Water was the first method of healing utilised by the Māori and many other indigenous cultures. Our bodies are approximately 50-75% water. It is a lot higher in infants and can be very low in those who are considered obese. Hence water intake can have quite remarkable effects on our health.
On days where we don’t drink enough water, we can feel more lethargic, sluggish and the mind can feel foggy. These are things we all often complain of and to think the solution could be as simple as drinking enough water. Even slight dehydration can affect your health. Water is part of every cell within your body; it can aid in digestion, elimination and brain function; is part of the blood, lymph and cerebral spinal fluid; it can reduce headaches, constipation and hunger. These are just a few of the many benefits of water.
How much is enough water?
There are many different opinions regarding the optimum daily water intake, most research however suggests 2-3 litres a day depending upon gender, age and size of the individual. For some people that is going to sound like an awful lot. Some of us don’t even like water! But there are ways around this.
How to drink enough water?
?Start of small. Initially aim for 1.5 litres and then to increase it over time. This allows your body to adapt so you don’t feel like you are constantly needing a bathroom break.
?Try disguising the taste of your water -Flavour your water:
?add some herbs and fruit such as mint and lemon or cucumber to your water;
?drink herb tea hot or cold;
?add VitalZing Water Drops to flavour my water (these do contain stevia for those stevia haters out there)
?have soda water
When to drink water?
If you feel thirsty you can pretty much guarantee you are on the road to partial dehydration. It is a good idea to drink water consistently throughout the day.
?Try having a big glass when you wake up.
?Keep a water bottle on you at all times. Work out how many of those water bottles you need to empty a day to reach your goal and keep a record.
? Measure how much your glasses at home and work carry.
?Use an app to help you measure your water intake.
?Per hour of exercise, you need an extra 500ml-1 litre to re-hydrate.
?For every caffeinated beverage drink another glass of water to compensate for the diuretic effect of the caffeine.
?There are different thoughts about drinking 30 minutes before, after and during a meal. There is thought that your digestive enzymes can be diluted and that it may help you feel fuller so you eat less. A number of people who drink with their meals often don’t chew their food well enough. Therefore, try avoiding water during your meals and pay attention to whether you chew your food to mush before swallowing. ?
I also suggest that people invest in a water filter. For all the benefits of a filter, a much better taste is just one of them.
? Make increasing your water intake your first step to improving your health and see how you get on. ?
Natalee Durrant – Naturopath and Medical Herbalist