Walking along the aisles of any local supermarket, and you can see so row after row of sodas, juices, alcohol, teas, coffees and other creations of consummable liquid items, with the razzle and dazzle of fancy packaging and claims of health benefits. It's no wonder people would rather spend money to buy these beverages rather than consume a much healthier and cheaper alternative.
In the holistic health field, there are so many new supplements, vitamins and super foods and herbs touting the latest trend or fad to heal or cure your ailments. But what about a cheap, virtually free source of 'miracle cure'?
What I'm referring to is water - that refreshing, thirst quenching, simple, oh so good for you water. Often times taken for granted, perhaps due to lack of sexiness because it's so simple and widely available, water is indeed, an essential, nutritious, consumable item.
Why water? Water helps to:
Regulate your body temperature - ever wonder how it stays pretty consistent at 98.6 degrees Farenheit, despite varying degrees of heat and the cold?
Transport oxygen and nutrients to your cells, to aid in absorption and assimilation of all the healthy foods you're eating.
Assist in the process of digestion, metabolism and elimination. Your body is dependent on water to flush out waste and toxins.
Regulate your body's natural fluid levels, which aids indigestion, diabetes, headaches, hypertension, back pain, arthritis, ulcers, asthma, morning sickness, and fatigue.
Prevent yourself from overeating - sometimes when you feel really hungry, your body is actually dehydrated and mixes the signals, making you think that you need food when actually all you need is water.
Your body is about 60% water, and your brain alone is about 70% water, so it's important to keep yourself hydrated! Doing so allows your body to maintain equilibrium and perform all its functions effectively and optimally. Chronic dehydration leads to health consequences, including constipation, fatigue, digestive disorderes, high and low blood pressure, respiratory problems, urinary infections, and skin rashes. And while water should not be seen as a cure-all for anything and everything, water does help your body to maintain regulation, which helps it to do its job effectively, and essentially heal itself.
Bottled water vs. tap vs...? A controversial topic regarding water is what kind of water is best - filtered, tap, bottled (what kind of bottle - plastic, aluminum, etc.) At the end of the day, I'd have to say that if you're too busy worrying about what kind of water is best and not getting any kind of water, it's better to just drink the water, regardless of whether it comes from a bottle or filtered source.
In general, however, I'd say that it's best to avoid drinking from plastic containers if you can, as there is growing evidence pointing to the potential hazards of plastic. If you don't have the option, make sure not to drink hot liquid in plastic bottles, as that can increase the chance of chemicals from the plastic leaching into your water.
So how much water should you drink? The answer is that it really depends on each person. 6-8 glasses is the daily recommended amount, but that varies according to a number of different factors, including activity level, age, time of year, what foods you're eating, etc. If you're drinking sodas, coffee, alcohol, tea instead of water, it's all the more reason to drink more water. Even though sodas, teas and juices are beverages, they may actually cause dehydration in your body and result in your body needing more water.
A good 'test' to see whether you're getting adequate water is to check the color of your urine. If it's dark, it's a good indicator that you should drink more water. If it's a pale or clear color, that means you're getting sufficient water, and it may be okay for you to drink a little less water. However, you should also note that certain vitamin supplements, such as vitamin B-12 and multivitamins, can make your urine darker in color.
So before you reach for candies, coffee or other caffeinated beverages, pain killers for your headache, or some kind of expensive 'miracle cure,' try drinking a glass of water, breathe, pause, and notice what happens. I'd love to hear what you discover!
Frances Cheung is a certified Holistic Nutrition & Wellness Coach, and works with high-powered business professionals & entrepreneurs in learning how to naturally boost their immune systems, restore their vitality, resolve digestive concerns & achieve their ideal weight. To learn more about Frances and her coaching programs and upcoming events, please visit http://www.francescheung.com