Water is one of those life essentials with SO many health benefits across the spectrum of wellness that it’s high time I write about it! At no time is it more critical to stay conscious of water intake than in the peak of summer’s heat…so here are a few thoughts for you about water and hydration.
1 – Drink a full glass of water upon waking.
Drinking a full glass of water upon waking is an age-old beauty secret. Whether or not it’s true, I can still recommend this practice! You’ve just gone 7 or 8 hours without water – break the fast!
2 – Drink water throughout the day.
I’m not going to give you a formula for determining exactly how much water to drink. What I will say is that MOST of us are chronically dehydrated and one way to be less so is to drink water throughout the day. Try it. You’ll be amazed by how much better you feel from this one simple change!
3 – Recognize that dehydration masquerades as hunger.
Sometimes you will THINK you are hungry when in reality you are thirsty! Try this. The next time it’s a hot day and you are jonesing for ice cream… drink a big glass of cold water first. See if it quells your craving. 9 times out of 10 it will – the other time you can go find yourself a cone of the best ice cream in the vicinity with my blessing!
4 – Learn that water can taste great and still be healthy.
Many people claim they don’t like the taste of water – or that they find it boring. This group has fueled an entire industry of flavored waters, many of which are filled with sugar and added calories. Here’s an alternative. Try infusing your water with herbs, or fruit, or even vegetables! Buy a beautiful pitcher…fill it with water…add fresh mint…or watermelon chunks…or cucumber and lime slices…or lemons….and allow it to sit in the refrigerator for a few hours. Voila – spa water!
5 – Practice good hydration for mental clarity.
When we’re starting to feel a little foggy, many of us reach for coffee or a caffeinated soda. Switch that to a big glass of water and you’ll clear your head just as well without buzzing and then crashing. Just nice, steady energy. Aaaah.
6 – For heaven’s sake, bottle your own water!
There’s really no reason to buy bottled water at this point – there are so many beautiful and practical reusable bottles on the market that you can just filter your own and take it with you, refilling on the go. Have you seen these gorgeous bottles from KOR? Or these from SIGG? Or these from Camelback which my kids love? Need a filter? PUR makes a great faucet-mount or refrigerator pitcher. Or you can use the built-in filter in your fridge if it has a water dispenser – that’s what I do! Just remember to periodically change your filter.
A closing thought – please don’t take clean water for granted!
In my former life, I worked for Procter & Gamble, and in my last role with the company, I had the privilege of working pretty closely with a P&G-run organization devoted to providing safe drinking water in the developing world. Called Children’s Safe Drinking Water, the organization really opened my eyes to the World Water Crisis and its impact on the health of individuals without access to clean water. You can learn about the crisis and the organization at the Children’s Safe Drinking Water website but here are a few facts pulled from the site to get you started. I hope you’ll start to view the clean drinking water you have access to as a privilege and that you will take FULL advantage of it!
- More than one billion people do not have access to safe water.
- Diarrhea caused by drinking contaminated water remains a leading cause of illness and death among infants and children in the developing world.
- About 1.8 million children die every year due to diarrheal diseases.
- More children die from diarrheal illnesses like cholera and dysentery than from HIV/AIDS or malaria combined.
- P&G has collaborated with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) since 1995 to develop safe drinking water systems that people can easily use in their homes.
- There is conclusive evidence that simple, low-cost interventions at the community level can dramatically improve the quality of household stored water and greatly reduce the risk of diarrheal disease and death.
- It is well documented that simply providing safe, clean, drinkable water can reduce deadly diarrhea and other devastating diseases by about 50%.