A simple, but powerful way to improve energy, support your body's natural ability to detoxify, find your healthy weight, and get glowing skin is to make sure you are drinking enough clean water every day.
This is one of the foundations to optimal functional health.
Not only does water improve the way our body functions, but it also improves the way we feel and the way we look.
Some of the natural perks water has to offer include:
Hydration of internal organs, enabling them to function properly
Hydration of skin, keeping it looking fresh and healthy
Alleviating/preventing a variety of ailments including chronic pain
Keeping the immune system healthy
Regulating body temperature
Flushing out waste and toxins
My Top Tips for Staying Well Hydrated
Many nutritional experts recommend drinking as much as about half our body weight in ounces of filtered water each day. Example: 150lbs = 75 ounces of filtered water. As with everything, listen to your body and always talk to your doctor before starting something new.
Always filter your water, or opt for a high quality natural spring or artesian water, to avoid fluoride and other contaminants that may add to your toxic burden.
If you're looking for more flavor than just plain filtered water try including herbal (non-caffeinated) tea (warm or chilled) or infused water with fresh fruit, vegetables and/or herbs to enhance the flavor.
To infuse your water simply:
Select a combination of fruit, veggies and/or herbs.
Place in a mason jar.
Fill with filtered water.
Store in the refrigerator for a couple hours.
Pour through a strainer to enjoy.
Some of my favorite fruit, veggie and herb combinations for making infused water are:
Cucumber + Lime + Mint
Lime or Lemon alone
Watermelon + Mint
It is important to increase your water intake slowly. Start by adding just one additional 8oz glass of water every couple days until you reach your targeted amount. This will also help to “crowd out” unhealthy beverages.
It's best to drink water between meals throughout the day, and only a small amount with meals to "wash down" your food because too much water with a meal may dilute stomach acid making it harder to digest the meal. Also, avoid ice cold water with meals as this may slow digestion and lead to after meal discomfort.
Drinking a glass of water 15-30 minutes before a meal has been shown to help improve digestion, reduce after meal indigestion, and avoid over-consumption at mealtime.
Drinking water that naturally contains minerals is ideal, but if you drink reverse osmosis or purified water, you can add essential trace minerals back into your water. This will help hydrate your cells and support an optimal acid/alkaline balance. I like Elete Electrolyte drops. (Note: Avoid trace minerals that contain the "tin".)
Also, water from volcanic sources, like Fiji or Volvic water, naturally contain Silica (silicone dioxide), a mineral that's been shown to gently chelate (remove) aluminum from the body, which may help prevent complications such as Alzheimer's and other neurological conditions linked to aluminum toxicity. (source)
Drink BEFORE you get thirsty because thirst is a sign of dehydration and you don't want to wait to become dehydrated to start drinking water.
Limit consumption of caffeine which can dehydrate you because it acts like a diuretic.
Drink water every 15-30 minutes while exercising.
During strenuous exercise, or when in a very hot climate, make sure to drink water that contains electrolytes. Coconut water is a great because the nutrients in coconut water matches the electrolyte profile of our blood plasma. It is nature’s Gatorade!
Carry a non-plastic, glass or stainless steel, reusable bottle filled with filtered mineral water with you at all times.
Eat fruits and vegetables that have a high water content like grapes, watermelon, strawberries, lettuce, tomatoes or cucumbers.
Learn the signs of dehydration: headache, fatigue, muscle cramps, nausea, increased heart rate, increased body temperature, decreased perspiration and decreased urination. (Note: Seek medical attention if you become dehydrated as this can be a serious, life-threatening condition.)
Taper off your water intake toward bedtime, so it doesn’t interfere with sleep.
My Favorite Morning Hydration Routine
Drinking water first thing in the morning is very important to flush out the toxins our body was busy working to eliminate during the night.
It is also important to drink plenty of water in the morning to re-hydrate our body.
Upon rising try drinking about 6-8 ounces of room temperature water followed by another 6-8 ounces of either warm or room temperature water with juice from ½ a lemon or lime. Fresh squeezed is best!
Tip: I like to freeze fresh lemon or lime juice in an ice cube tray and pop 1 cube in a glass of water – this saves a lot of time in the morning!
If 16 ounces of water in the morning seems like a lot at first, slowly start to increase your water intake until you comfortably work up to this amount. Again, always check with your doctor to determine what is best for you personally.
By being well hydrated in the morning you should notice a positive difference in your energy level throughout the day.
Jaime Ward, INHC, CGP, CBIN provides Functional & Integrative Nutrition Health Coaching for Women with Autoimmunity.
Jaime is Board Certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, Certified in BioIndividual Nutrition, a Certified Gluten Practitioner, and currently pursuing a Master of Science degree in Nutrition with a focus on Functional Medicine from The University of Bridgeport.
Jaime is also a speaker, a writer, a busy mom, and a Celiac Survivor. Jaime coaches with a Christian heart filled with lots of love, support and compassion.
For more information about how Jaime can help you, click here.