We all know that we should be drinking more water (well, except for this one fella I work with who likes to debate everything!) So for a very long time, I've been working at trying to drink at least 8 glasses (64 ounces of water a day). Recently though, I learned that I actually need even more than that! Regardless of what study I've read, they all seem to agree, that you need more if you exercise and that the number of ounces you need should co-relate to your body weight (in some way)...
I could go into the benefits of drinking water; I could talk about how important it is that your kidneys not become dehydrated; and I could point out that, generally, by the time you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated...but I won't, instead I'll just talk about the amazing apparatus I've found to help me drink more water... It's called, (big breathe of anticipation!), 'the straw'! I've tried all sorts of water bottles (Amanda will tell you that there are three on my desk as I speak), but they don't help me to drink more (and many of them actually make me not want to drink at all). I've tried bottled waters. I've tried adding a wedge of lemon, lime or orange to my water, but the bottom line is, I still wasn't drinking enough water. Then one day I read an article that said that we generally drink more of beverages when we use a straw. Simple? ...so I tried it...instead of drinking out of a strange water bottle, I pour my water into a glass (novel idea?!) and I drink it through a straw...and I'm finally beginning to drink the amount of water I should each day (ta-da!)
Here's an article from Balance TV today about the benefits of water, sleep, and less stress...
The 3 Basics for Optimal Health
Thursday, March 10, 2005
Water, sleep and relaxation. Most of us don?t realize how important these elements are to achieving optimal health.
Brad King, author of Fat Wars: The Un-Diet Plan, joined Balance Television host Dr. Marla Shapiro to convince everyone to get back to basics.
"If you look at the average North American out there today you would think that their bodies are comprised of...75 per cent coffee, juice or pop," King said. "We have to understand that the human body is comprised of water, nothing takes the place of water."
The average person out there is always complaining of a lack of energy,
King noted. Water is the primary substance that gives the body its energy
"It does this by breaking apart a very high-energy compound we call ATP," King explained. "Without water we can't break that energy compound apart and we can't produce that optimal energy we're all designed to produce."
Despite being made with water, coffee won't do the job because it actually causes the body to dehydrate, King said. Even juice won?t cut it unless it has all of the natural pulp and natural seeds. If it's your typical juice that's very high in sugar, it will just be sugar to the body.
"Water is water to the body," he said. "Nothing will replace that.?"
King's formula daily water intake is as follows: Take your body weight in
pounds and half of that is how many ounces the average person should be taking in in a day.
"The average person nowadays does not get the recommended amount of sleep," King said. "We're getting less than six hours of sleep on average and we know sleep researchers have been arguing about this for a long time - we need on average about eight hours and 15 minutes of restorative sleep every single night.?"
Many people are deficient in an important compound called tryptophan that comes from some protein containing foods, King said. When we're highly stressed, we deplete this amino acid and then by evening time we don't have enough of it to produce the sleep hormone called melatonin.
King suggests eating protein throughout the day and not just eating it in
the evening. Also, he believes people shouldn?t eat anywhere up to three
hours before going to bed so not to overstimulate the hormone called
insulin and put your body into fat-storage mode.
"We're a very stressed out society and what we perceive actually becomes reality in the body in the face of danger," King said. "We have to understand that we produce the exact same fight or flight response - whether it is actual or whether it is perceived."
In the evenings Kind explained, when we have very low levels of a
neuro-chemical called serotonin, people crave junk foods such as chocolate, cookies and potato chips.
"If we eat these foods, we stimulate insulin which brings our seratonin
levels up for a only very short period of time until we have low blood
sugar and we crave them once again," he said. "It's a roller coaster ride.
So we have to get our stress response in check especially if we want to
eliminate the nasty cravings at night."