The best thing you can do for yourself each day is so simple, but it's often overlooked.
I know this because I myself — a person who cares a great deal about healthy living — have neglected it for years.
What is it? Drink enough water.
And even more importantly: drink some first thing.
That's right; get up in the morning and before doing anything else — except maybe going to the bathroom 😉 — drink a glass of water.
Here's why. During the night, we lose water. We get dehydrated. Either slightly or majorly, depending on our overall hydration level. Drinking in the morning replenishes our body with essential liquids to keep us sharp, productive, energetic, and “regular” (*ahem*).
Your body needs water for everything! Water helps flush out toxins, carry nutrients to cells, provides a moist environment for your ears, nose and throat, keeps your digestive and elimination systems flowing, and more.
My Story: Chronic Dehydration
Recently, I realized that I was chronically dehydrated. I could tell because my skin was more dry, my mouth felt dry and thirsty, and I started to have elimination issues. (Sorry for TMI, but I really want you to know the truth.)
Then I listened to a podcast where Shawn Stevenson from The Model Health Show was the guest, and he talked about the importance of taking an “inner” bath each morning by drinking 3 to 4 cups of water upon waking. He said: most people bathe outwardly each morning to get ready for the day, but taking an inner bath is even more important.
I'll tell you what… the very first day I woke up and drank water, I got instant results. This confirmed for me that I have been dehydrated, and I vowed to turn it around.
And now, after many weeks of drinking first thing in the morning and then regularly throughout the day, I am much improved. I'm committed to keeping it this way!
How Much Water Do You Need?
Our needs for water vary according to who we are, our activity level, and outside conditions. The old adage of “8 cups a day” may not be true for you. You may need more; you may need less. How do you know?
Well, do you feel thirsty? That's a sign you should drink more.
Are you constipated? That's another sign.
Dry skin, nails, hair? Yep. Drink more.
Not losing weight? Though many factors are at work here, perhaps simply drinking more water will help.
You will know best whether or not you're dehydrated.
If you're not sure, try drinking more water for a day or two just to see if anything improves — perhaps your mental clarity, your outlook on life, or things you didn't really realize were suffering.
What Kind of Water?
Not all water is created equal. Fluoridated, chlorinated municipal water is not a good choice for drinking water. In fact, it could be considered poisonous.
Good water choices are: clean well water; clean and true spring water; or filtered water.
This post will not cover filtering options, but I do need to say that reverse osmosis filtered water has had minerals removed and so re-mineralization is necessary to make it healthful. (In my recipe below, I add liquimins.)
For more information on filtering that removes the bad stuff but not the minerals, take a look at the Big Berkey water filter from our friends at The Berkey.
Can You Drink Too Much Water?
You don't need to guzzle your water in huge quantities. Go ahead and take your first waking hour to drink 3 to 4 cups of water. Because actually, it can be dangerous to drink too much water at once. Here's what could happen:
“…if you drink too much water, the sodium levels in your blood may drop to dangerously low levels, causing hyponatremia — a condition in which your cells swell with too much water. While most of your body's cells can handle this swelling, your brain cells cannot, and most of the symptoms are caused by brain swelling. This condition is most common among athletes, although anyone can be affected by drinking excessive amounts of water.” —source: Dr. Mercola
So take your time (but not too much time). Some sources say about a quart an hour is an amount that a normal body can handle well.
Your water can come in the form of plain water, water with flavors or ingredients added, tea, or the water that's naturally part of foods like fruits, vegetables, and broth. It's all water your body can use.
Did you notice my jar of water in the picture? It's not plain water, is it? It's actually my “lemonade water”.
I have a hard time drinking plain water first thing in the morning. Even though we have good, clean well water, it doesn't taste good to me at that time of day. I can take a sip or two, but I can't drink a glass without feeling like gagging. (And I'm not normally a picky eater, either.)
So instead, I drink this lemonade water. In addition to the lemon juice, I add raw apple cider vinegar and minerals, plus a bit of liquid stevia to balance the sour. Why ACV, you ask? Check out 5 Health Benfits of Apple Cider Vinegar to learn more. I find it delicious, easy to drink, and very refreshing!
- 2 to 4 tablespoons lemon juice or lime juice*
- 1 to 3 teaspoons raw apple cider vinegar
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 2 to 3 drops liquimins
- 3 to 4 drops liquid stevia extract
In a quart size jar (or double this recipe and fill a half gallon jar), combine all ingredients.
Then fill the jar to the top with good, clean water.
These are loose amounts; adjust up or down to suit your tastes. Stainless steel drinking straw is optional. 😉
*I found a jar of organic lemon juice in the refrigerated, organic, produce section of our grocery store. For about $8, it contains the equivalent of the juice from 40 organic lemons -- a great deal. 🙂
I often make a quart size jar plus a 1/2 gallon jar at the same time — then I've got plenty to drink in the morning and throughout the day. It's a time saver and ensures that in the busy-ness of the day, my water is already waiting for me.
The jar pictured is a 2-1/2 cup freezer mason jar. It's nice because it fits in the cup holder of a vehicle. Here's our tutorial on making your own DIY Mason Jar Drinking Cup.
If you think you're dehydrated (or maybe if you aren't really sure), do this for 30 days and report back: make an effort to drink water each morning and throughout the day.
Then let me know what it does for you!
Have you noticed an improvement in your health when drinking more water? Do you need to drink more water?
This post was featured in 15 Natural Energy-Boosting Drinks — No Caffeine Allowed! and 16 Tips to Heal and Prevent Dry Winter Skin…Naturally!
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