Water plays an important role in how your body functions as well as a key component to your health and fitness goals.
Improves Bodily Functions
Water increases levels of oxygen in your bloodstream leading to proper circulation and more energy. Water helps remove toxins from the body, especially from the digestive tract.
Aids in Health and Fitness Goals
Water suppresses the appetite naturally and helps the body metabolize stored fat.
When your body is not getting enough water it holds on to what it has, resulting in water retention. Once fully hydrated, your body will begin to release the water weight.
Drinking ice cold water first thing in the morning is an easy way to speed up your metabolism. Right when you wake up, drink a glass or two of cold water. Your body will have to warm up the water entering your system, which means increasing your metabolism in the process.
Water aids in keeping your joints lubricated…important for both daily functions and in preventing your body from injury during exercise.
Suggested daily water intake is at least half your bodyweight in ounces of water. If you exercise you need to drink even more water because of all of the water you lose while working out.
An indicator that you are drinking enough water is when your urine comes out pale yellow or clear. The darker the color of your urine, the more dehydrated your body is.
Tips to Stay Hydrated
• Keep a log on paper or nutrition tracker.
• Fill a pitcher or gallon water container each day with goal amount.
• Place a rubber band around water cup or bottle each time you fill it.
Portable Water Bottle
Invest in a reusable water bottle that is constructed to keep water cool. That will allow you to keep it with you and refill all day, even in the car. My favorite is my Tervis Tumbler.
Eat Foods High in Water
About 20% of our daily water intake comes from solid foods, especially fruits and vegetables. A few fruits and vegetables with a high water content are:
Watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries, grapefruit, celery, cucumber, lettuce, cabbage, and tomatoes.
Flavor Your Water
Many water enhancers contain artificial ingredients that can lead to health problems if consumed consistently. For natural flavoring, make your own infused waters at home.
Try these water infused recipes for some variety and health benefits:
Water Infusion Tips
Use cold or room temperature filtered water. Hot water makes produce fall apart faster and can compromise the nutrients you’re trying to coax out of the ingredients.
Softer fruits like citrus and strawberries can be sliced thick, thin, halved, or quartered. Harder fruits like apples should be sliced very thinly because they take longer to release flavors. Crush fibrous ginger root, rosemary, and lemongrass with a muddler or wooden spoon; tear or crush leafy herbs like mint, basil, and cilantro to release their oils.
Soak Time and Temperature
Infuse water at room temperature for no more than 2 hours. After that, put it in the fridge to prevent bacterial growth.
Cucumbers, citrus fruits, melons, and mint flavor water almost immediately. Apples, cinnamon, fresh ginger root, and rosemary need an overnight soak in the fridge.
Melons and sliced strawberries start looking waterlogged after a few hours; citrus, and whole berries look pretty good even after hours in the fridge.
After 4 hours, unpeeled citrus can make water taste bitter. If you don’t drink the water within 24 hours, strain out the solids and refrigerate for up to 3 days.