- Dr. Kathleen Blazek, DAC, LAc
5 Ways to get more water in your diet
In my clinic one of the questions I always ask my patients, every time I see them, is "how much water do you drink per day?" Most people have to actually think about this, but I am always surprised when I get about five out of ten of my patients that respond with, "oh gosh, I don't know, about 2 or 3 glasses a day." Most of those with this response are are on diuretics, because what goes in must come out and they can be inconvenienced with frequent urination. Nutritional guideline recommendations are that we drink 6-8 glasses of water per day. One glass of water is equivalent to 10-12 ounces. Three glasses of water adds up to a total of 30-36 ounces of water a day. This is a good amount... if you are 12 years old. An average adult should consume from 60 to 90 ounces of water a day. This is equivalent to about 1/2 your body weight in water by ounces. Now to be fair, there are several ways to get more water in your daily diet. Hot tea and soup broths are just a few of those ways, including eating more fruits. However, drinking coffee, sodas, flavored drinks, gatorade or any other sports drinks do not count. Frequent consumption of these can actually cause a depletion of water in our digestion. With 90% of our body containing using some type of fluid which needs to be replaced with water, it is imperative that we consume enough water every day. When these fluids are not replaced, out body cannot function normally. Blood fluids, saliva, lubrication for the eyes and membranes, cerebral fluid, enzymes, mitochondrial synthesis, DNA/RNA synthesis, small and large intestine digestive actions, these are just a few of the functions of our bodies that need a constant supply of water to complete their tasks. If you don't drink water, your body will be in a depleted and/or diseased state. So here are 5 ways to incorporate more water into your daily diet.
Just drink more water. Take a refillable water bottle with you everywhere you go. For the first week, make it your goal to get 1/2 your body weight in drinking water per day. If you have a hard time doing this, start with small amounts. Start by filling a quart jar (32 oz.) with water, and let it sit opened, overnight. This allows any chlorination to evaporate, and incorporates more oxygen into the water. You might even notice more bubbles in your water in the morning. This is good. Make it your goal to drink the whole quart of water daily. Increase this to two quarts daily the following week and even three quarts the third week if your weight is over 180 lbs. On the go? Put a screw top lid on the jar and be on your way. It also helps save our environment from plastics.
Cut back on one soda or sports drink a day, and replace it with a bottle or glass of water. Just one less soda or sports drink decreases your intake of sugar and sodium substantially, helping your body hold onto good fluids and expel toxic bodily waste fluids.
Drink a cup of herbal tea instead of having that extra cup of coffee in the afternoon. Green tea has more caffeine than a cup of coffee and provides good antioxidants.
Drink more broth-based soups. Every broth has water added to it. Many of these broths are saturated with healthy vitamins, minerals and healthy amino acids from the added vegetables, legumes and meat.
Eat more fruit. Yes, fruit! Apples, grapes, pears, peaches, cantaloupe and watermelon are just a few of the fruits that have high water content. Some vegetables also have high water content such as cucumbers, tomatoes, green peppers, zucchini and many others.
You will notice many benefits within the first week, but one of the major changes will be with your skin. Less wrinkles, less dryness, and more glow. More water also regulates the bowels, prevents cavities, sinusitis, dry eye, and helps with muscle strength. With such great benefits, drink up! Cheers!