Looking to kick start 2014 with some healthy habits that will actually stick? I’m here to share 52 healthy habits to consider incorporating into your life throughout 2014. The reason I chose 52, is so there is one new habit to work on for each week of the year. Clearly, not everyone will take on all 52 habits I share and that’s totally okay. My main hope is to instill awareness about some key habits for overall optimal health that anyone and everyone can benefit from.
The very first healthy habit I’m sharing is a key one, HYDRATION, something most people actually do not pay enough attention to, OR are confused on how to actually do it. Increasing one’s water consumption is one of the very first changes that can be made to ensure better health!
Did You Know?
- Water is the most important nutrient for the body and it is also the most common
nutritional deficiency in the American population.
- You can go ~ 8 weeks without food, but only days without water.
- Water makes up 55-60% of our total body mass (that’s about 10-13 gallons of water for the average adult).
Why Hydration Matters
‘Chronic cellular dehydration of the body is the primary etiology of painful degenerative disease’ ~ F. Batmanghelidj M.D.
Today, people are more dehydrated than ever before in history. There are so many things that lead to dehydration as it is, but the main one is not drinking enough water. Most people do not drink enough.
Hydration is one of THE FIRST things I work on with all of my clients. It’s also something I have to focus on for myself daily. Let’s face it, we all get busy and forget to do some of the most basic things to take care of ourselves.
Please spend some time and head on over to my article; ‘The Role of Water in the Body’ – read it, bookmark it, Pin it…whatever! Just get a hold of the information and turn it into your own knowledge!
How To Stay Hydrated
Many people are confused about how much water they need to drink optimally each day. There is so much conflicting information on this subject, that it’s no wonder we are unclear as to what to do. While there is no exact ‘formula’ that will work for everyone, I do have a guideline to use as a base point for how much water one should consume.
Drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water per day is a good starting point for anyone. Keep in mind that some beverages are dehydrating, such as; coffee, caffeine, soda, alcohol and even juice. So, for each 8 ounce glass you’ll need to replace it with 12 ounces of water. Also, many medications are dehydrating, it’s important to read the information on your medicines. Some will actually say that you need to drink plenty of water while taking them.
Another thing to consider is if your body is ‘detoxing’. If your body is trying to move toxins out quickly and your detox pathways are not moving adequately you will likely need even more water to clear them. I know for me personally, when I’m detoxing I get extra thirsty and often need even more than the above stated formula.
Don’t forget about electrolytes! It is also important to obtain adequate electrolytes for optimal hydration. Electrolytes are minerals that become capable of conducting electricity within the body when dissolved in water. These are sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, chloride, bicarbonate, phosphate and sulfate. Make sure your drinking water contains electrolytes. A simple pinch of high quality sea salt should do the trick. ‘Stay Hydrated’, a post I wrote last year has some further info. on hydration to read up on. To understand a bit more about the importance of salt and electrolytes, read ‘Craving Salt: A Sign of Adrenal Fatigue.’
By the way, no need to chug -just sip throughout the day. If you find the urge to chug, that means you are already getting dehydrated. Following along the lines of the advice of Dori (the funny blue fish in the move Nemo); ‘Just keep sipping, just keep sipping….‘
THE CHALLENGE: It is my challenge to you, for the next week to focus daily on ensuring you are staying adequately hydrated. Don’t avoid drinking what you know you should because you want to avoid all those trips to the potty. It’s a short term pay off for the long term benefits. Find a vessel that contains 1/2 your daily needs and fill it and drink it twice throughout the day. If you hate plain water, try lemon water or water with a splash of unsweetened cranberry juice, or herbal teas (such as my ‘Cranberry Nettles Tea‘), or sparkling mineral water. Even adding more fresh veggies, soups, bone broth or even fermented beverages would be okay. Just make sure you are getting an adequate intake of hydrating fluids, not dehydrating ones! Let me know if you take on this challenge and share in the comment section what improvements you noticed!
It could take an entire post or more to touch on the quality of your water and how to get the right filtration system for your home, your shower and more. In an effort to keep it simple, I’m sharing a system I can whole heartedly recommend. As well as an option for a portable water bottle to filter water when you are out of your home.
- Hydration 101: How Much Water Do You Really Need by Chris Kresser
- Is Your Daily Shower Making You Sick? by Chris Kresser
- Shaking Up the Salt Myth by Chris Kresser
- Drink Less Water? by Mark Sisson
- Fluoride’s Affect on Your Thyroid by Fluoride Action Network
- The Dangers of Fluoride by Ann Curtis
- What’s In Your Water? by Nadia Washlick
- Why Bottled Water Is Unhealthy, Environmentally Unfriendly & A Joke by Nadia Washlick
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