Ever heard of Dr. Batman?
If not, he's worth a google. His claim to fame (if you can call it that) was his teaching that water cures everything. Curing every major disease, every debilitating symptom, was a simple matter of just getting enough of this universal solvent. It's (hopefully) clear that this is not the case and that pathology is a bit more complicated than the amount of water breaks we take throughout the day. However, this shouldn't diminish the importance of proper hydration.
You've heard a million times that our bodies are made of up to 60% water. That means muscle, brain tissue, skin quality, even bones rely heavily upon water to function at an optimal level. Benefits include: Increases Energy & Relieves Fatigue, Weight Loss, Flushes Out Toxins, ImprovesSkinComplexionMaintainsRegularityBoostsImmuneSystemPrevents Cramps and...
It's easy to make a laundry list of all the fantastic benefits of water. But to avoid sounding like Dr. Batmanghelidj, let me share the few simple reasons that I drink water regularly and how you can begin to add it to your daily routine.
Why Do I Do It?
From an anecdotal standpoint I find that starting the day with water:
1) Gets me moving (even if it's just to the sink) to get me away from the temptation of going back to bed.
2) Gets me moving. It revs up peristalsis so that I can start the day, shall we say, lighter than the night before.
3) Keeps me moving. Though having to pee all the time could be a sign that you need more electrolytes in your system, having to pee every once in awhile is a good excuse to get up and move around and not fall into the trap of sitting too much throughout the day.
4) Starts my day off in a positive/proactive way. Just like making my bed (which I highly recommend as well) drinking water in the morning allows my brain to take comfort in the fact that no matter how else the day turns out…it began with something good.
How Do I Do It?
I tend to drink 3 liters of regular ol', room temperature, tap water each day.
3 liters because it's easy to remember and it falls within a good range of presumed hydration requirements.
Generally bench marks for hydration for men is around 3 liters and for women about 2.2 but this can vary wildly depending on your size, weight, and activity level. If you're peeing all the time and you think you're getting enough salt in your diet, then it's probably a good idea to drink less water. Bottom line, listen to your body.
Room temperature tap water because I never want to opt out of hydration due to not having access to cold filtered water.
This is a bit of a trade off because I may be consuming chemicals and toxins in extremely small amounts but I've made a decision to prioritize hydration over filtration based on my knowledge of our tap water and knowing my own habits. You'll have to make your own judgement call based on your self discipline and your township tap water levels. (Usually available on yourtownship.gov website.)
How Do I Stick To It?
For me, having a meal, action, or time associated with drinking a certain amount of water is what reminds me to hydrate. So for me the trick is 3 liters, 1 for each meal. I then split up 16 oz. 1 before the meal and 1 after. After awhile it becomes routine and you associate your mealtimes with hydration. If mealtimes don't work for you pick another consistent every day activity like checking email or walking your dog. You can also set alarms on your phone.
Only in the mornings I've taken to adding a pinch of kosher salt (typically i just lick it off my hand but if you find that gross a spoon should be fine) so that my body can absorb the water effectively. If you have a high salt diet or if you're fairly inactive this may not be necessary. If you aren't in the habit of regular hydration I would focus on that first before trying to worry about salt. However, if you tend to be a "clean eater" than chances are your sodium intake might be low and you could use a dash of salt in your H20.
Many people add lemon juice to their morning water. This is allegedly to promote alkalinity in the blood and to be an extra source of vitamin C. I'm not against this if it helps you start but I'm also not yet convinced of its efficacy and suspicious of adding any kind of sugar (even natural) on an empty stomach in the morning.