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July 10, 2017

Are you drinking enough water? Listen up ... your body can tell you

“How much water should you be drinking every day?”

We have all heard the 8 x 8 guideline, which recommends that each person drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily. But does that apply to everybody?

Certified nutritionist Brad Davidson recommends people consume half their body weight in ounces of water daily to increase metabolism by up to seven percent. In other words, if you are 150lbs, he suggests you should be drinking 75 ounces of water each day.

While these guidelines can be helpful, the truth is, guidelines are just that. You need to decide how much water is right for your daily personal consumption because it's different for each person.

In order to decide if you are drinking enough water on a day-to-day basis, you need to consider a number of factors.

First and foremost, you must listen to your body. Take a moment to consider what your body is telling you:

• Do you feel thirsty, tired, or sluggish?

• Does your heart race in the heat?

• Do you feel lightheaded or get frequent headaches?

• Do you have chapped lips?

• Do you have difficulty maintaining regular bodily functions?

• Do you live in extreme heat?

• Do you live an active lifestyle?

• Are you on medications that may dehydrate you?

• Do you consume high amounts of salty/sugary foods or beverages?

• Do you drink alcohol regularly?

If you answered yes to many of these questions, chances are you aren’t getting enough water and it is important to make a conscious effort to drink more of it.

That being said, drinking more aqua isn’t always as easy as it sounds so it is crucial to be educated on the functions of water within your body. Remind yourself how important it is to stay hydrated all day long so the logical part of your brain can start to reason with the side of yourself that would rather not.

The Harvard Medical School Special Health Report notes that water has many important jobs, such as:

• Carrying nutrients and oxygen to your cells

• Flushing bacteria from your bladder

• Aiding digestion

• Preventing constipation

• Normalizing blood pressure

• Stabilizing the heartbeat

• Cushioning joints

• Protecting organs and tissues

• Regulating body temperature

• Maintaining electrolyte (sodium) balance.

With water playing such a major role in the daily functions of the body, it may be helpful to examine the different things that you can do to increase your intake less painfully. Below are a few tips that help me stay on track with my water consumption:

• Drink only water, no other beverages that aren’t water based. (Coffee and tea are my exceptions)

• Drink your water over ice. Something about adding ice makes it much more refreshing to drink.

• Use a straw to drink your water.

• Eat foods that are high in water content like fruits and vegetables.

• Always have water by your side that you are working on drinking, a bottle, a cup, etc…so you are drinking gradually throughout the day.

• If you get really bored, add fruit or vegetables to your water like lemon, lime, orange, cucumber, etc… to spice it up.

• At night, drink water out of a wine glass to give yourself the feeling that you are drinking something more indulgent.

• If you are really craving soda or carbonation, try some sparkling water. You will be surprised how satisfying a bottle of sparkling water tableside can be.

• Find a brand of water that you really love and enjoy. Some people love Evian, others love Fiji or Smart Water. Find your favorite and learn to appreciate and enjoy it so you look forward to it.

• Drink a full glass of water before every meal.

Remember, you are the expert on your own body and only you truly know what your body needs. Take some time to check in with yourself and evaluate how your water consumption is affecting your overall health. Set a water intake goal this week and take notes on how you feel every day. Ask yourself what adjustments need to be made, if any.

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I hope you find this information as helpful as I have. Please feel free to share your stories here. I will continue to keep you posted on my health journey. Follow me for updates @christiemandia.

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