Water is the purest juice of life! The essential life source makes up about 60% of the human body, and when you zoom into the organs in the body, you’ll find that they are all mostly made of water as well. The human brain and heart are composed of about 70% water, the skin around 64%, and even the bones are about 30% water. That being said, it is imperative that the body receive adequate amounts of water each and every day to keep the body running properly.
H2O (water’s scientific name) gives the cells in the human body the ability to grow, reproduce, and survive, it helps flush out waste material, and it even helps carry oxygen throughout the body. Water, an element as critical to survival as air and food, serves several other vital functions within the body that keep us moving all day. It lubricates our joints allowing us to bend different body parts, regulates the body’s internal temperature, and not to mention, water is responsible for forming saliva which is a crucial ingredient in the digestion process.
How much water and when?
“Drink 8 cups a day,” they say, but does that really apply to everyone? Drinking eight cups of water a day is a great goal to strive for, but every individual’s fluid needs may actually differ based on factors like their weight, gender, activity level, age, environment (e.g. hot/humid weather, altitude,) and certain medical conditions.
In general, the recommendations for daily water intake are:
-about 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day for men
-about 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women
By getting enough water into your system everyday, you are ensuring that your body is properly hydrated. When you are hydrated, you are increasing your energy and brain function as a byproduct of all of your organs being replenished by their favorite fuel. You are also improving your cardiovascular health, as a hydrated heart does not need to “overwork” itself in its attempts to make sure your body is receiving enough oxygen to your cells. Not only that, but when you’ve been drinking enough water, your body is able to cleanse the toxins out quicker, which results in feeling more energized and alert.
Hydration and physical activity
Along with essential vitamins and minerals found in fruits and vegetables, hydration is also a crucial element when considering your levels of physical activity. When the body begins to perspire, water is released in an attempt to cool down its temperature and maintain homeostasis. Not only does sufficient hydration help regulate body temperature, but it also keeps the joints lubricated and organs functioning, as well as delivers nutrients to cells.
The goal with drinking water in relation to physical exercise is to consume the amount you will lose through sweat so that there is a net 0 balance in the body. Aim for around 16-24 ounces before your workout period to avoid becoming dehydrated. A simple way to gauge how much water your body needs before and during physical exercise is by observing the color of your urine. If your urine is clear to light yellow, you can probably hold off on hydrating until after your workout. On the other hand, if the color is a bold to dark yellow with a strong smell, you’ll definitely want to make sure to prep your body pre-workout by drinking some water and keeping a bottle close by in case you become thirsty.
How to boost your water intake?
Choosing to eat fruits and vegetables that are naturally filled with water is another way to stay hydrated without having to focus on drinking from a bottle. As mentioned above, fresh produce offers the fluids and electrolytes needed to keep your body performing. Eat a piece of your favorite fruit like an apple, orange, or pear during the day to increase your water levels.
Eat your water
Fortunately, not all water has to be consumed by drinking it. Plenty of your daily hydration goals can be met by eating a diet rich in foods that are high in their water content. Juicy fruits and watery veggies can be added to each meal to naturally increase how much water you are taking in from day to day. We recommend checking out our produce delivery service boxes to easily and effortlessly buy fresh fruits and vegetables online. This way, you’ll get the water-filled produce portion of your groceries delivered to your home. Eat up!
Flavor Your Water
Don’t like the taste of plain water? No problem! You can upgrade your water by adding fresh slices of lemon, orange, lime, cucumber, or even strawberries to get an enjoyable taste you’ll want to sip on all day. Fresh herbs like mint can be delightfully refreshing on a cool afternoon with a couple cucumber slices, and a few ice cubes. You can also add the juice from any citrus fruit into a small ice cube tray, and then when you are ready to drink some water, simply add a few flavor-infused cubes into your glass and you are good to go!
Tea and fresh juices
Similar to flavoring your water, another idea for increasing your water intake is to drink more tea or fresh juices. Being that tea at its core is dried herbs and hot water, it is the perfect alternative for someone looking to become more hydrated. There are several tea types that you can try, both caffeinated and decaffeinated to help you reach your water drinking goals. Pick your favorite tea blend, boil water to pour over, and let it steep! And depending on your chosen tea and its ingredients, beyond providing your body with the hydration it deserves, tea can also help boost your immune system, aid in digestion, and reduce inflammation.
As we mentioned above, fruits and vegetables are naturally filled with water. While they are delicious to snack on or cook up into a yummy recipe, they can also create amazing fresh juices! These juices contain all of the rich vitamins and minerals from the produce, along with their naturally-derived water, making them a go-to liquid to drink. Look for premade juices containing only the liquid from whole fruits and vegetables. Keep an eye on the amount of added sugars too, as fruits contain natural sugars that the body needs to have energy and perform. Or try out preparing juices yourself by investing in a juicer and using your fresh produce to make tasty, hydrating beverages!