WHY WATER MATTERS
We all seem to carry water bottles around these days. In fact, water consumption is now the second most popular drink consumed by Americans (yippee!) (well, except for the fact that is falls behind soda). But, my water knowledge was recently shook up when I read a report that the oft-stated rule of drinking eight glasses a day was perhaps an overstated guideline, and not really a scientific rule. But, I am not putting away my S’well water bottles yet (okay, fine, I purchased just one!) What experts still agree upon is the importance of water. And here is why.
Over half of your body is made up of water, which is a pretty good reason to keep hydrated. But water is also essential for helping the body detoxify. The cells have their own detoxification system, so they’re always releasing toxins, chemicals, and the aftermath of cellular function into the blood stream. Water helps flush that out. Also, since many of us are walking around in a more acidic state thanks to stress or diet or lifestyle, the body is constantly trying to do damage control, and a lot of that detoxification is also ending up in the blood. Water is also important for brain health and it helps relieve fatigue, improve your mood and treats headaches and migraines (all signs of dehydration), so if your head hurts or if you’re not thinking clearly or feel foggy or you are tired, drink some water. It’s the elixir of life!
So, here’s what we recommend for consumption. This is in addition to eating fruits and vegetables high in water content. Upon waking, drink one to two cups of lukewarm or warm water (with a squeeze of lemon) first thing in the morning. This goes double for you morning coffee drinkers—have water before and after your cup of coffee. Imagine this water as the janitor coming in at night to sweep up and take out the trash. Plus, your body is naturally more dehydrated in the morning. And, as for the whole 8 glasses of water per day belief – we are not really sure where that came from. What many experts say today is that you should drink at least half your body weight in ounces per day (e.g, if you are 120 lbs, you should drink 60 ounces). But, as stated above, if you drink coffee throughout the day, regularly drink alcohol or are an active exerciser, then you need to drink even more water (especially if you drank too much alcohol in the evening – then experts recommend drinking at least 16 oz of water before bed). The rule of thumb is definitely true: If you’re feeling thirsty, then you’re already dehydrated. And sometimes when you’re feeling hungry, you’re really just thirsty. Try to catch dehydration before it happens.
As for what kind of water, we’ll keep it simple: the purest you can get. Ideally you can drink at least some alkaline water. Many studies show that drinking alkaline water boosts your energy and your metabolic rate, rebuilds your immune system, and helps your body absorb vitamins and nutrients more efficiently. In essence, your vital organs function their best in an alkaline environment, and drinking alkaline water supports that goal. It’s an easy way to help keep your body clean and operating at peak performance. If you cannot get alkaline water, go for filtered water. And, if you just don’t like the taste of water, try some of our gently infused waters (like our pear yuzu water or our pineapple basil water), which we recommend sipping frequently throughout your day—especially during a cleanse. Herbal tea is a nice way to hydrate too; just try not to add processed sugar or artificial sweeteners.
Now I have to run and get myself a glass of water!
Find more infused water recipes in our book The Soup Cleanse, available at Amazon and Target online or at your local retailer.