I suffered from a kidney infection about six years ago. It was a scary and painful experience. After my recovery, my doctor suggested some diet changes that I should make in my life. One change was to drink more water!
Water plays a very important role in our human lives and is critical for maintaining various bodily functions such as good digestion, excretion, cellular reaction and body temperature regulation. Our body weight comprises of approximately 60 to 70 percent of water; therefore it is necessary that we have a sufficient intake of water daily. Lack of water could leave our bodies dehydrated, which could lead to health issues in the long run.
Having a sufficient amount of water every day is important for the following reasons:
- It helps you lose weight as it can act as an appetite suppressant. For example, by drinking a glass of water half an hour prior to each meal will make you feel full and as a result you will eat less. After the kidney infection incident, I definitely had to watch my sodium intake. Drinking plenty of water helped flush out excess sodium that leads to fluid retention and also helps with the digestion of the food.
- It regulates your blood volume, which will reduce the risk of cardiovascular or heart diseases like heart attacks and high blood pressure.
- It cleans out the toxins from our bodies through urination and sweat, which will prevent the risks of kidney stones and urinary tract infections.
- It will keep you hydrated and your energy levels up. Being dehydrated can lead to fatigue, muscle weakness and etc. It also cures headaches - trust me I have tried!
- It reduces the potential for colon cancer, breast cancer and bladder cancer.
- It gives you healthy looking skin.
- Drinking water helps maintain a healthy digestive system. It can also help cure stomach acid and constipation.
- It keeps you hydrated during exercising and athletic activities as you can lose a lot of water from sweating.
The amount of water intake you need can be calculated by taking your body weight (lbs) and dividing that number in half. The answer in ounces is the amount of water you should drink daily. If you exercise regularly, you should definitely increase your water intake and ensure you drink before, during and after exercise.
If you have trouble drinking a sufficient amount of water on a regular basis, here are some suggestions to help:
- Carry a bottle - Carrying a water bottle is very handy and it ensures you will have water with you all the time. Keep a bottle at your desk at work. If it is in front of you, you will tend to drink it.
- Fancy up your Water - Squeeze a slice of lemon or put a few slices of cucumber in your water. It will give the water a refreshing taste. I do this every day at work and I find that I do drink more water.
- Substitute Water - Instead of ordering a soda or alcoholic drink, ask for a glass of sparkling water.
- Filter - Purchasing water bottles by the case or individually can get expensive. Instead, opt for a water filter for your home. If you see it in the fridge, you will tend to drink more.