How many times have you looked up at the clock only to realize that you have not drank any water for the last four hours? Its kind of a crummy feeling, kind of like you let your body down right?
There is a reason that water is the most common nutrient deficiency in America and it has everything to do with our beliefs around this life giving substance.
It is a fact that America is lacking intake of water and this is despite it being highly available unlike many locations around the world. Six hundred sixty three million people around the globe live without access to clean water. And yet we are surrounded by flavor that always seems to win out against water.
Water is considered a nutrient along with protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals. It’s critical for every cell in the body, every organ, every system in your body needs water to function correctly. Too little water inhibits oxygen and nutrient flow which ultimately can lead to some early and late signs of dehydration.
These below are some fairly common symptoms that your typical doctor will see a lot and from a nutritional therapy perspective this is also quite common.
So if we know what being dehydrated does to the body and what it feels like why do we not drink more of it?
If you are like most people there are some serious hang-ups around drinking water. Changing how we do things is a matter of changing our beliefs around something. Some of the most common beliefs about water below and followed by strategies to drink more:
#1 is that water is just boring. We value taste the most among those things we consume and there is a time and a place for this. However, in order to really be healthy you just have to accept that somethings are beneficial to the body and that taste is a bonus but not required.
#2 is that we just forget. We often get so wrapped up in what we are doing that we just simply forget to drink water and sometimes at long stretches at that. So then what happens is you mass consume large quantities thinking that you will overcome lost hours. It doesn’t work like this. The body can only handle so much water at a time and you will end up flushing most of it rather quickly along with valuable electrolytes
#3 Like the first one, we choose taste and select dehydrating beverages like soda, fruit juices and coffee among others
#4 I am not thirsty. By the time you start experiencing signs of dehydration it’s too late. The #1 thing to remember about this is that drinking water daily and lots of it is a good habit to build. If you drink it without being thirsty and get in the habit of doing this your body will run as efficiently as possible.
#5 The water fountain is nasty. I cannot say that I am a fan of the water fountain. That’s why I always try to have a water bottle with me. There are studies that indicate public water fountains pose low risk to those that are healthy. However, some of these levels are high enough to impact those with weakened immune systems. This is all about developing good habits. Get in the habit of bringing a non-plastic filtered water bottle from home when you can.
#6 Plastic water bottles are wasteful. Indeed they are, that’s why I have a stainless steel water bottle with me everywhere. You don’t have to drink out of plastic bottles. It’s a great choice to use a stainless steel reusable water bottle.
#7 I don’t like carrying it. I will say that this can be kind of a PITA. In some instances it doesn’t make sense to carry it with you and can be a nuisance. But in cases like this I will typically have a water bottle in the car. Once again it’s non-plastic so any heat up of the bottle is okay.
#8 I have to pee all the time. At first this can be very annoying, but once your body adjusts and as long as you are not gulping your water this will subside.
First some key points to help you be successful:
I mentioned a few things in the eight beliefs about water that you can use to work around the belief system. Let’s expand on this and dive into some strategies to help you consume the proper amount of water daily.
Dispel Your Beliefs Around Water
#1 Water is boring
#3 – We prefer things that taste better/sweeter over water
Your body is definitely crying for water as Dr. Batmanghelidj explains in his book “Your Body’s Many Cries for Water”. The one thing that I see a lot of people do is confuse hunger with thirst. The body’s first reaction that you feel is a sense of being hungry when in reality you are craving water.
Drinking water is like any other habit, it needs to be cultivated for an extended period of time before it becomes second nature to you. With the ideas in this post, you can do this! You can actually become better with drinking water. If something here doesn’t work for you, look for other ways to get better with this. I guarantee you that this is the simplest thing you can do to improve your health. Thanks for reading and following us. I hope this helps to develop better habits. If you have any questions or need some guidance please reach out through our contact page
Ian Sandage is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner who speaks from the personal experience of someone with autoimmune disease and the highs and lows of a health journey