By Trina Boice
Did you know that:
– 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated?
– In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is often mistaken for hunger?
– Even mild dehydration will slow down one’s metabolism as much as 3%?
– Lack of water is the number one trigger of daytime fatigue?
– 8-10 glasses of water could significantly ease back and joint pain?
– A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or printed page?
Those are pretty amazing insights about the benefits of water. And more than that, I’m glad I can finally put my finger on why I struggled with basic math in high school. If I had only stopped by the drinking fountain on the way to class.
Every one of us, at one time or another, has been so thirsty that we would have trampled anything that got between us and a cold glass of water. Water is essential to life. We can’t live without it. Nothing can.
Our bodies are largely made of water. Both the quantity and quality of the water we drink can determine our body’s ability to shed excess fat as well as benefit all of our body’s systems in the following ways:
* Water is a natural appetite suppressant
* Improves skin tone and elasticity
* Aids in more effective digestion and soothes digestive problems
* Improves detoxification in the body by flushing contaminants out of vital organs
* Enhances nutrient absorption
* Improves the respiratory system functions by adding moisture to ear, nose, and throat
* Helps the liver convert stored fat into usable energy
* Speeds up your metabolism
* Helps reduce cholesterol
* Helps tone your muscles when they’re properly hydrated
* Prevents your body from retaining water
* Stops you from confusing hunger with thirst
* Decreases mindless snacking
* Increases your energy by maintaining blood volume that carries oxygen to your muscles
* Aids in heat regulation of the body
* Provides joint lubrication
* Wards off headaches
You can change the world one drop at a time. While that may sound like an exaggeration, it really is true. Most of us take water for granted, but there are thirsty people all over the world who understand the value of every wet drop.
Below are some simple habits we can adopt to make ourselves and our homes more water smart:
1. Learn to use your meter to find and fix household leaks.
2. Install faucet aerators and high-efficiency shower heads.
3. Upgrade to a high-efficiency toilet and save 10,000 gallons of water per year or a high-efficiency washing machine to save more than 5,000 gallons a year.
4. Run only full loads in dishwashers and washing machines.
5. Install an inline water heater or hot-water recirculating system to save up to 30 gallons per day.
6. If you’re in the market for a new home, consider a Water Smart Home that saves up to 75,000 gallons of water indoors and out compared to homes built more than a decade ago. You can find participating builders at www.snwa.com.
7. Purchase an irrigation controller that automatically adjusts watering schedules based upon weather conditions and estimated plant demand. You can also install a rain sensor, and your irrigation system will shut down during and after rain. Your local water district may even offer you a coupon or rebate for purchasing one.
8. Don’t let the water run while you’re brushing your teeth or shaving. While it seems like a little thing, gallons can be wasted in just a few minutes.
If you’re concerned about your rising water usage, call your local water district for more ideas.
When it comes to water, the bottom line is: Drink more; waste less. All of your body’s systems will thank you!