One of the quickest and most convenient changes you can make on your way to a healthier you is to drink an adequate supply of water. Unfortunately, most of us are chronically dehydrated, meaning that we do not get enough of the one ingredient that is essential to life.
Chronic dehydration will not only inhibit exercise performance, but can also lead to headaches, dizziness, fatigue, dry skin, and other unpleasant conditions. Many people are so out of touch with their body’s need for water that they don’t “feel thirsty,” or worse, mistake thirst for hunger.
There are a myriad of benefits to be derived from drinking water: physical, mental and emotional. Water relieves or solves stomach aches, head aches, ulcers, dry skin, high blood pressure, pain from arthritis, allergies, overeating, cravings, and edema (water retention). Adequate water consumption has cured or lessened the effects of constipation, high cholesterol, asthma, depression, diabetes, bulimia, rheumatism, and hangovers. Water decreases the appetite, aids in digestion and gives the skin a youthful, fresh glow. Water also rids the human body of toxins, leaving the tired and weary feeling healthier, more energetic and completely renewed.
The amount of water needed varies by person, height, weight and physical activity. Some say to drink half of your body weight in ounces. However, you need to decide for yourself if this is the right amount for you. A good indication that you have reached the proper amount of water consumption is that your urine will be pale to clear in color.
As with any other fitness change in life, start your increase in water consumption off by using baby steps. If you never drink water, set your goal to drink one glass of water per day for a week. Increase your number of glasses per day after you have successfully completed the previous week’s goal.
Water, if you are not accustomed to it, can be an acquired taste. You may have to be patient while you acquire the taste, but the results are definitely worth it. Log your water intake and try to gradually increase until you reach your healthy goal.
The Adjustment Process
When you first start to drink water, you may feel a bit bloated for a day or two. Desperate for water, your body may retain it, saving every drop as part of a natural survival instinct. Don’t worry, once your body realizes that it is no longer deprived of its water supply, it will begin to release the stored water.
At that point, you may wonder if you will ever see the world outside of your bathroom or public stall again! Don’t worry then, either. The releasing water stage won’t last forever. Eventually your body will adjust to its happy hydration point (what’s known as the “breakthrough point”) and return to normal- only this time, it will be a “new and improved” normal.
Drinking water is a wellness essential. Your New You will wonder how you ever got along without it.
This information should not serve as a replacement for therapy. Please visit the Can Therapy Help Me page for more information if you think you may have an eating disorder, or should require individualized help.
FCCS is directed by Melinda Haynes, MA, California LMFT 102308. Oklahoma LMFT 1153. North Carolina LMFT 2143.