Water park, water gun, watermelon, water balloon fight. Water is the ever popular topic of many summertime conversations. Whether we are going to it, getting in it, freezing it, misting it, or otherwise mixing it up, it seems we just can’t get enough. It’s a powerful force that can sustain life or destroy it in a matter of moments.We hear about the importance of keeping it clean and consuming enough constantly; and somehow adequate hydration, for many of the people I know, is the exception and not the rule. I myself think I drink enough, but most times my urine is classic crayola yellow which means I’m dehydrated. Apparently you can leave a girl a water, but you can’t make her drink…(HA! See what I did there?) At any rate, I find this confusing. I’m grasping at excuses for our widespread dehydration but I can’t find any good ones. I propose we try to fix this; make this hydration thing a “WILL DO” instead of a “probably should.” For the next three weeks, I’m inviting you to join me in a challenge to just have water. At meal times and workouts; any time you drink, I invite you to just have water instead. I think you will be surprised at the results you find and I have a couple of ideas that will motivate you to get more of it down the hatch and into your life.The biggest perk of water is that it’s free! Not exactly free in a financial sense so much as a nutritional sense, which makes water highly unique. It’s a fluid that is integral to our bodies on a cellular level, but unlike any other food or beverage it contains ZERO calories. We can have as much water as we like without feeling guilty. Great! Why do we care? We care for two reasons; first, because proper hydration will ensure that our metabolic processes are running at peak performance. One example is that adequate water intake will make sure your body produces the sweat needed to cool you down. (There is a great deal of information available on more specific ways water effects systems and processes inside our bodies but I won’t go into lengthy explanations here.) The other reason we care involves using water as a way to monitor and control calorie intake. We have all felt and generally know the difference between thirst and hunger. Did you know that dehydration can actual manifest as hunger? More often than not a growling empty-stomach can be quelled with just having some water.
It’s easy to think of water as a beverage choice. In my opinion, water is not A beverage, it’s really THE beverage. Any other fluid ingested by humans is likely to contain calories thus making most beverages as we know them more like a food. Milk, juices, sodas, alcohol all contain calories-this is not news. What about beverages that don’t contain any calories you ask? I have an argument against these for one simple reason. Unless it is a naturally calorie-free beverage, it is a processed food item. The calories have either been removed scientifically or the product has been designed scientifically to not have calories but taste like it does. Long story short, diet soda and flavored waters are NOT a great option for hydration. They contain water but they contain a bunch of other stuff too that varies wildly in origin and could be consumed in higher than desirable amounts if you try to drink enough calorie-free beverages to keep you hydrated. Water, in it’s most basic form, is the go to fluid for hydration because it contains just what you need and nothing else.
I’m not trying to bamboozle you with a too-good-to-be-true cleanse or a fancy water enhancer to make it seem different than what it is. I just want to expand the way you think about water and staying hydrated. Saying one will just have water can suck the fun right out of the room. It’s like someone saying they will just have one M&M, or that we are just looking at those shoes. BORING! It doesn’t have to be that way though. Chances are if you’re reading this, you live in a place where clean water is abundant. Lucky for us, right? No, really it is. There are nearly 80 billion people on this planet that would LOVE to just have some water; 80 billion people in our world who don’t have enough clean water or don’t know if they will get enough each day. We owe it to these folks to use our water wisely and to the benefit of our lives. Hopefully we do this while simultaneously supporting research and fundraising efforts to shrink the number of people in need of clean water, but that’s another topic for another day.
Now that you know a little more about why water is wonderful, join us at HebrewDawn for three weeks of just having water. It couldn’t hurt, right? Let’s fill our largest cup to the brim from the fountain of youth. Let’s stay cool, stay fresh, and stay hydrated with good old H2O. Cheers to all and happy drinking!