You may be wondering why I am writing about water when we usually share about our family’s travels, adventures, activities — and Walt Disney World. Would you believe me when I say that they all tie together? If you have read About Us, then you know that I work in the nutrition field. If you have ever spoken with anyone who knows anything about taking care of your body — maybe it was even your mom taking care of you — they might have told you to drink more water.
How many times have you heard that you need to drink more water? Probably more times than you can remember to count. You know. You know that it is important to drink water, yet you might not actually drink as much of it as you would like. Why does this matter? It matters for so many reasons, friends.
When we are at home, it may be easier to remember to have a drink of water because it is so easily accessible. What about when you are traveling or even spending the day running errands? We can become so engrossed in what we are doing and where we are going. Maybe we forgot to do something as simple as stop and have a drink to replenish our bodies.
You might already know that water makes up a high percentage of our bodies. This is a big part of why it is said to be the most important nutrient for our bodies. You probably know that it is important to keep our bodies hydrated. Do you know why? What exactly does water do for us, anyway? Here are eight reasons to drink water. I can assure you that you probably do not want to experience any of the down sides of these issues, especially when you are traveling or on vacation.
1. Thirsty? Too Late.
Did you know that once you become thirsty, your body already is in need of water. Try to drink throughout the day so that you do not get to the point of having a dry mouth and thirsty throat. One idea might be to carry a tumbler with you or keep one in your bag. This way, you can easily have access to a drink of water even when you are on the go.
How much water do you need to drink, though? For children, the ideal amount to drink each day is one ounce of water per pound of body weight. For example, a sixty pound child should drink about sixty ounces of water each day. Adults should drink half of their body weight in ounces. As an example, and adult who weighs 150 pounds should drink about seventy-five ounces of water per day.
2. Muscles Crave Water
Whether you are running a marathon, hiking in the mountains, wandering around Walt Disney World, or simply doing some things around the house, it is important to drink water. Our muscles are made up of 70% to 75% water, and we need to drink water to help our muscles stay healthy and function at their best. Muscles can get tired and tighten up when they are dehydrated. Did you know that your muscles are actually not capable of performing as well or as fast or with as much strength when they are dehydrated as they do when they are well hydrated?
3. Cleanse and Release
Another reason that water is so important is because it helps clean the body. While we can eat healthy foods and avoid certain unhealthy habits, toxins can still get into our bodies from, for example, the environment around us. Your kidneys need water to help eliminate toxins from the body. Thus, drinking a lot of water helps the kidneys do their job, helps the body eliminate waste, and helps keep our insides cleaner and healthier.
4. Portion Control
Maybe in addition to eating healthy foods, you also try to eat healthy portions. If you are like me, though, you simply like to to eat. If there is food that I enjoy in front of me — like at a Walt Disney World buffet — I have a hard time stopping eating until I have eaten too much. Drinking a cup of room temperature water before a meal can help you feel fuller and curb your appetite. In this case, drinking water helps hydrate your body while helping you achieve your goal of eating healthier portions.
You can go to any quick service restaurant at Walt Disney World and ask for a cup of water. They will give it to you free because they want to help their guests stay hydrated so that the visit can be enjoyed. Drinking water throughout the day can also help you not be as hungry when it is meal time.
5. Use Your Brain
While drinking water is a smart thing to do, you might also say that it makes your brain work better. Like muscles, the brain is about 70% to 75% water. Thus, the brain needs water to be able to perform at its best. Things like thinking and communicating with other parts of the body are done more effectively when the brain is getting enough water.
6. Stop Backing Up
Not drinking enough water is a common cause of constipation. This happens because when the body needs water, it gets it from where it can. One place from which the body can absorb water is from our stool, leaving dry, hard lumps and constipation. Drink enough water, and hopefully you will be good in that department. Of course, what you eat may also have an impact.
7. Stop Running
On the other side of the same subject, sugary beverages like soda, sports drinks, and juices can cause diarrhea, which can take needed water from the intestines. People tend to drink a lot of soda and sugary juices when on vacation or out to eat because they are easily accessible. However, who wants the effects of that? This gives you two good reasons to choose to drink more water instead: to stay hydrated and to avoid that uncomfortable condition. After all, who wants to be walking around anywhere with an upset tummy — on vacation or at home?
If you are someone who likes soda because you enjoy fizzy drinks, consider pouring 8 oz of chilled, sparkling water. Then add 1 tsp of 100% fruit juice concentrate for a fizzy, yummy, refreshing treat. It is a healthier option, and you might find a new favorite beverage.
8. Cold Medicine
With so much sickness going around this season, you can find a bit of comfort by continuing to drink water and stay hydrated. If you have a fever, sweating is one of the ways that your body will try to keep cool. Drinking water will help replenish your body. Drinking water can also help keep your breathing passages from drying out. It can help treat a dry cough. It can help loosen secretions in the lungs which cause a deep, chest cough. Also, water is refreshing, and it can make us feel even a bit better to drink it. Right?
You might especially want to take steps to be healthier when you are at a public place or vacation destination. It is difficult to be out of your home and completely avoid adults and children who are sick. I feel bad when we are at Walt Disney World and having people coughing and hacking next to us. They seem miserable, and I do not want my family to get sick. Any step that you can take to stay healthy for yourself and those around us is helpful, and drinking enough water is a good step.
I will be writing soon about ways to boost your immune system, so be sure to be looking for that post!
Water plays a vital role in life all around. It has more benefits than I could list here today. Drinking water helps with digestion, with circulation, with transporting nutrients, and so much more. Drinking clean, plain water is so important. Sometimes it is fun for your taste buds to have a treat, though, and add some flavor by infusing your water with fruit. Add some fruit to a not quite full pitcher, and let it sit overnight. Cucumbers, lemons, or and strawberries are some favorites.
Figure out the recommended daily amount of water for yourself. Then I challenge you to make the effort to drink that much every day for a week. It may be difficult at first. Try substituting water when you find yourself going for another beverage. See if drinking that much water is easier by the end of the seven days. See if you feel any different. After that week, you may find that you are wanting to drink more water and are craving junky drinks less. What a gift for your body that would be!