Here's Why Drinking Enough Water Is Such a Big Deal

...and how to make sure you get enough

Here's Why Drinking Enough Water Is Such a Big Deal

Here's Why Is Drinking Enough Water Such a Big Deal

Most moms know they should be getting more water than they are currently taking in. In fact, studies show that 52 percent of us aren't drinking enough water. But do you know exactly WHY it’s important? And do you know how much you should be getting?

First, let’s talk about the why. Here are three big things water does for you:

#1: Drinking water helps prevent disease

Every major system in your body depends on water. You’ve probably heard that your body is primarily water – about 60 percent. Water dissolves minerals and other nutrients and carries them to your cells. It lubricates your joints. It helps your kidneys and liver to flush out waste products. It helps regulate your body temperature and it keeps your eyes, nose, and mouth moist. 

All these functions are critical for smoothly functioning body systems. Systems that are working properly helps prevent disease—not only infections like colds and flu but chronic disease, too. For example, regular water intake can prevent kidney disease in the long-term. 

#2: Drinking water makes you feel better

A lot of us walk around with a mild degree of dehydration, without even realizing it. Even mild dehydration can sap your energy, making you feel sluggish and tired. You may get constipated and you may also get headaches. Being proactive about your level of hydration means drinking water throughout the day, which will keep you feeling energetic, strong, and healthy.

#3: Drinking water can help you maintain a healthy body weight

Obesity and diabetes are at nearly epidemic levels in Canada and are a rising concern for today’s youth and children. Several studies have shown a connection between water consumption and maintaining - or even losing - weight. Why might that be? Well, for one thing, one of the symptoms of not drinking enough water is hunger. You may think you’re hungry when you’re actually dehydrated. Staying hydrated will prevent those misdirected urges to eat. Also, drinking plenty of water may help you to feel full – which also helps you to avoid overeating.

So...how much water do you really need to drink?

To reap all these benefits, how much water is enough? The Dietitians of Canada recommend that Canadians should consume 2 – 3L of fluids per day, and half of that should be plain water. 

How do you know if you’re getting enough? Everyone is a little different, of course, and these are simply guidelines. It’s best to figure out how much you need, personally. One thing you should know is that thirst is a late sign of dehydration. If you’re feeling thirsty, you’re likely already dehydrated. 

Here are some other signs you’re not getting enough water:

  • dull, dry skin
  • headaches
  • fatigue
  • constipation
  • hunger

And...how can you make water consumption a priority?

Some people are great at drinking water regularly - it just seems to come naturally to them. Other people...not so much. Take my two boys - my eldest son, who is ten, drinks next to nothing. I swear, he’s a camel. I have to beg him to drink anything, and he’s always been like that. The trouble is, because he isn't drinking enough, he gets headaches fairly often. He also tends to gets overheated if he’s running around and he frequently complains of being tired (and he’s not even a teenager yet!). So I know he’s not getting enough. My younger son, on the other hand, drinks water like it’s his job. 

For a healthier and better-for-you option, substitute other not-so-healthy drinks like pop, fruit drinks or sport drinks that are high in sugar and empty calories for a fresh sparkling water drink. Personally, I drink a ton of water, but I particularly love sparkling water. When we were in Europe last month, we noticed it's very common (and fashionable) to drink sparkling water - frizzante, as they say in Italy - especially with meals. So we got into the habit of drinking a lot of sparkling water (when in Rome, right?).

Now that we're home, it's a habit we plan to continue, using our SodaStream machine. And even better? It's going to be my secret weapon to get my son to drink more water. 

A recent survey showed that 75 percent of Canadians drink 1-3 more glasses of water per day when they have a SodaStream sparkling water maker at home. I'm sure that's because it's just more fun to drink sparkling water, and tastes better than plain old flat water - especially when you get creative with recipes that include fruit and other flavours.

Bottom line? Staying physically active, eating a healthy diet, and maintaining proper hydration can all contribute to maintaining healthy body weight and setting up our kids for a lifetime of health.