Ok, the holidays are behind us (along with all the baked goods, toffee, and eggnog). And now we’ve got a big, bright, brand new year in front of us with lots of healthy habits on the mind. While more exercise and sleep are on the New Year’s agenda for lots of us, we want to talk about a resolution that might fly under the radar: more water.
That’s right. Staying hydrated in 2018 can have a positive impact on your year. So go ahead and put down that Diet Coke (you know who you are) and let’s talk H2O. Here are a few ways that drinking a little more (ok maybe a lot more for some of us) can have a big impact on your health.
1. LOSE WEIGHT
There are no scientific weight loss secrets in water. We’re not going to list a report here, either. Of all the reasons to drink water, this might be the most straightforward. The correlation between drinking water and losing weight is simple. Sometimes when you think you’re hungry, you’re just thirsty. Instead of reaching for the chips, pour a glass of water. It works.
2. THINK BETTER
Recent studies show that there is a very strong link between drinking more water and improved cognitive function. From a better mood and greater concentration, to reducing headaches, staying hydrated helps your brain.
3. MAKE YOUR SKIN GLOW
When it comes to organs, skin isn’t usually the first thing that comes to mind. But believe it or not, it’s our largest organ. Lots of H2O helps your skin cells rebuild properly. It also helps regulate your body’s temperature through sweating.
4. ENERGIZE YOUR WORKOUT
Whether it’s working out or simply going through the day, every time you use your muscles, they lose a little bit of water—and you lose some energy. Hydrating regularly gives you enough energy to help you get through those last set of lunges.
5. FIGHT SICKNESS
The winter months aren’t kind on the immune system. If you find yourself down with a cold, more water can help relieve the congestion. And it can help you bounce back after your cold passes. Heads up, there’s really no scientific evidence that water prevents colds.
6. REDUCE PAIN
Water keeps your cartilage soft and hydrated. And that can lead to reducing aches and pains.
7. JUMPSTART YOUR METABOLISM
Water carries oxygen, nutrients, and hormones to the rest of your body. It also removes a bunch of nasty toxins and waste material. By drinking more water, you’re improving the systems your body relies on and building a healthier, revved-up metabolism in the process.
8. GET MORE NUTRIENTS AND OXYGEN TO YOUR BRAIN
When we get dehydrated and our blood volume is low, our body protects us by bringing more blood to our core to protect our organs. Our hands, feet and brain end up getting less blood (and nutrients!)
Ok, so now it’s time to drink up! Before you start chugging gallons of water, though, you might want to opt for a more moderate approach to increasing your H2O intake. Start with adding an extra glass a day. Then after a week or so, maybe bump it up to two. And because water tends to be a bit boring, consider adding some (natural) flavors to it. Try an orange or lemon slice for starters, or a splash of berry juice. And let’s face it, life is already busy enough. It’s easy to forget about drinking more water when you already have jobs, kids, and your Netflix queue to worry about. If you’re into apps, there’s one called Waterlogged that we like. If apps aren’t your thing, set daily reminders on your phone.
Skip the plastic throw-away water bottles!! They are made with chemicals which can leach out into your water, plus it creates tons of waste. Get a nice water bottle and take it with you every where!
Be sure to use good filtered water. No tap water without filtering it. You can buy an inexpensive one that fits on your faucet or under the sink. A great filter is worth it! I don't recommend using distilled or reverse osmosis water on a regular basis unless you add minerals back into it. Drink up and enjoy!
Jane Smolnik is a Naturopathic Doctor, Master Herbalist and Iridologist with a private practice in Asheville, NC. Please visit her website for more info at www.UltimateHealing.com, or call 828-777-5263 for more info.