Do you hate drinking water or know someone who does? Is it the boring taste, or do you just forget? Is there someone in your life who never seems to drink anything that isn’t colored or sweetened?
Well, water-avoiders of the world, it’s time to change. This is especially important in these hot summer months, when dehydration is a concern.
Drinking water is key to optimal health and is essential. Your body is about 60 to 70 percent water, and water helps provide a balance of body fluids, keeps your skin looking healthy, assists your kidney health and helps maintain normal bowel function.
Benefits of Drinking Water
Here are six reasons to make sure you’re drinking enough water or other fluids every day:
- Water keeps you young – Drinking plenty of water keeps your skin moisturized and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
- Drinking water is good for your joints – Your joints need moisture in order to remain strong and flexible so that your movements are smooth and pain free.
- Water makes you smarter – Water increases your cognitive function. Your brain needs a lot of oxygen in order to function at optimal levels.
- Water protects your heart – It may sound crazy, but drinking a large amount of water could possibly help prevent heart attacks.
- You can lose weight from drinking water – Water suppresses your appetite, so you don’t eat as much. Drinking plenty of water also prevents fluid retention.
- Drinking water keeps you alert – Dehydration is a huge cause of fatigue. By drinking water you will be more alert and active during the day.
How Much Water Do You Need?
According to Natalie Newell, registered dietitian for REX Wellness Center of Wakefield, while it’s a good rule of thumb to consume at least 64 ounces of water per day, “no single person is the same, so it’s important to pay attention to your daily hydration needs. A great way to pay attention to your hydration level is to pay attention to your thirst level and urine output and color.”
You need to drink fluids daily, even though foods like fruits and vegetables can provide you with some liquids. Consuming foods with high water content also allows you to feel fuller, helping you control calorie intake.
Foods with high water content include:
- Fruits and vegetables like watermelon, celery, tomatoes, melon and oranges
- Popsicles (but watch the sugar)
- Smoothies (same sugar warning here)
But you should still be drinking:
- Plain old water (the best choice)
- Hot or cold tea, unsweetened
- Coconut water
- Sparkling water
- Natural juices—make sure there’s no sugar added, and drink in moderation
- Water with added fresh fruit
For all the people who dislike the taste of water, here are some tips to make it easier to enjoy:
- Add crushed ice and a squeeze of lemon
- Add cucumber, strawberries or other fresh fruit or vegetables
- Find a bottle or special cup you enjoy using, especially one that keeps water ice-cold
- Use a water-tracking app to gamify water consumption
- Set goals, like 40 ounces of water before lunch and then 40 ounces before dinner