We all know water is good for us and that we should probably drink more of it. So why, then, do people find it so difficult to sip from what is arguably the fountain of youth?
We're all guilty of it -- choosing a can of pop over a bottle of water. But what happens when our kids develop the same habits? Forty-five percent of Canadians drink an average of four or more non-water beverages per day, according to a survey released for Nestle Waters Canada. In the survey, 22 percent of respondents said their child drinks fruit juice the most often.
"It's scary to think about, but it does grab my attention," says Sherry Torkos, pharmacist and author of The Canadian Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. "This issue needs attention because it can lead to larger health threats, especially for kids."
Water provides the body with health benefits…just take a look at how water helps:
• It balances body fluids. Your body is composed of about 60 percent water and performs vital functions such as protecting your organs and tissues, regulating your body temperature and carrying nutrients and oxygen to your cells—essentially it keeps your body running like a well-oiled machine.
• It keeps skin looking healthy. Water moisturizes your skin and functions as a protective barrier to prevent excess fluid loss (think free anti-aging cream). In addition, it can keep your skin fresh and smooth.
• It boosts the immune system. Those who guzzle water are at a lower risk of getting sick. This crystal-clear concoction may help fight against flu and other ailments.
• It can help control calories. While drinking water may not be a weight-loss strategy, per se, substituting it for higher-calorie or sugar-filled beverages can help by removing by products of fat, filling you up so you’re not noshing, acts as a natural appetite suppressant and raises your metabolism.
Some additional reasons to get enough water throughout the day:
1. Maximize your physical performance.
2. Increase the your energy and brain function.
3. May prevent and treat headaches.
4. May relieve constipation.
You get it right? It’s important to get enough water, but how much is enough? There is so much information out there about what amount is the right amount, but a good guideline is to drink enough water so that you don’t feel thirsty – you’re body WILL tell you. And keep in mind the right amount of water is going to depend on your activities throughout the day. You’ll definitely need more water if you’re exercising, especially in humid or hot weather, if you’re ill, or you’re pregnant.
But, if you’re someone that needs a hard fast rule to go by, “The National Academies of Sciences suggests that women consume a total of approximately 2.7 liters (91 ounces) of water from all beverages and foods each day and that men get approximately 3.7 liters (125 ounces) daily. But these are just general guidelines and are not supported by firm scientific studies.”
Have more questions about hydrating for optimum health? Contact Natatia at Functional Performance Fitness. - she’ll help you get on the road to proper hydration.
I'm Natatia Gemmell.