Written by Melissa Enos, Nutrition Communication Intern for Triad to Wellness
Edited by Sarah Achleithner, BS, Nutrition Communications Coordinator for Triad to Wellness
Can you guess what the most popular beverage is in the United States? Soft drinks and similar sugary drinks are first, with water being second. I’m sure we all know that water has more health benefits than its sugary counterpart, so, why are people consuming more soft drinks and ignoring the water? It’s hard to give a specific answer, but many people would argue that sugary drinks have more flavor and taste, which is why they tend to ignore water. Regardless of what others perceive about the taste of water, we have all heard of the endless health benefits of drinking it, and these benefits are probably engraved in your mind from years of repetition. But there are some things about this liquid that you may never have realized! Did you know that 60% of your body is made up of water, and that the recommended amount of water is between 9 and 13 cups per day? Hopefully, by following these simple tips, you can easily uproot your old habits of dehydration, rejuvenate your body, and put down those sugary drinks for good.
What You Never Knew About Water
Satiety: Sometimes when your stomach is grumbling for a mid-day snack, your body is confusing it for dehydration. Although this is not always the case, drinking a glass of water may subside food cravings and help you feel fuller. As a result, you will consume fewer calories and feel better overall.
Clear Skin: Yes, it’s really true. The resolution to your skin problems don’t have to cost $29.99 plus shipping and handling. Drinking enough water can help decrease wrinkles and even help clear acne prone skin. The water flushes toxins from your skin that can cause acne, so it’s important to make sure you are getting adequate water intake. Your body and skin will thank you!
Energy: One of the most common and unknown side effects of dehydration is fatigue. Try waking yourself up with a glass of water first thing in the morning–this will start your day on a healthy note and may prevent you reaching for other sugar-based beverages later in the afternoon.
It’s common for people to worry about drinking enough water throughout the day. After all, we are all extremely busy with errands, work, school, family, or social time, so how is it possible to focus on adequate hydration when so many other things are demanding our attention? Here are a few tips to make drinking water a habit rather than a chore:
Infuse Your Water: By adding fruit to your water, it looks beautiful, has a little bit of nutrition, and has more flavor than regular water! Be creative with the fruits and flavors you use, and switch it up regularly. I’m currently hooked on using raspberry, lemon and mint in my water! You can even buy specially made infusion bottles that separate the fruit from the water to eliminate particles and allow only the flavor to escape.
Smart Phone Apps: Just like they say, “there’s an App for that”! Luckily, there are apps to keep you on track with your fluid intake. Apps such as Waterlogged, Water Daily and Water Your Body, remind users when and how much water to drink. Before you fall into dehydration, download these free reminders to stay motivated.
DIY Water Bottles: Mark glass water bottles with 1 hour increments every 2-3 ounces apart to set goals for yourself. By giving yourself landmarks, it’ll be harder to fall off track.
Hydrate Through Food: All food contains some percentage of water, but targeting foods high in H20 can help you hydrate in a tasty way. Most fruits and vegetables are packed with water and can help you stay hydrated while snacking!
Drink Water The Right Way
Water is a powerhouse when it comes to being beneficial to the body, but there are many ways to enhance the benefits and still be environmentally conscious.
Switch to Glass Bottles: The US goes through 50 million plastic water bottles a year, all of which contain chemicals. Drinking water from plastic can potentially omit contamination such as DEHA and BPP, which are possible human carcinogens and hormone disputers.
Add A Filter to Your Tap: By adding a filter to your tap, you eliminate plastic bottles from your life. Water contaminants are removed from your water by using a filter that’s conveniently on your tap, saving you costs and space!
So, before you reach for a sugary drink or juice, think about the positive effects water has on your body. Make some easy, simple changes just by following a few simple steps to make hydrating simple, healthy and delicious!