Think about water when you think about nutrients
Living a healthy lifestyle includes drinking water every day as well as eating nutritious foods.
Eating nutritious foods helps strengthen your immune system and keeps your body working at its peak performance. To achieve this healthy lifestyle, a variety of nutrients need to be consumed. One of these nutrients is water. Most of us probably don’t think about water when we think about nutrients. To us, nutrients mean vitamins and minerals. The most important nutrient we need in order to make sure that the vitamins and minerals we take in every day can do their job is water. Our bodies are composed of about 50-60 percent water.
What does water do for you? Think back to your childhood when your mother may have told you that eating fiber would help you stay regular. Well, fiber helps with intestinal regularity as long as you’re also getting enough water.
Water is also important for the following body functions:
- Forms saliva, tears and sweat.
- Keeps the body’s mucous linings moist (interior lining of the digestive system from your mouth down to your intestines).
- Lubricates joints to keep them moving smoothly.
- Flushes out body waste material mainly in the form of urine.
- Is a major component of blood which carries oxygen to all parts of the body.
- Needed by the brain to perform neurotransmitter functions.
- Is a component of all body parts.
Experts differ on the amount of water we need to drink every day but most agree that adults need about six to eight, 8-ounce glasses of water. The amount you need differs depending on your weight and how active you are. The more physical activity you do each day, the more water you need to drink. How do you know if you need to drink water? Don’t wait until you feel thirsty—being thirsty doesn’t kick in until you’re already heading toward dehydration. Try drinking a glass of water if you feel hungry. In some people, feeling hungry is actually the body telling you to drink water. Plus a bonus is water will help fill you up without consuming any calories, sugar or caffeine.
Adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet is also a great way to consume more water each day since fruits and veggies are composed mostly of water. Plus you get all those added vitamins and minerals not present in plain water. Don’t like the taste of water? Water at room temperature generally isn’t very tasty. Keep a pitcher of water in your refrigerator. Served icy cold, water is delicious! Try adding slices of lemon or other fruits to your water for added flavor.
Avoid bottled flavored waters. Many contain additives you don’t need and are expensive. If you’re not near a source of safe drinking water, plain bottled water can quench your thirst at a fraction of the cost of flavored waters or soft drinks.
Keep track of how much water you’re drinking for a few days. Are you drinking the recommended six to eight servings a day? If not, make drinking more water your healthy goal for this year. Your body will thank you for it with improved health!