Truth : Water

01Jul08

Confusing Information
In the dieting world, there are more suggestions, rules, and conjectures than you can shake a stick at. Are eggs good? Bad? Maybe milk is good, but only skim? What about fruits, or berries, or bananas?

I’m sick of it, honestly. One website/book says one thing, another directly contradicts it!

There are, however, some truths that everyone agrees on.

The Truth about Water
The truth about water is that it’s awesome.

Drinking more water has been shown to make people feel more energetic, to make them feel less “hungry” all the time, to relieve some headaches, to improve skin tone, to increase weight loss rates, to reduce constipation, and promote world peace.

Okay, maybe that last one can’t be backed up by scientific evidence.

But the bottom line is that pretty much everyone, regardless of what diet they’re promoting, or what branch of the medical world they’re from – EVERYONE says we should be drinking more water.

Not just that we should be drinking water, but that we aren’t drinking enough.

We get a lot of liquid from the food we eat and from non-water sources, but not enough.

Too Much Water?
It’s true that you can drink too much water, but let’s be honest – you have to be seriously trying to drink too much water. You can’t accidentally drink too much water, not in regular life.

If you think there’s a possibility you may be approaching “too much” – look it up. It’s exceptionally rare.

Most websites/books/doctors recommend between 8 and 12 glasses of water a day. I’m going to assume a “glass” of water is 8 oz or 1 cup. That doesn’t seem quite so daunting as imagining twelve of your tall 16oz glasses lined up one next to the other, now does it?

Drink your water.

Not-Waters
Don’t drink a can of soda and think that counts. It doesn’t, and not just because soda is one of the Dark Forces Of Evil.

Water. Drink water. Don’t drink flavored water, or kool-aid, or tea, or coffee, or anything else (and assume that counts as your water intake). Drink WATER.

W.A.T.E.R.

I am going to make a pest out of myself on this one, as I actually get into the diet.

Don’t Wait!
But one of the things I can start doing NOW is up my water intake. That also means I up my rate-at-which-I-flee-for-the-bathroom, but that’s a small, tiny price to pay for the frillions of benefits I get from it.

I have known issues with headaches, feeling tired all the time, constipation (and hemorrhoids), acne, and weight.

I can help every single one of those things by drinking more water.

You want to get REALLY paranoid about water? Check out Your Body’s Many Cries For Water by Fereydoon Batmanghelidj. It’s a very interesting read, though it’s definitely on the edge of the spectrum when it comes to suggesting you drink more water.

There’s absolutely zero reason to make drinking more water be something you only do when you’re on a diet. None. If you drop out of the diet, or it doesn’t work, or…whatever million reasons you might have – drinking more water helps always. It’ll help me now, it’ll help me on the diet, it’ll help me after the diet.

Start NOW. Immediately. This moment, go get a glass of water and drink it.

The Purchase
This also is going to be one of the (hopefully few) posts where I tell you that you should probably buy something.

I dislike spending a ton of money on a diet. This isn’t for a diet, this is for your overall continued health.

If you’re going to drink water, you can go about it a few ways.

1) You can buy bottled water and drink that.
2) You can drink water from the faucet
3) You can smuggle water from wherever you can find filtered water, such as work or the gym.
4) You can filter your own water.

I, personally, cannot afford number 1, nor do I really want to. For one thing, how the hell does water get that expensive? Sure, maybe it’s more cost effective and less creepy to buy the great big barrels of water that are delivered – that one I can maybe see myself doing. But bottled water is more expensive than soda. THAN SODA!

I refuse. I flat out refuse, on the basis of cost alone. When you factor in that water companies will actually add sodium (ostensibly to keep the water fresh) to water, which makes you MORE thirsty and can actually dry you out…yeah. Screw that. No, thanks.

Number 2 is out for me because tap water’s nasty. I don’t care if you grew up with it or not. The United States long ago decided it could save money by not filtering the water that comes into our homes very much. What we get has all kinds of chemicals and crap in it, even aside from the fact that it probably tastes pretty shoddy.

Number 3 doesn’t work when you need to cart the water home. It’s great for while you’re AT those places though, smuggle away!

My Suggestion
Number 4 is my suggestion. I went with a half-hearted solution – I bought two plastic filter pitchers with replaceable filters. One for at home, one for at work. I replace the filters every six months or so (they recommend every two months, but I don’t personally believe it needs to be done that often. YMMV).

At home, I drink filtered water. I give the cat filtered water. I make tea and coffee ONLY with filtered water (the rate at which I need to put vinegar through the coffee pot to clean out the buildup is DRASTICALLY reduced with this). I make noodles with filtered water. I make rice with filtered water. I make soups with filtered water.

Think about all the ways you use water, and if you don’t want to DRINK that stuff, why would you cook with it? Why would you make TEA with it? Of course tea tastes better with clean water!

I got a free water bottle from work – a large one that holds 1,000 mL of liquid. I use it to transport water from the kitchen to my desk (I fill it with the filtered water, and then filter it again at my desk). I drink at least one container of water every day while I’m at work.

I do have to think about it, I can’t just casually drink that much water. I’ve found that keeping a small mug at my desk, if I refill it immediately upon emptying it, I drink that much water without any problems. If I let the mug sit empty, I’ll be scrambling to finish the water at the end of the day, and that’s no good.

Your first purchase : Some kind of water filtration system.

Whether that’s one to go under your sink at home, or the pitchers I use, you may also need a water bottle to help you measure your intake (I’d hate for you to still not get enough, or to allow yourself to think you’re getting more than you are).

My Promise
I’m going to keep the purchase recommendations down to a bare minimum, I truly am.

But this one’s key to becoming healthy, not just weight loss. Drink water, drink water, drink water.

But make sure it’s CLEAN water. Or as clean as you can make it with relative ease.

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