood and behavior. Dehydrated skin wrinkles, and muscles that are short on water can cramp. Lack of water impairs digestion, metabolism, and the immune system, and can upset the body’s heat balance.
We lose water when we empty our bladders and bowels, sweat, and breathe. Sweat on hot days is obvious, but dry air in buildings and vehicles can steal moisture without our noticing. Diarrhea without adequate fluid intake can lead to dangerous, even fatal dehydration.
Sometimes thirst masquerades as hunger. If you feel hungry but want to avoid excess calories, try drinking plain water first. The hunger pangs may go away. An eight-ounce glass of water before a meal has been shown to decrease the amount of food people eat at the meal.
To avoid dehydration, drink plenty of clean water throughout the day. Aim for 48 to 64 ounces from all sources. Juicy fruits and vegetables can help meet your daily fluid needs. Be careful of soup and broth, which can be salty. The caffeine in coffee, tea, and cola drinks is a diuretic–you will lose water. Alcohol is not a substitute for water and can make matters worse.
With the possible exception of plain seltzer, don’t rely on soft drinks. Regular soft drinks are loaded with sugar, which contribute nothing but empty calories. Artificial sweeteners confuse the body’s appetite system and may lead to more eating. Unless you are exercising or working very hard in hot weather, sports drinks are unnecessary. In most cases, plain water is just as effective at rehydration as an electrolyte- and sugar-filled sports drink, and is much cheaper.
It’s not necessary to buy expensive bottled water in order to stay hydrated. Federal drinking water standards are very strict. Municipal water in most of the U.S. is safe to drink without further treatment and may be just as pure as bottled water. If you don’t like the taste or smell of your water, get a filter pitcher or under the sink filtration system and a refillable water bottle, preferably made of stainless steel or BPA-free plastic. The relatively small cost of the pitcher or filtration system and bottle will pay for itself many times over, eliminate the environmental cost of trucking bottled water, and keep hundreds of plastic bottles out of the landfill.