The following article was written by Heinen’s Chief Dietitian, Melanie Jatsek RD, LD.
Water covers 71% of the Earth’s surface. That’s no accident! Water is essential to the life of all things, from the tiniest blade of grass to the most complex beings like you and me.
Think of your body like an ocean, made up of 60% water. Your brain is 80% water, and your heart and skin are around 75% water. Water is critical for survival, but when it comes to our health, we tend to focus more on food. In reality, drinking water is even more crucial for your general health and survival.
Water: The Elixir of Life
It’s been said that water is the most important nutrient because it benefits your body in the following ways:
- Regulates body temperature
- Lubricates joints
- Flushes out waste products
- Carries nutrients and oxygen to cells
- Prevents and alleviates constipation
- Helps dissolve nutrients from the food you eat so your body can use them
The benefits of water don’t stop there! When it comes to hair, skin and nails:
- Water comprises one-quarter of a healthy strand of hair. When you are properly hydrated, your hair gains strength and volume.
- Dehydrated skin lacks moisture from the inside and may appear dry, itchy, dull and wrinkled. Drinking plenty of fresh water is essential to restoring more youthful-looking skin.
- A hydrated person’s nail plate is 18% water. Anything less will cause nails to become brittle and fragile.
How Much Water Should you Drink?
Many calculations exist for determining how much water you should be drinking daily. I have found that the most reliable way to test hydration status is to simply look at the color of your urine. If it is pale yellow and almost clear, you are well hydrated. On the other hand, if your urine is the color of apple juice or beer, this is a sure sign you are dehydrated and need to drink more water.
Understand that your water requirements fluctuate based on several conditions. Body weight, hot weather, illness, exercise and thirst all demand that you drink more water. Keep in mind that once you begin feeling thirsty, your body is already dehydrated. So don’t wait until you get to that point.
Start by drinking 48 ounces of water each day and increase from there, if necessary.
When Plain Water Gets Boring
Without a doubt, plain, well-filtered water is your best bet. But sometimes it can get, well, a little boring! Lucky for you, there are several options to break up the monotony.
- Squeeze a lemon, lime or orange into your water, or drop in a few cucumber slices.
- Make your own fruit-infused water or pick up a few bottles of Hint water from Heinen’s.
- Brew a pot of unsweetened matcha green tea and pour it over ice for a delicious beverage that’s loaded with antioxidants.
- Add a scoop of Ancient Nutrition Super Greens powder to your water. It’s a delicious way to stay hydrated and get a dose of greens, fruits, herbs and probiotics.
- Crack open a bottle of Heinen’s sparkling water. With several flavors to choose from, you’ll never get bored!
The fastest way to fail at anything in life is to submit to the belief that massive change is necessary to receive benefit. Nowhere is this fallacy more prevalent than with one’s health. Since water is the most important substance to your body, it only makes sense to start there. Beautiful hair, skin and nails are the cherries on top of a rich “sundae” of benefits that come with a well-hydrated body.