Drinking water: purifying your mistakes

This is a glass of water:

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‘A glass of water’. It sounds simple. Very simple. Too simple. And, really, it is. ‘A glass of water’ is so inherently simple in everything that it is that it overwhelms some of us. Stop! Have you just arched your eyebrows? Maybe you’ve rolled your eyes? Have you let out a noisy grunt? If you’ve answered YES to any of these questions, then you need to read on. Shhh, even if you haven’t, I’ll still appreciate you reading on!   If you think drinking water is overrated and if you’re perfectly happy consuming less than 1,5-2 l of water a day, you’re wrong. Painfully wrong. Thankfully for you, though, I’ll brief you on why and advise you on how to right this wrong.

Why do you need at least 1,5 l of water a day?

  • The proper functioning of the body

According to science, the body water percentage in humans varies due to an array of factors such as gender, age, health and weight. It’s estimated that an average adult male body is approximately 65% water. The body of a newly born baby, in contrast, is made of as much as 75% of water. For some humans, particularly those who are somewhat overweight, said percentage drops to 45. Although it isn’t possible to cite an exact figure, it’s clear that water is a vital component in our bodies. In order for your body to sustain itself and you, it needs at least 1,5 l a day. Again, there lacks agreement on precise amount of water to be consumed and daily requirements from person to person will differ, but 1,5 l a day is a good standard of measure.

  • ‘Want’ vs ‘need’

The general misconception here is that ‘wanting’ accurately reflects ‘needing’. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. You may ‘want’ to drink two glasses of water on a daily basis, but what you ‘need’ is between six and seven. By the time you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. I personally drink more. As a rule of thumb, I probably have a little over 2 l. Of course, on the days I exercise, I ensure that I drink at least 2,5 l of water. Part of the issue, seemingly, is that in this time and age when there’s a huge variety of fancy drinks, people have lost their appetite for water. Not only do our purchases scream ‘status’ to the rest of the world – and let’s face it, the majority prefer being seen with a Starbucks in their hand as opposed to a bottle of water – but they have also ‘deformed’ our taste buds. “I don’t like the taste of water..” is as laughable a statement as it is prevalent. However, if you’d like to be healthy and supply your body with what it requires to perform well, you ought to drink water. Every single day. Enough of it.

  • Other drinks and some foods dehydrate us

If you have a sweet tooth, nibble on crisps often or love Coca-Cola and mass produced fruit juices, you may be additionally dehydrating yourself without even realising it. The sugar content in treats and the increased levels of salt in savoury snacks send you down a path of dehydration which, if you’re unaccustomed to drinking enough water, you’re most likely either disregarding, or are handling the wrong way. Instead of satisfying your thirst with a can of Sprite – which will only perpetuate the problem – you should be reaching for water.

Benefits of drinking water 

  • Faster metabolism

You’ve heard this claim on multiple occasions. It’s all true. Water sets the bodily operations in motion, kick-starts your metabolism and, you’ve guessed it, you burn calories! By drinking water, you aid your weight loss, if this is your goal. If it isn’t, it reduces your chance of gaining weight. Double win!

  • Thirst vs hunger

Habitually, your body confuses thirst with hunger. In effect, you may be thirsty but you body is telling you that you’re experiencing hunger. Without a second thought, you grab a snack. To check whether you are in fact hungry, you should drink a glass of water first and wait for a while. If you’re still hungry afterwards, you should definitely have a bite to eat. But in many instances, you won’t be hungry any more because you weren’t hungry to begin with. On a weight loss journey? Well, you’ve just saved yourself some calories..

  • Flushing out the toxins

You drink water, you lose toxins. It’s no rocket science. The water you drink has to be released (I shall not elaborate on that point..) and, as such, you rid yourself of unwanted substances. Thanks to human civilisation, we now live in an overpopulated world where harmful ingredients in many foods and drinks are commonplace for the sake of meeting the consumption needs of seven billion people. Mass production is at an all time high and we regularly consume a large number of preservatives, additives, etc. Hence, detoxing is as necessary as ever. Drinking water will certainly not solve this crisis but it’s a step in the right direction.

  • Clear skin

Detoxing and clear skin go hand in hand. By eliminating toxins from your body, your skin will ‘breathe’ easily and you’re less likely to break out. Did you say ‘Woop woop’?

‘Where do I start?’

You could always start right here, right now. In addition, I advise you to drink a glass of warm lemon water every single day before your morning caffeine fix and breakfast. It’s a great way to wake up the body and prepare your stomach for what’s to come. Initially, you’ll perhaps need to remind yourself to drink water. I suggest keeping a glass on your desk and by your side at all times. Once you finish it, refill it straight away. Taking small sips throughout the day is the way forward here. No need to shock your body by consuming your entire recommended intake at once. If you find yourself running errands, have a bottle in your bag. If you have to keep track of how much you’re drinking, by all means do so. Before you know it, drinking water will be second nature and you won’t even think twice about it. After all, who turns down tons of energy, a glowing skin, a speedy metabolism and a toxins-free body?

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