No, I am not talking about Nerf water guns or water filled balloons, but drinking water. I meant to write this two days ago when it was 90 something degrees and humidity was 80%, but better late than never. I am constantly reminding my family to drink water throughout the day (even when it isn’t hot and humid. I thought summer was over?). I fill up everyone’s Nalgene water bottles at night so they don’t even have to think about it. I make it a point to drink at least 3 full water bottles (60 ounces total) and if I can get the kids to drink 1 (20 ounces) I am happy. In our house the only beverages we offer are milk and water, and occasionally juice. (Of course there is beer and wine for the adults at the end of the day as long as they have had their intake of water! LOL!)
For me drinking water is a no brainer. I never leave home without my water bottle. It seems to be attached to my hands at all times. There are times when my husband comes home from teaching all day and guzzles down a bottle of water only to realize he hasn’t had any all day. How is that possible? His response is usually, “I just didn’t think about it.” Maybe the water bottle stays in his backpack instead of on his desk and so its not visible. Who knows. With the kids I feel like I am constantly battling them to drink water. If I don’t make them take it with them when we are going somewhere they end up drinking half of mine or guzzling a whole bunch before bed, which just leads to other issues……
Ok, so why the war on water? Because water is so important and beneficial to the body. Here a few reasons:
1. Water hydrates the body. It maintains the balance of body fluids which function in digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and regulates body temperature.
2. Water makes the skin look better. Softer and smoother. When you don’t drink enough water, skin can become dry, rough and wrinkly looking. Think of water as a natural moisturizer.
3. Water reduces caloric intake. There are no calories in water, and few calories in water rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, and beans. When my kids ask at 5:00 pm what they can eat, the answer is always the same, “WATER! Dinner will be in an hour.” My beverage of choice during the day is always water because I would rather splurge on a glass of wine at night or some ice cream.
4. Water energizes muscles. WIthout enough water muscles can experience fatigue because the muscle cells are not getting enough electrolytes. Therefore, the muscles can not perform or function to their absolute best. This is why it is especially important to drink water while exercising. And not just during exercise, but before, during, and after exercise.
5. Water maintains kidney and bowel function. The kidneys job is to cleanse and rid your body of toxins, but it must be adequately supplied with water in order to do so. Kidney stones can develop if the kidneys are not properly hydrated. Adequate fluid amounts keep your digestive tract flowing and keep one from getting constipated.
6. Water lubricates your joints so you can move smoothly and pain free. I think is especially important as we get older.
7. Water increases cognitive and nerve function. Ever have that fuzzy feeling in your head? Sometimes just drinking a glass of water helps. Seriously. By drinking water the electrolyte levels remain high to allow nerves to relay messages to and from the brain.
Some harmful effects of dehydration may include: tiredness, migraines, constipation, muscle cramps, irregular blood pressure, kidney problems, dry skin, death if you are only 20% hydrated.
Symptoms of dehydration include: dark yellow or orange urine, dry skin, thirst, hunger, or fatigue. Many times people mistake hunger for thirst. I know my kids do all the time! It will be a half hour after lunch and they will ask me for a snack! I hand them their water bottle instead.
Not only does water have numerous benefits to living a healthy life, it puts money in your pocket. How? Because its FREE! Juice, sports drinks, soda (all high in sugar and calories) can be expensive depending on how often it’s bought. The sugar in all of those can make dehydration worse, and creates more thirst. So if you want to quench your thirst grab some FREE WATER! Invest in a good quality reusable water bottle such as Nalgene, Camelback, Contigo, Klean Kanteen, etc. and hit the road. I also suggest buying a water filter for your tap or one you can fill up with tap water and store in the fridge, such as a Brita. This way we keep the environment clean by not clogging up landfills with one time use plastic water bottles.
What is your favorite water bottle to use? Nalgene was kind enough to send me a few of these water bottles pictures above last spring. I had called them about the top leaking on my son’s and instead of just replacing the cap, they sent me 4 brand new water bottles! However, I am constantly seeking the “perfect” reusable water bottle, but have yet to find it. I want one that does not leak, does not “sweat”, is easy to open and close, and keeps the water cold. I am dying to get my hands on a Contigo Melrose or Waveland Double Wall Water Bottle, but my husband thinks we already have too many water bottles in the house….