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Adequate daily water intake is an essential, non-negotiable part of a healthy lifestyle.

     Hi there, it’s Elaine Gardner, founder of DesignYourHealthyLife.com and today I want to talk to you about water. If you are not a fan of water, please stay with me anyway. This is a non-negotiable habit that you need to develop, that will serve you all the days of your life. We will die faster without water than we would without food. And while most people are aware of this, most people would not consider going even a day without food. And yet some people consider not having any water in their day-to-day life. I’m here to tell you that, if you’re not a water drinker, here’s some tough love delivery: you’re going to have to suck it up and learn how to love water because it really is a non-negotiable part of a healthy lifestyle on a day-to-day basis.

     While everybody is aware that severe dehydration can kill you, most people aren’t aware that even just a mild level of dehydration can contribute to not feeling your best on a day-to-day basis. Some of the symptoms that are possible with even mild dehydration are fatigue, headaches, constipation, lightheadedness, dizziness, weakness, heart palpitations, confusion, fainting and muscle cramps. And while a lot of these symptoms are very common and a lot of people experience some of these on a day-to-day basis, most people aren’t considering that a lack of water may be at the root of most of these symptoms. So there’s no way that you can feel your best on a day-to-day basis if you don’t have adequate water in your system.

     The general rule for water intake is to take your body weight, divide it in two, and aim for that amount in ounces of water every single day. If you’re not drinking anywhere near that, I wouldn’t encourage you to go immediately from where you’re at to what you should be doing on a day-to-day basis because it will probably be rather irritating for you because you’ll end up spending a lot of time in the bathroom having to urinate frequently. But if you take where you’re at now and know what your goal is supposed to be on a day-to-day basis, and work your way up to it slowly, your body will adjust as you go. And you won’t have to urinate as frequently. And you will get adjusted to it over time. Also, one of the ways to gauge whether you’re properly hydrated or not is by looking at the color of your urine because it actually should be light yellow. If you have dark yellow urine, you’re definitely not getting enough water on a day-to-day basis. Water is 2/3 of the human body, so it really is a critical factor of every single function of your body. And I think it’s something that’s still not well understood.

     I can completely relate if you don’t like water. I’ve been there personally so I completely understand that. But I’m also going to deliver some tough love with that. Even if you don’t like water, you still need to develop that habit. And you cannot substitute other drinks in place of water. That is a very common misconception. So, even if you don’t like water, again I’ve been there. I understand that. I’ve made it a daily habit for me so I know you can do it too. Really, it’s all about being committed. If you’re committed to feeling your best on a day-to-day basis and having clear mental focus and good energy, then water is really a non-negotiable piece. And when you make the commitment to feeling your best and understanding that water is a non-negotiable part of that, just start working your way up to getting more water into your system on a day-to-day basis.

     Even if you truly don’t like the taste of water, just chug it and chase it. So, take a 2 ounce glass of water or a 4 ounce glass of water, whatever you can handle, and drink it as fast as you can, and have a little bit of something else that you’re accustomed to drinking right behind it, if you really need to develop the taste for that right now. Again, you cannot replace water with anything else. So if you’re drinking fruit juices or soda, or even decaffeinated herbal teas… there’s a long list of beverages but none of those are going to replace water. In fact, some of those are actually going to increase your need for water. If you’re drinking any kind of caffeine, even if it’s something like green tea that has health benefits to it, it’s still caffeine and caffeine is diuretic in nature. Coffee is the same way, it has lots of caffeine, even if it’s decaffeinated, it still has caffeine in it. And as a diuretic, caffeine actually pulls water from your body, so it actually increases the demand for your body’s need for water.

     Warm weather, when you’re sweating or in the hot sun, even if you don’t feel like you’re sweating, you’re still passing more water out through your skin as your body attempts to keep itself cool and regulate its temperature. So any kind of exposure to warm weather, especially if you’re exercising and sweating a lot, is also going to increase your need for water. So your daily intake for water is a daily basis, but other additional activities like drinking caffeine or heavy activity is also going to increase your need for water. So you need to add on to that.

     And there are many different types of water available. While most people have municipal water supplies which have contaminants in them, and that water may not taste very good and it may not be a good thing for you to drink that kind of water, that’s another whole loaded topic that we’ll address at another time. But the point is to encourage you to experiment with water and find something that you do like the taste of and that you can live with and get into on a day-to-day basis. Again it’s a non-negotiable habit if you’re going to feel your best. And you need to feel your best if you’re going to be able to live the life that you deserve.