Don't Blow Your H2O

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Who knew drinking water could be so complicated. Should I drink tap, filtered, or bottle water? Should it be room temperature or ice cold? How much water do I need to be drinking for my body size?

I read in one place that you'll burn more calories by drinking ice cold water than lukewarm water because it takes energy for your body to warm it. Then, in another place I read that cold water hinders your body's homeostasis. Huh?

Does tea count towards your daily water quota? I mean, tea is essentially colored water, but some of it does have caffeine. And after you drink caffeine, you're supposed to drink like 8 cups of water to make up for the caffeine. But tea and soup and sugar-free drink mixes for that matter seem like good sources of water. I'm so lost.

One time when every water filter at work was empty, I filled my cup from *gasp* the kitchen sink. I made sure no one was looking and listened for footsteps like I was doing something socially unacceptable. What the?

Should I drink water at a certain time? Like with meals for instance. Some say drinking water before a meal helps you eat less. Some say drinking water before a meal interrupts the enzymes that break down food. Are you kidding me?

What about the vessel from which you drink your water? BPA is the new health swear word. Disposable bottles are an environmental no-no. Avoiding tap water could diminish your exposure to beneficial fluoride. And I remember learning in college that bottled water is not much different than tap water. So what gives?

All I know is that drinking water is healthy and required for almost every bodily function. My favorite website,, uses water consumption as one of its major dietary recommendations and even has a tracker for water intake. I know drinking water is super-important, but I don't want to get caught up in all the details. So here are my favorite easy-peasy water tips:

1. Drink water first thing when you wake up. That feeling of cool water in your throat is always so refreshing. It's a great start to the day, especially when it's so common to wake up with a bad case of dry-mouth. And it helps keep the momentum flowing for the rest of the day.

2. Keep a glass of water next to you throughout the day and drink as much as you can. Get a cute fashionable cup or bottle if it helps make water more enticing to you.

3. If you're feeling the itch to snack, have a glass of water first. I've read over and over that sometimes thirst signals are misread as hunger. Make sure you're hitting the right craving by trying water first.

4. Opt for water as your refreshment of choice most of  the time. One of the first things I learned when I started my health journey was that a huge number of my daily calories were coming from drinks. Soda, milk, juice and other drinks can add up much faster than you would think. Have a cup or two of milk per day, but stick to water whenever you can. It's calorie-free, yippee!

The best part abut water is that it's essentially free! So, drink up!

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