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water | are you a wise woman?

Birthday present from my BFF, Shawna ~ click on the pic to go to her blog!

“Water is the only drink for a wise man”  -Harry David Thoreau

What does water do & why is it important?  Among other things, water…..

  • regulates body temperature
  • helps nutrients travel to your organs
  • assists your body in digesting food properly. your body needs a lot of water in order to run smoothly.  having trouble in the “regularity” department? add more water and fibrous veggies!
  • improves digestion, increasing water can reduce cancer risk
  • assists in weight loss by helping you feel fuller, replacing high calorie drinks, and can be an appetite suppressant helping you feel full
  • helps the body flush out toxins
  • can lower risk of heart attack
  • can prevent headaches. often when we have a headache it is due to dehydration – think morning after a fun night at the bar. hangover = dehydration.
  • can help prevent kidney stones

How much water should you drink? Divide your weight in pounds by 2 and that is approximately how many ounces you should drink. (p.s. There are 128 ounces in a gallon.)  You’ll need to add more for sweating, such as hot weather and strenuous activity or workouts.  I feel best when I drink about a gallon a day.

TMI warning. Are you drinking enough water? What color is your urine? Check this pee chart here for more details.

Are you hungry or thirsty? Thirst,  hunger, fatigue, circadian cycles, and body temperature are all controlled by the hypothalamus portion of the brain.  This means that if you are thirsty, you may eat more to satisfy that thirst. It also means that if you are tired, you may eat more to satisfy your fatigue.

Spread it out evenly. Too much water at one time can make you feel bloated and sick. So, spread it out evenly throughout your day. We have huge cups in our house, about the same size as the Sigg above…I think they’re 32 ounces.  So, I need 4 of them approximately to make my gallon and I drink more water at my workouts, so if I shoot to fill up my cup at every meal, I’m more than covered!!  Use a straw….I don’t know why but I drink more water from a straw so I use one every day.

Keeping track. I lose track of how many times I’ve filled up my cup, SO I have a jug of water that I refill every morning. I work from home (most of the time….see below for travel) so every morning while my coffee is brewing, I fill up my gallon jug w/ water and put it back in the fridge. I reuse this water jug for a while because I’m not drinking out of it, just pouring it into my cup.  You could do this ate the office too, if you label your water jug (gallon or half-gallon) every morning from your work water or bring a new one from home every day!

Water on the road. I often travel for work and end up on the road for 6-8 hours a day. I have a wide mouth (BPA-free) Nalgene style bottle that I can’t live without. Why the widemouth? Because I can fill it with ice and I LOVE ice water!  So, at gas stations, I fill it with ice…all the way to the top. Then, I always have gallons of water in my company car. I fill up the Nalgene ice bottle with the water from my gallon and I have cold water until the next stop….which is only 2 hours away because I have a 2 hour bladder if I’m drinking enough water.

Can I drown from drinking too much water? There have been a few stories recently about runners and college kids drowning themselves by drinking too much water and often during contest prep when I was drinking 2-3 gallons of water a day, people told me to be careful or I’d kill myself. NOT TRUE! Yes, it is possible to drown if you drink too much water.  It is also possible to eat so much that your intestines explode.  But, don’t our bodies usually warn us before this happens?  YES! So, as I say all the time….Listen to your body!  Don’t force water!

Story on the bottle. My BFF, Shawna, of styleberryBLOG had a GREAT gift idea this year. Cut to a few weeks before my birthday to Shawna asking me for my favorite quotes.  (I didn’t figure out why until my birthday when I opened this gift).  She pulled this quote of a Lululemon bag, which are full of awesome quotes!  What a great quote!!! She knows I love SIGG bottles and I had 2 but this is by far my favorite now!!  She took the picture on a trip we took to Germany in 2008 and then added the quote and made a custom SIGG bottle from Cafe Press.  What a great gift idea!!!!  Thanks BFF!

Cliff - I love most of the article but you have one fact incorrect. You can drink too much water. It results in a clinical condition called hyponatremia… yes it describes a low salt concentration in the body but this is due to over-hydrating. I have read many articles on it… most published by the military. Why the military you say? Because of over zealous Drill Instructors that force hydrate their troops.

This is probably not a concern with your audience, but many fitness enthusiasts can take a fact too far, so yet again Cliff has to throw in his 2 cents worth. Keep up the research… it is quite impressive!

Tori - Thanks Cliff!!!! As always, I live your educated input!!!

Julie - It’s funny you brought this up – we had a sleepover at our house last night and I wondered if the other kids would have a problem with me only providing water for drinks (as it’s our favorite beverage and we rarely have anything else in the house). I asked them all around the dinner table what their favorite drink was and they all, without exception, said water. I was so proud of them!…and their parents!
I hate seeing little kids drinking pop or HFCS laden juice boxes.

tori - Great point, Julie! We have to remember to get other drink options when we have people over…& kids usually want something other than water. I’m so proud of those kids & their parents too!!!

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