Water. It has carved canyons and moved mountains. It sustains our planet and all that lives here, and has even been known to cause wars. Without it, we would cease to exist.
Our bodies consist of about 70 percent water. Believe it or not, many people are walking around in a dehydrated state most of the time. Just 3 percent dehydration can cause thinking to become fuzzy and even cause us to gain a pound of weight within six months.
Minimum water intake should be 64 ounces (or 1.89 liters) a day for adults, more if you exercise. Children should drink at least half their body weight (in ounces) per day. So, a 40-pound child should drink about 20 ounces of water daily.
Don’t let thirst be your guide. By the time you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated.
Water is not only important for hydration, it is the primary transport system of nutrients throughout the body and is essential for proper bodily functions.
Fresh water helps flush toxins from our systems, keeps our skin clearer, is a natural appetite suppressant, regulates body temperature and can even aid in weight loss.
Think you need a laxative? Try drinking some extra water first. Have a headache? Have a drink before you take an aspirin.
The key is fresh and filtered water. City water is regulated and safe for consumption, but it must come chlorinated. Chlorine is necessary for sanitation purposes but so is the plastic wrap on a loaf of bread. You want to remove it before consuming it.
Purchase a good filtration system. Look for one that meets the standards for filtering unwanted microbes from pipes and transport, as well as chlorine.
Do not drink distilled water either. It has properties that will leach vital nutrients from the body. It can have benefits in a medically-supervised program but should never become the standard choice.
What about bottled water? Bottled water is not governed the same as tap water, so it is hard to know what we are getting. Where did it come from? How long has it been sitting on the shelf? Was it transported in the heat?
If you want to enjoy the convenience and taste of bottled water, keep it in a cool dark place. Do not let it sit in the sun and don’t freeze the bottle. Certain chemicals in the plastic can be leached into the water and be unhealthy.
Lastly, don’t drink from the same water bottle all day without washing it in-between fill ups, due to bacteria proliferation. It has been said that if you don’t use a filter, you become one.
Having said all that, drink up! Lots of pure clean water will keep your body running like a well-oiled machine. You will be amazed at how much better you feel.
Corie Goodson, MPH, CNC, earned her master’s degree in public health in 1993. She is a health educator, wellness promotion speaker, author and certified nutrition coach.