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Water, Water Everywhere

May 30, 2012

How much water do you drink daily? Is it enough? Probably not.

Do you know why you should drink water? Maybe not.

Your body needs water for a lot of important reasons, including digestion, circulation, absorption and elimination of wastes. Water is part of all your cells and bodily fluids, from blood to lymph to urine to tears to digestive juices. You lose water every day through normal processes like sweating and urination. Yet to rehydrate many of us drink only 1 or 2 glasses a day, if that. We’re too busy drinking coffee, sodas and other sweetened beverages, which don’t count toward our daily water needs.

A while back, I created a personal survey about water and hydration via Survey Monkey, which I posted to my Facebook page. I wanted to know how much water the people in my life – a fairly well-educated bunch! – drink in an average day, and what beverages were the highest on their lists for daily consumption.

Half of the respondents indicated they drink only 1 to 3 glasses of water daily. In fact, more respondents were at the 1 glass end of the spectrum. Two people shockingly said they drink less than 1 glass a day. A little less than half of the respondents said they drink water straight from the tap, while at the same time, 71 percent said they worry about the quality of their drinking water. (With good reason!) Coffee was the hands-down favorite beverage of the respondents, even though coffee is a diuretic that actually makes you body lose water. Soda, although infamous for its empty calories and links to obesity, was also popular. Although most of my respondents knew how much water they should be drinking (ideally, 6 – 8 glasses daily), they simply don’t do it.

Why? When I ask my clients why they don’t drink water, many respond that they don’t like the taste. If you fall into that category, here are some suggestions. Try starting off with sparkling mineral water and adding a little fresh fruit juice, like orange, cranberry or pomegranate. Gradually decrease the amount of juice, then start leaving out the juice altogether and going with fruit slices, like orange or lime, or some fresh mint leaves. Work your way to filtered water, but keep the fruit for extra antioxidants. If you’re a sweetened iced tea drinker, you can make a delicious herbal iced tea with 1 quart boiling water, 2 Celestial Seasonings red raspberry teabags, and 2 tangerine orange teabags. While the tea is still hot, add a scant tablespoon of raw honey or agave nectar. Let steep for 10-15 minutes, then enjoy over ice.

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