Did You Forget Your Water Bottle?

Well here we are, the start of August.  There is still plenty of sunny, hot summer days left on the calendar.   As we start making our way towards fall and our next Whole Life Challenge, starting in September, we wanted to share some information from one of the Co-Founders of The Whole Life Challenge, Andy Petranek to help explain just how important water is for us.

Pour yourself a big glass of H2O and enjoy.

Water: Nothing Else Does It Better.

Clear, pure, clean water: No fluid on earth is more important to your survival, nor is any one thing that you eat or drink more important for the proper functioning and efficiency of your body. To put it simply: hydrate … or die.

Yet as a culture, we simply don’t drink enough water. Many go through life in a constant, semi-dehydrated state. Short term, the impact is barely noticeable: We get slightly thirsty. But in the long term, chronic dehydration can lead to ailments, disease, joint issues, extra wear and tear on your inner organs, and a body that is operating in a far-less-than-optimal state.

So what’s one of the best things you can do for your health, vitality, and well being? Drink plenty of water, of course! Hydration, therefore, is one of the 7 Daily Habits we introduce during the Whole Life Challenge.

To understand the importance of proper hydration, it’s a good idea to get familiar with just how important water is to your body.

  • A man’s body is 60-65% water, a woman’s body is 50-60% water, and the human brain is about 75% water. (To put this into perspective, a pineapple is 80% water, and a tomato is 95% water.)
  • Muscle tissue contains large amounts of water. Fat tissue contains virtually no water. This is why it’s so easy to quickly lose weight (usually in the form of water) without losing an ounce of body fat.
  • You lose 2.5 to 3 liters of water each day through normal elimination, sweating, and breathing. If you exercise, live in a hot, humid climate or at altitude, you lose even more.

A lot of people try to replace this water with soda, caffeinated beverages, or juice. I can assure you that no human body is 60% soda! Water, not coffee, is a vital nutrient to the life of every cell. Water, not juice, regulates our internal body temperature through sweating and respiration, and water is the primary building block of blood, which transports oxygen, vital nutrients, and hormones throughout your body.

Water also:

  • Supports digestion through the formation of saliva.
  • Is the medium in which all energy reactions take place.
  • Keeps mucosal membranes moist.
  • Is required for flushing waste and bacteria through both perspiration and urination.
  • Acts as a shock absorber for the brain and spinal cord.
  • Is the primary component of synovial fluid for lubricating joints.

When properly hydrated, your internal organs (heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, etc.) don’t need to work as hard to perform their jobs.

Obviously, water is essential. In a way, drinking water is the easiest of the 7 Daily Habits to conquer. To satisfy your hydration requirements during the Whole Life Challenge, calculate 30 percent of your bodyweight in pounds. Then drink this amount in ounces (or 20ml per kg of bodyweight). So if you weigh 150 lbs, you need to drink 45 ounces of water each day of the Challenge. And to be clear: Liquids other than water do not count.

By the way: Don’t kid yourself into thinking this is a lot of water. It isn’t … even for sedentary people. Our minimum requirement is enough to reach a very low baseline, and to keep you accountable and conscious of your daily hydration, but in reality, you should consider drinking more, especially since you’ll be exercising for at least 10 minutes each day during the Challenge. Personally, when I am training regularly, I do my best to consume 3 to 4 liters per day. (I weigh 160 lbs.)

Starting early in the day is your best bet. We recommend getting out of bed and drinking 12-16 oz, and then finishing your first liter by 10 a.m. If you wait until the afternoon or evening to get started, you’ll invariably disrupt your sleep with at least one trip to the bathroom.

Though this is an easy habit to conquer, it is admittedly a little difficult to remember to drink. Some people go all day without even a sip of water, so you might need to set an alarm as a reminder at first. And choose a water bottle that you like drinking out of as the one bottle that you’ll drink out of all day. The bottle will serve as a reminder, and will become your constant companion. Over time, drinking water will be a natural habit that you simply do every day without having to think about it.

And your body will thank you a thousand times over.

-Andy Petranek




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