Anytime I think about talking about water I think of the Adam Sandler movie, The Water Boy. Sandler’s character is obsessed with water. When water is talked about it seems like a no brainer. Water is water, H2O. 2 parts hydrogen and 1 Oxygen molecule make water, water. Right? As so I thought. One day while I was talking with a friend I got educated on water. I was given several insights that I had never considered and as everyone else does I just drank water.
Let’s start with the basics.
How much water should you consume in a day? The general recommendation is 8 eight-ounce glasses a day. It’s called the 8X8 rule. The crazy thing is that your body is 60% water, give or take. A good rule of thumb is like the old sprite commercials, obey your thirst. If you're thirsty, drink! If you are working out and getting your sweat on make sure you rehydrate! Simple right? Drinking enough water has many health benefits.
A study of more than 18,300 US adults showed that as they consumed more water their calorie intake decreased. As they drank more water, they drank less drinks that contained sugar, sodium, saturated fat, and cholesterol. I have noticed in my own experiences similar results. You receive the weight loss benefit, but you also receive an increase in energy. In most cases when most people look at grabbing something to drink, they end up grabbing something high in sugar to drink or otherwise unhealthy. This goes to show that by making small changes to your diet can lead to a healthier you.
Body Make Up
Because your body is made up of water, drinking more water effects your body on a cellular level. It makes your skin shine, your blood pressure decreases, your guts work more efficiently, and cleanses your kidneys. So, with these benefits drinking water along with a healthy diet and exercise can increase your fitness results. Medical research continues to explain and show the positive effects of drinking water, but I noticed and questioned a trend that I started to see. Why, are there so many options for drinking water at your local convenience store?
Walk into any store and you have a choice from Aquafina, Arrow Head, Sparkling water, mineral water, seltzer water, Voss, Smartwater, ect. The list goes on and on. Do you know that in 2017 convenience stores sold $4.3 billion in water and only $2.8 billion in sports drinks? Those were the most recent numbers I could find, but the trend from 2017 to 2019 was that sugary sports drinks were on a decline in popularity. People are looking for healthy alternatives. What’s the difference between all these waters? All these questions sprouted from a conversation I had with a friend while he was drinking seltzer water. Water alkalinity, minerals, or supplements in the water are a few of the areas that can influence your body.
Alkaline Water and PH
There is a question of whether drinking alkaline water will make you less likely to be diagnosed with cancer. This is false. There has been a study about how drinking alkaline water will increase blood viscosity. Other studies show that your body is efficient at keeping its own PH. When you consume high PH water your body basically pees out the PH imbalance. I know this might be weird and I don’t know how many people out there inspect their pee, but pee color can tell you where your at on being hydrated.
With the discussion of alkaline water, we can talk about mineral water and spring water. These waters have electrolytes. When I think of electrolytes I think about the movie, Idiocracy. The scene where they talk about what electrolytes are. I use this example because who really knows what an electrolyte is. When you sweat you deplete your body of minerals and well water. Spring water and mineral water have some of those “electrolytes” needed to rehydrate your body. It is subject to debate and there are studies that show drinking spring water/mineral water quench your thirst better than purified water. Purified water is water run through a filter or through a process like reverse osmosis. All this information is found on the waters label. The labels tell you if its filtered, spring water, or filtered water with additives that provide you with electrolytes.
Dehydration results in fatigue. The reason for this fatigue is that without consuming the right amount of water your blood volume level decreases. With a decrease in blood volume your heart works harder to push blood through your body. Your body does not work efficiently without water. This fatigue can also affect your brain. Studies show that drinking water can alleviate head aches and migraines. Your brain is surrounded by water and when you are dehydrated your brain shrinks. When you re-hydrate your brain and take a couple of pain relievers it helps rid you of your headache. I have experienced many of these signals and know when I start feeling this way I need to drink more.
Be calm and drink on!
Don’t stress about drinking enough water or what type of water you drink. Listen to your body. You’ll know when you need a little extra H2O. The biggest problem I’ve had is when I drink more, I have more frequent trips to the bathroom. This can help in two ways. Keeps you moving so you burn more calories and, on those days your sore it can help you keep those muscles stretched. Find your favorite water and drink on!