Whether you are in the middle of a weight loss routine, a detoxification program, a juice fast or just trying to keep yourself healthy, proper hydration is one of the best things you can do for your body.
In order to keep all of its muscle and organ systems in tip-top shape, to process nutrients, and to release and eliminate toxins, your body needs adequate hydration every day. Just like a car’s engine needs oil to keep all its parts working together smoothly, your body’s “engine” needs water for the same reason.
So now we know what we have to do. We have to hydrate, hydrate and hydrate some more. And with good, clean water, because chemical-laden soda pop and caffeinated beverages don’t count. We want to lessen our toxic load, not increase it with sugary, processed liquids, right? Right.
But how much water do we need every day, and how do we get it? Never fear, we’re going to answer these questions right now. Here are some helpful tips on achieving heavenly hydration habits:
How Much Hydration—
The general consensus among medical experts seems to be that the average person needs at least 64 ounces—that’s 8 glasses—of water a day to stay healthy. We all come in different shapes and sizes, and we do receive hydration from food and non-water beverages, so if you’re not hitting the 64 ounce-per-day water mark, don’t panic, just do your best.
Did you know that vegetables can help you hydrate? You can also drink your vegetables in the form of fresh fruit and vegetable juices. No matter how you get those life-giving veggies into your system, just do it, because they are loaded with water (often up to 90%), and that counts toward your daily hydration. In addition to their high water content, fruits and vegetables are full of the cancer-fighting vitamins, minerals and amino acids your body needs to stay running smoothly.
Good Morning, Water—
Many raw food, fresh juice fasters and detox diet fans swear that starting every day with two 8 ounce glasses of water upon waking is a great way to wake up your organs and metabolism after a long night of rest, as well as helping to clear accumulated toxins the body has worked out overnight. If cold water is too much for you first thing in the morning, try leaving a closed container with 16 ounces of fresh water on the nightstand, and guzzle it easily at room temperature before you even get out of bed
Water with Meals—
Studies have also found that people who drink 1-2 glasses of water before every meal lose weight and keep it off. This may work by filling your stomach somewhat before meals, keeping you from overeating, and by getting the digestive system moving in preparation for the arrival of food.
Another trick super-hydrators recommend is using the reminder function of your cell phone to set off “hydration nudges” to go off throughout the day, reminding you to drink a glass of water. If you’re having trouble drinking your eight glasses a day, set eight well-spaced out reminders to keep yourself on track.
Fruit is Fun—
Not only does fruit floating in water look pretty, it can add nutrients and give it a delicious flavor that will encourage you to drink more. Berries, melon, oranges, limes and lemon are fruited-water favorites, but don’t discount the vegetables, as cucumber is also a tasty contender.
Obviously, staying hydrated can help us lose weight by making us feel physically full, and by eliminating those annoying moments we all have when we are thirsty, but decide to nibble instead. And despite the hopes and wishes of millions, water doesn’t help us lose weight by magically washing away the calories ingested or the fat our bodies have already stored.
But if we are working out and trying to eat healthfully by including lots of fruits, vegetables and fresh juices in our diets, drinking plenty of water can help us achieve our goals of glowing skin, a toned, fit body, detoxification and great overall health.
Jennifer Fox is a nutrition consultant. She enjoys sharing her tips and insights on various health and lifestyle topics. Click here for more information about the juice detox diet.