Anti-Inflammatory Diet-Part 6: Hydration and Inflammation
Most of us know that it’s important to be hydrated, but are you drinking the right things? Do you know how much water you should consume in a day?
Remember that inflammation is a natural response to irritants in the body as it attempts to eliminate them. Water plays a crucial role in managing inflammation.
Our bodies are made up of 70% water, and how we replace that water is vital. It’s is an essential component to our cellular function. It’s important to drink lots of fresh drinking water in a day to help flush toxins and other irritants out of our systems.
Often, many people replace the water we lose throughout the day with things like coffee, soft drinks, and other acidic drinks. These drinks don’t promote hydration, and most of them actually support dehydration due to the caffeine.
Aim for at least 1/2 you body weight in water per day to maintain adequate cellular function. When your cells are not hydrated, their function slows down, important nutrients aren’t delivered properly, and your metabolism slows. When this occurs, it affects every body system from your cardiovascular system to your skin.
Our bodies are designed to naturally dehydrate every night, so while you may have hydrated well yesterday, you need to start fresh again today. Adequate water intake fights off problems like fatigue, foggy thinking, headaches, joint pain, hunger, cravings, weight gain and most importantly, it flushes the toxins that promote inflammation.
But water is boring!
Too bad, so sad! Ha! Seriously, that’s what I’d tell my kiddos, but there are some ways to change it up if you’re bored with it.
Here are some tips you can try:
- Add fruit to your water for some extra flavor. Some of my favorites are strawberries and basil, cucumber and mint, and lemon. Avoid adding flavor additives that contain artificial sweetners. They’ll only contribute to your inflammation and possibly increase belly fat.
- Find the temperature you like best. Some people like lots of ice, some like it room temperature. I personally find that I drink a lot more water if it’s room temperature or slightly cooler.
- Use a straw. Some people feel they can drink more when sipping through a straw. (Be aware that drinking through a straw can cause you to swallow more air, so it can attribute to bloating. I wouldn’t be too concerned unless you’re working on your 6-pack.)
- Get started early. Before you go to bed, place a full glass of water on your nightstand and drink it as soon as you wake up. This helps jumpstart your system early and starts you off on the right foot for the entire day!
- Set a timer. Reminders to drink water throughout the day are often effective in helping you reach your hydration goals.
- Try some herbal teas. My favorite is Yogi teas. They are naturally sweet and don’t need any additives, so the hydrating effect is still there.
- Chug it. Some people suggest 10 sips, some find that using the same glass or bottle all day and refilling it helps the most. Some drink bottled water and number them to help them reach their goals.
Whatever you do, just make sure you’re getting adequate hydration every day to minimize the inflammation in your body!