Thank you for taking the time and reading my post about the Whole30. Next time I do it (yes, there will definitely be a next time!) I want to try and take some pictures and write out some meal plans.
Today I want to start talking to you about macronutrients. This will be a four part series and today we will address the first one (and arguably the most important one): Water. Calling something a macronutrient really is just another way of saying that these substances are found in large quantity in our body. The 4 macronutrients are:
Later we will discuss the micronutrients (found in smaller amounts in our body) which are vitamins and minerals.
Understanding our macronutrients and micronutrients is extremely important because they are all considered essential, which means that they are necessary to support life and must be supplied by our diet. Without the proper macro/ micro nutrients (and in the correct quantity), some sort of nutritional deficiency is almost sure to follow.
Macronutrient #1: Water
Water actually composes about 55-60% of our body composition! It is the most important nutrient in our body and while we can go weeks without food, we can only go days without water. If there is one thing you can do to start living healthier today, it is to start drinking more water. Dehydration is a huge problem in today’s society and if the body’s water content drops even by 2%, it will cause fatigue. A drop greater than this can lead to many serious issues such as depression, migraines, immune conditions, and heartburn (to name a few).
Water is pretty much all that I drink. Yes, I have my daily cup (sometimes this is quite a big cup) of coffee, but I make sure to constantly drink water after that. Especially since I know coffee is a diuretic, which means it dehydrates us. Other than coffee, some other common diuretics are caffeinated tea, soda, fruit juices, etc.
If you are not a huge fan of water, I have some tips below to hopefully make it more appealing and to encourage you to start drinking it regularly! But I’m hoping once you see just how important it is, I won’t even have to convince you.
Some of the roles of water include :
(1. Excerpt from “Water the Ultimate Cure”)
Enables cellular hydration
Moistens oxygen for easier breathing
Cushions bones and joints
Absorbs shocks to joints and organs[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_1third]Regulates body temperature
Prevents tissues from sticking
Lubricates joints[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_1third_end]Improves cell to cell communications
Maintains normal electrical properties of cells
Empowers the body’s natural healing process Improves oxygen delivery to cells[/ezcol_1third_end]
Through our body’s own processes, it can produce about 8% of the necessary water it needs each day. However, that means that the remaining 92% must be ingested through our beverages and food. Also, water cannot be stored, which is why it is crucial that we constantly consume water.
Signs of water deficiency can take many forms, one of which is the feeling of hunger. We may feel hungry, but it is actually water that our bodies need. Therefore if you are sufficiently hydrated throughout the day, you may notice that you aren’t feeling as hungry.
So, how should you figure out how much water you need?
Take your body weight and divide by 2. This is the minimum number of ounces you should drink in a day. So for example, if you weigh 150 pounds you need at least 75 ounces of water a day.
If you drink coffee or other diuretics, you need to replace this water. So for every 1 ounce of diuretic, you need 1.5 ounces of water to make up for this in addition to the water above. So let’s do another math example because if you know me, that was my major in college : )
If you drink 8 ounces of coffee in the morning, then you need 12 ounces of water to make up for this. If you weigh 150 pounds in the above example, now you need at least 87 ounces of water a day.
It is also important to sip water throughout the day, don’t just chug water all at one time. This will allow for optimal absorption rather than it just passing right through you.
Some tips for those who don’t like plain water:
Try putting some fruit in your water! I am a big fan of adding lemon to my water, but mix it up. You can add strawberries, apples, mango, pineapple, etc. Or add some veggies! Cucumber water is delicious. You can also add mint which will make the water taste really refreshing. Just make sure to buy your own fruit and veggies and cut them up- and buy organic. You don’t want to be drinking pesticides.
Try to avoid things that come in a package like crystal-lite. These are just full of chemicals and may end up causing more harm than good. Same thing goes for energy drinks. If you are craving an energy drink, what your body probably needs is salt so add about 1/8-1/4 teaspoon of salt in your water with some lemon instead. Now you will actually be replenishing your electrolytes as opposed to throwing a ton of sugar into an already stressed out body.
So hopefully you just ran to fill up a glass with water and you will sip it through the rest of your day. One last tip- go slowly with increasing water intake. If you currently don’t drink a ton of water you may feel like now you constantly need to urinate. This will pass and your body will eventually get used to having more water- and I bet it will thank you for it as well!
Question: What are your favorite additions to water?
- Meyerowitz, Steve, and F. Batmanghelidj. Water: The Ultimate Cure. Summertown, TN: Distributed Book Pub., 2000. Print.