Families are becoming more health conscious today and for good reason. The standard American diet has left us with weak immune systems. Lifestyle diseases such as type-2 diabetes, obesity, and heart disease are increasing and almost epidemic—even among kids. Our kids are paying the price and moms and dads are taking steps to reverse course.
Better health involves many steps; yet, some steps bring greater benefits faster. Increasing your water intake is such a step and why I always recommend it as the first step in a family health makeover.
The benefits are immediate:
- Better hydration. Most people are dehydrated. The number one cause of everyday headaches is too little water.
- You’ll feel less hungry.
- Assists in weight loss.
- Improved digestion.
- More efficient elimination of toxins.
- Better joint and spinal disc health.
- When used to replace soft drinks or other sugary drinks, double the points! The sugar content of soft drinks is probably the greatest immunity-buster most people experience every day.
Even if you know you should drink more water, there’s a good chance you aren’t drinking as much as you think—and probably not as much as you should.
The rule of thumb you’ll most likely hear is eight 8-ounce glasses each day. That’s probably better than what most are doing yet that guideline isn’t always accurate.
The amount of water we need is more dependent on individual weight and lifestyle. A better rule of thumb for how many ounces you need a day is your weight divided by 2; e.g., a person weighing 160 pounds should drink 80 ounces a day.
For most of us, that will take some intentional effort. It certainly did for me. Here are some of the things I do to make sure I hit my personal goal of water each day:
- I drink a 10-ounce glass of water first thing when I get up in the morning. Additionally, I drink it at room temperature and squeeze half of a lemon in it. It hydrates after a night’s sleep, alkalizes, and gets your system moving (I’m trying to avoid potty talk).
After a cup of coffee and my morning exercise, I’ll drink another 8-10 ounces of water before breakfast. (By the way, I don’t drink much water, if any, during meals to improve digestion.)
To make sure I drink enough water during the work day, I keep a 28-ounce carafe on my desk and drink 1.5-2 carafes of water throughout the day.
Throughout the evening at home, I’ll drink another 8-ounce glass.
If I’m traveling away from my home or office, I have a couple of glass water bottles I take with me.
If I’m going to spend a couple of hours at a coffee shop, I order a glass of water with my cup of coffee.
If you’re a soda drinker, substitute a glass of water for a soda. If you prefer, squeeze a slice of lemon in the water for taste. Avoid water artificially flavored or sweetened.
A final note: as you’re probably aware, not all water is equal—or healthy. Drink the best filtered water you can. I’ll write more on that later.
For now, whatever your health goals for your family, start by helping everyone form better water drinking habits.
Question: What have you found to be helpful in getting your family to drink more water? Share your answer in the comments below.