Hydration is one of the essential ingredients of life. We can go days, even weeks, without food. But we can only survive three days without water. In fact, up to 60% of our body is water. But do you really know how much water you drank today? You may feel like you are drinking enough liquids but chances are you are not.
The quality of our water makes a big difference to our bodies. If you are drinking tap water or even tap water that has a filter on it (like the type used in refrigerators), you are still ingesting chemicals and pollutants that will mess with your bodies essential systems. Our digestive system needs clean drinking water to help filter waste out of our bodies.
Medical Daily states a constant supply of water is needed to aid in digestion because the digestive process results in our bodies losing water. Drinking fluids and eating foods that contain water can act as a digestive aid. Proper digestion makes minerals and nutrients more accessible to the body. Water is also necessary to help you digest soluble fiber, which helps the bowel make well-formed, soft stools that are easy to pass.
If you have gut health issues such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) or Colitis, you may need to drink more water than the average person. Some of the symptoms of IBS or Colitis such as diarrhea results in the loss of water. The best type of water is to drink is bottled water that has been treated to remove chemicals. It is worth the expense to protect your body by giving it the purest water you can find.
How much water should we drink daily? The general rule of thumb is half our body weight in ounces every day. That may sound like a lot, especially if you aren't used to drinking water. Your body adapts to how much water you give it. Most of us are dehydrated every day because we aren't replenishing with enough water. Focusing on increasing water intake will only help our gut get healthier. How do you know if you are drinking enough water? WebMD states if you are urinating every 2-4 hours, the output is light in color, and there is significant volume, then you are hydrated.
Did you know that when we are reaching for food outside of normal meal time, most of us are really thirsty not hungry? Interesting, right? Think about all the calories we could save if we simply stop and drink water before reaching for a snack. LiveStrong reports that the part of our brain that is responsible for interpreting hunger vs thirst is the same. That means we are potentially getting mixed signals!
Most people look at me odd because I carry around a large 32oz bottle of water. I like it because it is big and it reminds me to keep drinking water! LiveStrong also reports that by the time we feel thirsty, we are already dehydrated. That is why it is important to keep sipping water through-out the day to increase the likelihood we will become hydrated.
But you may be thinking, yuck - water. I'd rather drink anything else. Oh, and I drink coffee or tea - doesn't that count? While tea counts, coffee does not. Tea is very beneficial because it has antioxidants and pholyphenols to support good gut health. Coffee on the other hand is not so good for our digestive system because it contains tannins. Tannins trigger the body to have bowel movements. As I mentioned earlier, eliminating waste from the body results in the loss of fluids.
Need to get hydrated but water is not your favorite thing to drink? Here are 3 Simple Ways to increase your fluid intake.
1) DRINK TEA
There are so many teas on the market now - both hot and cold - that it is easy to find a flavor that you like. Plus, if you choose a flavored tea that is based on green tea or white tea, you are increasing antioxidant intake. Now you are getting two health benefits in one. Hydration plus antioxidant activity. There are a variety of teas that you can buy that support a healthy digestive tract. Some of my favorites are:
Did someone say Tea Time?
2) DRINK BONE BROTH
Everyone has heard about chicken soup being the best remedy for a cold. Why? The proteins that are found in the broth from the bones simmering in water. Bone Broth has become very popular and you can easily buy it on amazon or find it in a local grocery store. The brand Kettle & Fire uses 100% pasture raised and organic chicken bones. They even have great flavors such as Turmeric Ginger Bone Broth.
Dr. Axe reports that bone broth is very beneficial because it is nutrient dense, easy to digest, rich in flavor and has properties to support good health. For example, the collagen in bone broth can help with joint pain and reducing inflammation. Also, chicken broth has amino acids which can improve digestion.
3) DRINK FRUIT OR VEGETABLE INFUSED WATER
Now, if you don't like drinking water here is an idea to make it more fun. Ever been to a gym or spa or even a hotel lobby where there fruit or vegetable infused water? Turns out these are healthier for you than plain water! And you thought it just looked pretty!
This doesn't have to cost a lot to make. There are a variety of water bottles that contain a holder in the middle to put fruit and veggies. Or you can use a water bottle without the container. Add sliced cucumbers to really enhance hydration or place frozen fruit in water for a burst of fruity flavor. Lemons are also great to enhance digestion. Once you've added the fruit or vegetables to the water, place it in the refrigerator so the flavors can meld together.
I hope the 3 ideas listed above demonstrate how easy it is to get more fluids into your body during the day. If you are having gut health issues, you can book a FREE 15 minute consultation with me to discuss your concerns. Simply click here.
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