Question: I have heard conflicting reports on the intake of water. Is eight glasses a day necessary and how important is water intake?
Answer: Drinking your eight glasses of water a day is the most important way of keeping our bodies feeling, performing and looking well. We require water to digest our food. Water intake reduces fluid retention (especially pre-menstrual puffiness in the fingers, feet and breasts), as well as balancing unsettling swings in blood- sugar levels.
Parents and teachers find that kids are better able to concentrate, maintain good behavior and feel good if they drink enough water. Proper water intake can be a life changing experience. Dehydration can contribute to a number of health problems including incontinence, constipation, urinary tract infections, and kidney stones. Recent research demonstrates that the immune system is dependent on proper water levels and without proper water levels in the body we are at more risk of catching colds and coughs, which in turn make us less capable of dealing with stress. Your family, especially children, will follow your role modeling when it comes to drinking water.
Here are some tips to make water consumption easier:
- Keep water in the fridge if you find chilled drinks more appealing,
- filter your tap water or purchase certified spring water,
- keep water in all the areas you frequent such as your car or workplace,
- drink from a large glass so you don’t have to fill up as frequently,
- get into the habit of drinking a glass of water at the end of every meal,
- drinking room temperature water with a slice of fresh lemon first thing in the morning stimulates all your body functions,
- freezing fruit in ice cubes to put into a glass of water encourages children to drink water,
- drink water in front of your children to get the message through,
- always have fresh water available for your children to drink,
- water down all fruit juices with 50 percent water to juice, and
- remember to drink extra water on warm weather days or when physically active
Quote of the week: “Man masters nature not by force but by understanding.” — Jacob Bronowsky