We have all heard and have probably been bombarded with this: “You need to be drinking 8 cups a water a day!” I have heard it like 17 trillion times, and it gets super old. Right?
We know we should be doing this. If you do this, if you drink 8 cups a day, please put your name in the comments so that we can all clap for you.
Most of us don’t. We know we should, and yet we’re not doing it. A few years ago I heard of a book that had an awesome title and has stuck with me (I never read the book…I probably should since it’s my favorite book title ever…): “Your Body’s Many Cries for Water”. I think about that all the time! In what ways is my body crying for water? Other than just thirst, that is. It’s a fascinating idea.
In the health world, there are so many should’s. We should be drinking more water. We should be getting 8 hours of sleep a night. We should be eating 5 servings of vegetables a day. We should this we should that. It’s like piling bricks on our shoulders sometimes because we should but we’re not so we’re failures and we should just throw in the towel.
It becomes this all-or-nothing mentality that if we’re not doing it all the way, we shouldn’t do it at all. If you feel that way, you’re not alone. I feel that’s a trap for most of us.
We start a new diet and think “I’m going to do this all the way!” and then we slip up and say “forget it, I’m going to go back to eating Captain Crunch every day” or whatever it is. This all-or-nothing trap stops us from making real progress.
Because honestly, any step in the right direction is cause for celebration! If you drink 1 glass of water a day, it’s way better than none! If you get 7 hours of sleep instead of two, cool! If you eat one serving of vegetables, that’s better than none!
When I say that, you think duh, obviously! But if you’ve ever fallen into that trap of all-or-nothing, you may forget that. That’s what I want to help everyone step out of because it stops us from making real progress.
So back to water, the 8 cups we know we should be drinking a day. We often get stuck in these gimmicks: We get one of those big awkward, unwieldy jugs to help us drink more and it’s awkward and difficult and probably not something you’re going to do every day for the rest of your life. Or maybe you start tracking your water in some app.
It may work for a little while, but it’s probably not going to work forever.
So we need to take these things we should do and figure out how we can at least do them part way all the time. Not all or nothing. Not drink 8 cups of water a day for a week and then don’t drink any water for a month. Because that does just as much damage as never doing anything at all.
This week I’ll be sharing some easy, simple, tiny baby steps to help you drink more water each day. This won’t be a gimmick, I’m not going to tell you to track anything. You probably know I’m kind of anti-numbers/tracking when it comes to overall health and wellness because it’s not sustainable for most people.
We won’t be hauling around a big jug to fill up with water. I just want us to become more aware of our water consumption.
Here’s a bit of the science on why our body needs water, and a lot of it:
Our body is basically composed of water – 60% water! If you weighed yourself, 60% of that is water! Every cell in your body, every metabolic process requires water to function. If you go without water for 3 days, you will die. You can go without food for a couple weeks…maybe even longer (and it probably depends on the body), but we cannot live without water. It is so vital to every single aspect of our biology.
Water affects our every system, the circulation of nutrients in our blood stream, the health of your skin (if you’re dehydrated it will be rough and patchy, maybe sunken in). Dehydration has a big effect on your mood – if you’re moody, you might be dehydrated!
You need water to flush out the waste in your body. Of course we think of our colon (urination) and how that digestive process needs water, but also sweat! If we’re not hydrated, our skin is a huge part of our detoxification process and our body gets rid of a lot of junk through our sweat! So if we’re not drinking enough water to be sweating then those toxins are accumulating and causing all sorts of untold damage.
Those are a few of the simple sciences behind why we need to drink more water. But I don’t want you to feel like you should so if you don’t drink more water you’re a failure. It’s not like that. I want to have this thing where we just take baby steps and have fun with it! A guilt-free, stress-free attempt to tune in with our body’s needs for water.