CHALLENGE: DRINK 100oz WATER DAILY
Why your fluid intake is a more important habit to your health then you think
Everyone knows the importance of proper hydration but few people follow through on this simple habit consistently. The point of this article isn’t to detail every single health benefit of increased water but rather to highlight some of the more important points in order to challenge you to tackle this health forming habit. Of the multitude of benefits to proper hydration here are some to keep in mind:
- Combats Fatigue: Studies show that increased hydration leads to improved mitochondrial function. Mitochondria are organelles found in large numbers in most cells. They play a crucial role in energy production while regulating cellular metabolism. Hydrations role in supporting function of this organelle can explain why hydration is so important to our energy levels, performance (specifically respiration), and body weight (regulating metabolism).
- Circulation: Your blood is 92% water and it is essential to maintaining good circulation. Chronic dehydration can contribute to your blood becoming too thick and sluggish. This can lead to circulation problems such as high blood pressure and increasing your risk of other heart related problems. To keep your blood pumping efficiently make sure your staying adequately hydrated.
- Performance: Fluid balance is so critical to the body that just a 2% decrease in hydration can impair certain physiological functions along with many performance measures. None of which are more important then brain function, which when dehydrated can impair neuromuscular coordination and decrease concentration. Some other performance measures that are drastically effected by fluid balance are endurance, strength, reaction time, and recovery time.
- Fat loss: We aren’t just talking about that number on the scale, but rather how proper hydration can actually improve your body’s ability to metabolize body fat. I would be interested to know how many people are out their trying to implement complicated fat loss strategies while being dehydrated. In an oversimplified manner, proper hydration improves fat loss by suppressing hunger levels leading to less feeding and through increased lipolysis, which is basically how efficiently your body metabolizes fat.
- Disease Resistance: Water is utilized in almost every physiological function in the body. Therefore, as we have seen, it is crucial to energy production, detoxification, digestion, and a multitude of other functions. Lost in all of water’s health benefits is how important it is to disease prevention. Studies show a clear link between dehydration and increased risk for obesity, diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and Alzheimer’s.
Here are some things to consider when increasing your fluid intake:
- If you find yourself making multiple trips to the washroom when increasing your fluid intake, try adding trace minerals to your water to improve absorption. Trace minerals are sold in liquid form and can be added to increase the mineral content of your water, leading to better absorption and less trips to the washroom. Alternatively, just add a small pinch of organic celtic sea salt and this will have the same effect.
- Avoid drinking too much water with meals. This can dilute digestive enzymes resulting in poor metabolism and absorption of nutrients. Bad news for fat loss and health.
- Get in the habit of drinking 2 full glasses of water first thing in the morning to prevent hydration and get a head start on your fluid intake for the day. Try adding freshly squeezed lemon juice to your morning water for multiple added health benefits. Lemon can stimulate the production of digestive enzymes, gently detoxify both the liver and blood, and increases energy levels.
- Get in the habit of carrying a water bottle with you at all times so good clean fluid intake is more readily accessible throughout the day.
- Be aware of habits that will either dehydrate you or increase your fluid requirements. Drinking caffeinated beverages and alcohol will have dehydrating effects while exercise and warmer temperatures will increase your fluid requirements.
Challenge: Aim to drink 100 fluid ounces of clean, filtered water daily.