If there’s one thing most people could use more of it’s water. As we look to improve our health in the new year, water is a good place to start. A very doable goal. It’s essential for your internal organs and metabolism, and it’s also good for your skin. And since many of us have dry heat circulating in our homes and apartments in the winter, it’s even more important.
In most parts of the country, decent-tasting drinkable water comes out of the tap, and if it doesn’t, then a Brita water filter may do the job. Last time I checked they cost about $35 and came with two filters. If you are trying to increase the volume of water you regularly drink every day, try having it at room temperature. My goal is 75 ounces a day. The National Institutes of Health’s table on Recommended Water Intake suggests women like me who are over 51 years of age drink 2219 ml (or 75 ounces). Don’t over-hydrate, but do get what your body needs. To determine what your body needs according to age, gender, and activity level, here is a link to the table in the article that breaks that down.
I keep a 25-ounce bottle on the counter and make sure I drink three a day. Almost every client I’ve had swears at the outset that they drink plenty of water, but only two of them routinely did. Track your water, if only for a day or two to get an assessment of what you actually drink. One client lines up her three bottles (plain water is contained in these recycled “core” bottles) with her vitamins in the morning to make sure she gets it all in.
Based on personal experience, I find if I get most of my water in before late afternoon, I feel much more energized throughout the day and am less likely to want to snack. Often we confuse hunger with thirst.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, practicing neurosurgeon, and President Obama’s original choice for Surgeon General in 2008, recommends drinking a big glass of water as soon as you wake, explaining that our bodies become dehydrated through the night. Since our brains are 75% water, he states that our organs function more effectively if we hydrate first thing in the morning. His routine is to have 8-16 ounces, which he says contributes to his ability to focus and be energized (Fareed Zakaria GPS, Sept. 7, 2014). Dr. Gupta also stated that in addition to the early morning water he has 2 breakfasts before making hospital rounds at 6 am–one light meal before exercise and then breakfast when he gets finished.