Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tuesday Tips: Drink Up

Image Souce: Pinterest

Let’s continue on the water theme, shall we? Last week I wrote about the benefits of alkaline water, but in general, drinking enough water is one the cheapest and simplest ways to invest in your body. Our bodies are about 2/3 water, so it is clearly important. Water carries nutrients and oxygen to cells, cleanses toxins, regulates body temperature, assists with digestion... the list goes on. 

This is actually one healthy habit husband has taught me. When it comes to drinking water, that man is a champ. Its also his answer to everything. Have a headache? Drink some water. Feeling nauseous? Drink some water. Feeling fatigued or lethargic? Drink some water. Its not the cure for everything, but you get the point. Eventually, so did I. It was my new years resolution last year, and it was one I actually kept. (Yay!) But seriously, thank you Ben for helping me make it a priority.

Here are a couple tips I've learned while trying to be more water-concious:

If you are hungry, drink water.
Our brains can’t differentiate between hunger and thirst. Many times when you feel hungry, you are actually just thirsty. Drink up to put those cravings at bay.

Drink a glass of water before you eat.
It will trick your brain getting fuller, faster. Its an easy way to moderate portion control and eat less. And I can use all the help I can get with portion control.

Wait 20 minutes after you eat to drink water.
Water dilutes your digestive enzymes, so waiting helps you digest your meal better.

Carry around a water bottle.
I take mine with me pretty much everywhere, and refill it whenever its low. I love the lifefactory bottles because they are clear and you can see how much you are drinking each day.

Spice up your water.
If you have trouble getting in your 8 glasses a day, try spicing it up by adding lemon or lime. Or pretend you are at a spa and put in cucumbers, mint, strawberries, etc. Check out this adorable blog post for inspiration.

The 8 glass a day "rule":
The 8 glasses a day requirement has not been proven, but it’s a good starting place. The Institute of Medicine recommends 13 glasses per day for men and 9 glasses a day for women, but keep in mind that you also get water from certain foods (fruits and veggies). Find out what works for you.

Other “hydrating” drinks:
Be wary of vitamin water, Gatorade, and other sports drinks claiming health benefits - they are full of sugar and chemicals and trans fat. Natural is always the way to go, so choose regular water or coconut water, which is high in electrolytes.

As always, remember that being healthy can be all about taking steps. Maybe start by drinking one more glass a day.  Maybe even make a mid-year resolution. Whatever you do, have a fun and fully hydrated week. xo.

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