With one small step we can already achieve a lot. Many people find it difficult to change their lifestyles 180 degrees, especially because there is never a good time to start or because of social pressure, or just because of lack in knowledge of how to go about it. Lucky enough, there is an easy, simple and very accessible first step you can start taking today to feel more energy, have better skin, lose weight and more. The secret is WATER.
Yes that liquid lots of people don’t like drinking because it has no taste. But also the liquid our bodies are made of for ±70%.
Water is essential
Water is essential to human life. We can live without food for weeks, but without water we can only survive a few days. Our body is made up in large part of water and our body needs water for all bodily functions and biochemical actions. When it uses the water to function, our body naturally loses water. If we fail to add water to our body, we get dehydrated. Dehydration simply occurs when the body loses more water than it absorbs. Our body actually uses almost 3 litres of water just to function daily!
Most people are dehydrated because they do not drink enough water. What is mostly recommended is 2 litres of water. Most people only get 1 litre of water a day and that’s not even pure water. Even with the 2 litres we will still be far away from the 3 litres our body uses daily.
Not enough water can lead to weight gain. Studies have shown that mild dehydration can slow down metabolism by as much as 3%. A drop of only 2 % in body water content is enough to make the body go in fat-storing mode. A 2% drop and over can also result in a decrease in physical performance, a decrease in muscle strength and speed, mood changes, dizziness, problems with concentration, memory problems, headaches, drowsiness, heart race and imbalance of body temperature regulation. Hit 7% and you could collapse.
Even in the early stages of dehydration you can start dealing with cold hands and feet, difficulty focussing, light-headedness, sugar cravings, joint and back pain, acid reflux, cramps and skin problems like acne.
An international expert on hydration concluded that our thirst sensation doesn’t really kick in until we are 1 or 2% dehydrated. By then dehydration already starts impacting the performance of our body and mind..
To compensate for the fluids you lose each day, the Institute of Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board advises an average daily intake of around 3 litres for women and around 4 litres of water for men. This amount should be higher when doing activities and sports or living in a hot climate. It is true that we get water from our foods too, but that is if we eat water rich foods. These foods are mainly plant-based foods of which we don’t get enough of in the conventional western diet. Also most drinks consumed are actually dehydrating drinks like coffee, soft drinks and other high sugar drinks. It is therefore best to drink pure water.
Water will help with flushing out the acid from the acidic diet we ‘re used to consuming. Our urine should be clear or very pale in color and not dark yellow. If it’s very yellow or dark yellow it is another sign of dehydration.
Another way to notice that your body starts being fully hydrated is your skin. Within several days of consuming enough water, you will see that the skin starts being less wrinkly and will show more elasticity.
Having more energy is also a sign that the body is finally regulating it’s water levels. You will feel so much better when you drink more water.
The number 1 small change you can make today for better health and well-being is the amount of pure water you consume daily.
How to get to a minimum of 3 litres a day?
Start by drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning. We lose quite some water while sleeping as our body does a lot of processing at night and early morning. When drinking on an empty stomach, the water flows directly trough the system and ends up in the colon where the body absorbs the fluids. Keep a bottle of water with you throughout the day to remind yourself to drink.
Another trick is to drink 1 glass of water every hour. You will be surprised to see how easy this makes it to drink your 3 litres of water. Also, the more water you drink, the thirstier you get, so you’ll quickly get used to the higher water intake.
So what are you waiting for? Start filling up your water tank!