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Goal of the Week: Mas Agua, Por Favor!

March 22, 2010

The single healthiest thing you can do.

Last week, I set out to develop a workout plan and stick with it.  One week down, goal accomplished.  Now let’s just keep it going (you are holding me accountable, right?)

So this week’s goal is….More Water.  I know the benefits of drinking lots of water, I’ve been there, done that.  Yet, I had fallen into a pattern of drinking Coffee all the time (which depletes your body of water), and then only drinking about half a glass of water with lunch and then dinner.  Certainly not enough.  Wondering why water is so important?

I don’t even know where to begin…

  • Water regulates body temperature, transports nutrients, protects joints and organs.
  • Water flushes all the toxins out that your body builds up as you exercise (think all that lactic acid in your muscles that makes you sore – drink more water to help flush that crud out!)
  • Oxygen feeds your muscles when you’re working out – water helps get the oxygen there so your muscles don’t fatigue as quickly.
  • A healthy diet should be high in fiber.  Fiber without enough water = constipation.  ‘Nuff said.
  • Most importantly, water keeps you hydrated!  Dehydration will give you more aches and pains, headaches, constipation (ick), drier hair, nails, skin.  Generally feel like crap. Plus – dehydration slows the fat-burning process!  That right there is a no-brainer.

Okay, so how much to drink?  That’s where my Goal of the Week comes in.  I’ve done quite a bit of reading up on this topic and, while there are many opinions, I like the logic of this rule:  Take your body weight (in my case, around 150lbs), cut that in half.  That’s how many ounces you should drink per day – so for me, my new water intake goal is 75 ounces per day. I’m drinking out of 16oz glasses throughout the day, so I’m good with about 4 1/2 glasses of water a day.

In addition, I drink coffee, more some days than others.  So drink an additional ounce of water for each ounce of coffee. Same for alcohol – those nasty hangovers have more to do with being dehydrated than anything.

So that’s my goal of the week – shouldn’t be too hard, as I actually started this late last week when I realized that my increased activity was making me feel constantly thirsty. A few more points before I sign off:

  • If you are thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.  So drink up in advance of activities (like working out!) that are going to make you thirsty.
  • I like to add  lemon to my water – it increases the toxin-flushing benefits of the water, adds extra vitamin C, aids in digestion, and a million and one other health benefits.  I keep a cut up lemon in a baggy in the fridge.  Easy-peasy.
  • Honestly, one of the best ways to start the day is drink a glass of water.  It rehydrates you and takes care of many of your cloudy, ache & painy feelings in the morning!  I have definitely found that my need for coffee has decreased since I increased my water intake!
  • My body has already adjusted to the increase level, so my every-30-minutes trips to the bathroom have already passed!
  • If you really hate the taste of water, try the lemon (or orange or lime).  If that doesn’t work, you can go the Crystal Light route, but be aware that it is fake sugar.  Overall, make sure you’re not overindulging in “flavored waters” that are not only expensive, but have added calories.
  • Speaking of expense – water is free.  I suggest investing in some water bottles and a water filter, but seriously, we’re blessed to have clean, running water, so drink up!
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