When I was a young adult in my 20’s, I didn’t take care of myself. It started in college, and
while I didn’t quite hit the freshman 15, I definitely gained some weight – I’m looking at you,
chicken sandwiches from the school cafeteria. But in my defense, the rest of the food was
terrible! I’m talking grade ‘A’ nasty.
Anyways, in addition to bad eating, I drank a lot of diet soda. A lot. I started drinking regular
soda as a teenager (what were my parents thinking!?!) then eventually switched over to
drinking diet soda. Diet Mountain Dew was my drink of choice – and I drank a lot of it. You
know those huge cups you’d get from the gas station that cost $.79? Oh yeah, that was me. On
top of that, I can remember there’d be days in which I didn’t drink any water at all. I cringe
now thinking about it – my poor body! After graduation, things didn’t improve much, as I ate
out all the time. I’m talking lunch out every day and most days it was fast food
It wasn’t until a few years later when I met my husband, a health and fitness coach at the time,
that I started to see the negative impact my lifestyle had on my body. I realized what I ate and
drank affected my body just as much, if not more!, as exercise did. You see, beforehand, I was
all about being “skinny”. It didn’t matter that I had joint pain daily or that I was constantly tired,
I thought because I was “skinny,” I was healthy. I should note, at this point in time, I lost
the weight I gained in college. Besides improving my eating habits, one of the biggest
take-aways I adapted was to drink water. Yes, simply adding more water to my diet made a
huge difference in my health. My skin looked better, I wasn’t so tired all the time and my joint
pain started going away. I kicked the Mountain Dew cans to the curb and drank water, lots of
it!, on the regular.
But don’t just take my personal story for it, listen to the experts! According to Medical News
Today, here are some benefits of drinking water:
– Joint Lubrication – dehydration in joints can damage the ability to absorb shock,
therefore causing joint pain. Sound familiar?
– Oxygen Delivery – blood, which consists of 90 percent water, carries oxygen to
different parts of the body.
– Body Temperature Regulation – we know that when we sweat, we release water from
the body. Once that sweat evaporates, we cool down. According to some scientists, its
suggested that when there is not enough water in the body, heat storage within the
body increases and heat strain is less tolerable for that individual.
– Digestive System Flow -constipation much? In order to function properly, your bowel
needs water. Need I say more?
– Levels Blood Pressure – without water, blood can thicken, elevating blood pressure.
– Promotes Proper Kidney Function – the kidneys need water to regulate fluids within
the body. Lack of water can cause certain health issues, such as kidney stones.
These are just a few of the benefits of drinking water. Others include: weight loss, glowing
skin, fighting against infections and exercise performance enhancement. For a full list, check
out the article from Medical News Today:
“Water makes up about 60% of your body’s weight, and
although you can survive without food for weeks,
dehydration can kill you within days or even hours,
depending on the temperature and your environment.”
-Lisa Drayer; US registered dietitian & CNN contributor
Water makes up more than half of our body weight, yet most of us aren’t getting enough and
while we know it’s beneficial to drink water, if you’re not used to doing so, it can be a
challenging task at first. So how does one go about drinking more water? Here are a few tips
that helped me:
1. First things first, wake up & hydrate: The old saying goes we should drink 8 cups of
water a day. Get a jump start on this and make it the first thing you do upon waking up.
I always bring a glass of water to bed and keep it on the nightstand. This way, it’s right
there when I wake up in the morning. I drink it before I get out of bed. This gives me no
2. Always carry a water bottle: I noticed I would drink more if I had water on me. I would
bring a water bottle with me to work or while I was out running errands. It prevented
me from getting thirsty and saved me a couple bucks by not having to buy water at the
store. Seems silly, I know, but it really does work. Even today, I take a water bottle with
me wherever I go.
3. Lemon Water: Plain water can get a little, shall we say, boring. For a bit of flavor, try
adding a squeeze of lemon, or lime – whichever you prefer! There are health benefits to
both. If you really wanna get fancy, try infused water. Strawberry-basil or
mint-cucumber come to mind but feel free to get creative!
4. High water content foods: Getting your daily dose of water doesn’t only have to come
from drinking it. (Note: this does not give you a pass to stop drinking water! You still
need to drink water). These foods help keep your body hydrated. Watermelon,
cucumber, strawberries, and cantaloupe all have 90% (or higher!) water content. Soups
and broths are another great source as well.
5. Motivational Water Bottles: Grab a water bottle that has the measurements listed on
the outside of the bottle; 10 oz, 14 oz, 20 oz – you get the idea. This will help you know
how much water you’ve consumed already and how much more you have to go!
If drinking water still seems like a daunting task, take it one step at a time. Maybe start with
tip #1 until you get used to it. Then graduate to tip #2 and so on and so forth. Combine tips, if
you need to – put lemon water in your water bottle as you head out to run errands. Whatever
works for you to get the full benefits of drinking water and keeping the body hydrated!
James McIntosh. “Fifteen benefits of drinking water.” 16 July 2018. medicalnewstoday.com
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/290814.php#benefits 4 January 2020.
Brianna Elliot. “19 Water-Rich Foods That Help You Stay Hydrated.” 9 August 2017.
Healthline.com https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/19-hydrating-foods#section3 4 January
Sandee LaMotte. “Benefits of water: Are you getting enough fluids to stay healthy?” 28
September 2017. Cnn.com
https://www.cnn.com/2017/09/27/health/benefits-of-water-and-fluids/index.html 4 January