Photography by Amy Kobos

Coffee, coffee, coffee. We can’t live without it. Just kidding – I’m actually talking about water. We really can’t live without it. But why?! And, what else does water provide for us that we may be overlooking? I’m going to dig into some basics about water, but I want to also expand your mind into how we can think about water from a healing and experiential perspective – especially during the time of our bottled water craze and our insane schedules! So, here are the three ways to get the ultimate experience for our bodies.

1) Water allows our bodies to live.
We tend to forget to drink enough due to our busy-as-heck schedules. I’m guilty, too. But, do you know why we need to drink it? Water:

  • Carries around nutrients, minerals, hormones, and other biochemical particles
  • Naturally detoxifies our bodies
  • Makes sure we can poop real good
  • Lubricates and cushions your joints and organs
  • Maintains temperature regulation
  • Regulates blood pressure

So, how do you calculate how much water we need each day? Let’s not make this complicated because there isn’t one right answer for everyone because our bodies all have different demands. It’s recommended that you:

  • Drink eight 8 oz. glasses of water a day.
  • Trust your thirst to gauge whether or not you might need more.
  • Look at your pee! If it’s almost clear, you’re hydrated. If it’s medium to dark yellow, you definitely need to up your water intake.
  • Be mindful of your need for water on hot days or days you exercise more.
  • Check to see if any medications you’re taking might affect your water need – be mindful of this especially in the older adult population.

Photography by Amy Kobos

It’s very easy to become dehydrated! And, if we don’t drink enough water, our bodies will typically tell us through one or more of these symptoms:

  • Headaches
  • Medium to dark yellow pee
  • Kidney stones or urinary/bladder tract infections
  • Acne
  • Acute constipation
  • Lower than your normal blood pressure readings
  • Feeling sluggish

If we don’t get enough water, our cells can shrivel up like raisins! I may be exaggerating… or may not be.

TIPS:

  • Carry around a BPA-free water bottle wherever you go because you’ll be forced to look at it to remind you to drink more water – and, it’s always within arm’s reach. My favorite is a Contigo glass bottle with a silicone grip. Got it at Target.
  • Focus on the “why” we have to drink water – it’s not just because we ‘have to.’
  • Beverages, like cola, beer, and coffee, are not adequate sources of water.
  • As we age, our queue for thirst may not be functioning as adequately as it once was. In this case, it’s recommended to hydrate regularly. Older adults tend to drink more palatable beverages (which aren’t sufficient sources of water) as their brains may not be able to distinguish thirst from imbibement (maybe I just made up this word 😉 ).

Photography by Amy Kobos

2) Water provides quality of life by promoting self-healing.

I love it when it rains. There’s something about the sound of water, the feel of water, and the purity of water that flushes out negative thoughts and mental impurities. Have you ever noticed feeling more relaxed when you’re fishing, swimming, or just staring at a waterfall? Why is that?

Research shows that being in nature, especially when you can feel and hear earth’s elements, turns the parasympathetic system on. This system is part of the autonomic nervous system that helps us feel relaxed (opposite of the sympathetic nervous system that puts us in ‘fight or flight’ mode). For more information on what the parasympathetic and sympathetic systems do, click here to watch a short video.

And, when your body’s relaxing, you can digest better – allowing for nutrients to be properly absorbed and used up by your body rather than being stored as fat. As a bonus (and probably most important) is that by activating the parasympathetic system, it releases oxytocin (the cuddle hormone), and cortisol (the stress hormone activated during the sympathetic system) chills out. This allows our body to take the time to repair itself as well as prevent and/or reduce inflammation that might be happening in our blood vessels. In other words, water helps create peace of mind.

Photography by Amy Kobos

3) Water provides a sensual experience while feeling good about it!

There has been a lot going on with the bottled water craze for the past two decades. And, I know that it has had a huge negative impact on the environment (not to mention potential xenoestrogens lurking inside the plastic that get into our bodies). I try not to support the bottled water industry because of that, but something’s happening now to revive this industry in a good way. So get ready because you’re not going to have to feel bad for buying bottled water anymore.

I did some research and became intrigued with the brand, Waiakea Water. It is volcanic water derived from the breathtaking Mauna Loa volcano on the big island of Hawaii, and their bottles are 100% rPET (recycled polyethylene terephthalate), meaning that it’s made from 100% recyclable plastic thanks to environmentally concerned people like you who have recycled their #1 plastics in their blue bins! And, through this, it means that there’s a 90% reduction of carbon emissions utilizing this process. The bottles are also BPA-free (bisphenol A-free) which is really important because BPA has been shown to be a xenoestrogen (a substance that mimics estrogen, in which if your body collects too much estrogen, it can lead to cancers, especially reproductive cancers).

Waiakea Water also donates a week’s worth of clean water (for every bottle purchased) in Africa through their partnership with Pump Aid. Well, that’s pretty cool, too!

So, it sounds like they have the environmentally positive impact down. But, what does Waiakea Water taste like? Please allow me to do my Millennial-like description: It’s really smooth, like really smooth. It’s as if the water is slowly flowing down the lava rock right into my mouth. It’s like the best thing ever!

Photography by Amy Kobos

Whoever says water is “boring,” needs to think again. LOL. This is how to stay hydrated!

Now, now… my consumer experience isn’t over yet… Waiakea Water has an Instagram account that makes me feel relaxed and makes me want to buy a plane ticket to Hawaii! This is great. Now following…

Now drink some water and thrive, my friends! Up your ability.

 

References:

Popkin, B. M., D’Anci, K. E., & Rosenberg, I. H. (2010). Water, Hydration and Health. Nutrition Reviews, 68(8), 439–458. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1753-4887.2010.00304.x

Brighton and Sussex Medical School. (2017). It’s true – the sound of nature helps us relax
Retrieved from https://www.bsms.ac.uk/about/news/2017/03-31-the-sound-of-nature-helps-us-relax.aspx

Sax, L. (2010). Polyethylene Terephthalate May Yield Endocrine Disruptors. Environmental Health Perspectives, 118(4), 445–448. http://doi.org/10.1289/ehp.0901253

 

Steinmetz, R., Mitchner, N.A., Grant, A., Allen D.L., Bigsby, R.M., Ben-Jonathan, N. (1998, June). The xenoestrogen bisphenol A induces growth, differentiation, and c-fos gene expression in the female reproductive tract. Endocrinology, 139(6):2741-7.
Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1210/endo.139.6.6027

*Note: Phthalates are known estrogen disruptors. So, as a health coach, I’d encourage you to keep up on any studies on materials containing polyethylene terephthalate that may reveal similar findings in the future.

Regardless of if you think your plastic bottle is 100% safe to drink out of, take precaution and don’t leave it in the sun or allow it to get hot.

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