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Raise a Glass (of Water) to Your Health!

glassofwater

Recently, I started to issue mini weekly challenges to the Optimal Health Community. These challenges have been small—give someone a compliment, do an extra five push-ups, drink an extra glass of water—and that’s by design. The Habits of Health system is not based on sudden, radical changes in lifestyle. Instead, we use small, sustainable changes to help you undergo a transformation that is not only more manageable but is more likely to last for the long term.

This week, I challenged everyone to drink an extra glass of water a day. This might seem like something that’s too small to make that much of a difference, but it turns out that 50% or more of Americans don’t drink enough water. But what does that mean? Why is water so important?

To start, water is a critical component of your body, making up between 55 and 60 percent of your weight. Your body can’t store water—unlike fat—so you need to replenish it often. In fact, we lose nearly 12 cups of water every day. That’s why drinking at least eight glasses a day is a core Habit of Health. Water helps remove toxins and other unhealthy substances stored in your fat cells, and being well-hydrated helps all your organs and systems function properly.

In fact, every function in your body takes place in water. It’s the solvent that moves nutrients, hormones, antibodies, and oxygen through your bloodstream and lymphatic system. It’s also essential to your kidney’s ability to filter and eliminate metabolic byproducts and toxins.

In short, water is really important to your health.

When you don’t drink enough water, your body becomes less efficient. You might feel more tired. You might feel cranky and find it hard to focus. When you start to feel this way, you are also less likely to exercise and more prone to overeating. I hope you are starting to see how big of an impact a few small glasses of water can have!

Whether you are losing weight or moving into other phases of your Optimal Health journey, here are some of the benefits of drinking your daily water quota:

  • It’s calorie free but helps you feel full and satisfied.
  • It keeps you from overeating. Studies have shown that when we feel hungry, 30 percent of the time our bodies are actually signaling for water.
  • It facilitates the removal of toxins such as pesticides and preservatives from your cells.
  • It prevents dehydration as your body eliminates excess salt and water from a diet of too much processed food.
  • It minimizes or eliminates fatigue, lack of energy, headaches, and unclear thinking.
  • It speeds up metabolism. A recent study showed that drinking two 8-ounce glasses of cold water increased metabolic rate by 30 percent for 90 minutes.
  • It helps your liver convert fat to energy.
  • It compensates for the loss of glycogen stores as you lose weight.

What are you waiting for? Go fill your glass with water and drink-up!

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