In my previous article I described the signs and dangers of dehydration and outlined how drinking water is immensely important for our health, wellbeing, and productivity. But the resounding question of many people is how to drink correctly. Here are some answers.
Beware of sweet beverages. The goal of manufacturers of sweet beverages is to get you to buy more and regularly. Nothing else interests them and if many of us were to manufacture a soft drink, they’d also be thinking of profit first and not about whether they were making a healthy drink. Their only interest would be that their beverage was irresistibly tasty and its consumer wouldn’t settle for just one bottle. This means that the beverage must be adequately sweet and thus becomes nutritionally interesting. All these soft sweet drinks have two things in common:
- one glass is never enough
- they fatten and dehydrate, but do not nourish.
It’s thus wiser not to have these beverages in our lives at all. Instead just buy ordinary – still – mineral water or simply drink tap water if you’re in a country where tap water is good enough to drink. There is always the option of sweetening the water with artificial sweeteners (that have no calorific value), but you’d be much better off not to do this. One reason is that the word artificial itself suggests that you’d be putting chemicals into your body. Secondly, craving the sweet taste is, just like correct drinking, a matter of habit. Albeit the beginnings of changing your habits will be testing your personal strength, if you get through the beginning stage, your tastes will change and you won’t have crushing cravings for sweet.
Loss of body fat and liquids. Many folks complain that they can’t bear drinking tasteless water, that they can’t drink too much of it, and similar. But that doesn’t mean that anyone, especially if he wishes to lose body fat, is not supposed to drink water. It is definitely a matter of habit. If you get used to a drug such as Coke [that’s Coca Cola, not cocaine, albeit the principle is the same], you naturally won’t be able to bear the taste(lessness) of water. But the fact that some sweet concoction tastes so good to you doesn’t yet mean that drinking it is healthy. Drinking pure water is a matter of habit. Some readers may now be screaming that they won’t ever let anyone tamper with their favorite soft drink, or that they absolutely must have it sparkling. But that’s not true. That is only a psychological dependence that manufacturers of these drinks instil in us. The sooner you cut soft drinks out of your life, the sooner, with great surprise, you’ll find that it is perfectly possible to drink water, and also that after some time you won’t miss those sweet drinks at all. Especially in the beginning stages of building new habits it’s natural that you won’t want to drink water often. Here you can connect technology with psychology and use your cell phone, computer, kitchen timer, or other device to remind you every hour that it’s time to drink water. This way you (or anyone) will start on the right track and drink regularly and in reasonable doses. If you like the taste of herbal teas, you may also drink them – plus benefit from the vast variety of their flavors. You may also count the water absorbed in fruit and veg into your daily intake of water. If you eat a kilo of veg, you’ll take in almost a liter of water.
Drink! Don’t make excuses! Many people protest that they can’t drink so much water because too much doesn’t go down the throat, or water is horrible, or heavy on the stomach, or whatever. Don’t analyze why, just find a way to take in sufficient amounts of water every day. In the beginning stages of developing the correct drinking regime you won’t enjoy drinking too much. Drink small glasses of water every hour or sip very small amounts of water very often. Another frequent excuse is that people don’t want to drink because they then frequently urinate. While this is true, every such person needs to decide whether he wants long-term health, or whether he wants long-term fat, dry skin, general tiredness, and looking older than his age for the sake of avoiding visiting the washroom more often. Think through your reasons which give you inhibitions to more frequent visits to the washroom and do your best to find ways to integrate this into your life more successfully and willingly. The correct drinking regime will tremendously help toward your loss of body fat. Of course, if you eat vast amounts of food and have no way of burning even half of the energy you take in your food, nothing in the world will help you. But it’s very highly likely that drinking water every hour will keep your stomach fuller – you’ll lose immense cravings for sweets and savouries. A well hydrated person simply isn’t that hungry and thus will feel satisfied by smaller portions of food.
Water maximises the efficiency of your body:
- a glass of water after getting up helps activate internal organs
- a glass roughly 30 minutes before a meal helps digestion
- a glass before taking a bath helps keep the blood pressure low
- a glass before going to sleep helps prevent strokes / heart attacks.
I know these things are often more easily said than done. We all have days when we’re on the move and too busy to breathe, let alone remember to drink water at regular intervals! For some of us old habits die hard. If you haven’t had the habit of drinking water during the day, this article won’t change your habits in an instance. But even old dogs can learn new tricks. You’re making choices of how you treat your body every second. If you keep treating it with your old habits, how will your body serve you in 20 years? And of course, not everyone can do building new habits alone! There’s help – and I can give it to you!
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