How to Drink More Water for Body and Soul?

How to Drink More Water for Body and Soul

Ah, water – clear, pure water, with a tricking sound like music. Home to the fish, salvation to the thirsty, relief to the sunburned vacationer. But who does actually give this life-giving substance the attention it deserves? Not most of us.

Get tired and don’t know why?

Water is ‘basic.’ It’s not something that crosses the mind much at all. Yet, that doesn’t prevent water from giving. Water gives life, health, serenity. As long as you drink enough of it. Two-three litres a day for a woman and up to four for a man should do the job. Any less, and you may be compromising your health and well-being.

If you don’t have a habit of counting how much water you drink, there are immediate symptoms you can look out for that you’re not getting enough. Headaches, dizziness, and dry-eye are all common complaints that seem to have no cause. Could be dehydration. A salt craving, cramps, or dark circles under the eye are some of the odder signs that you need to drink more water.

Let’s just take a look at what water can do for you. It lubricates your joints, because cartilage is four-fifths water. This helps you keep moving and reduces pain. Water also lubricates your mouth, nose, and eyes. Without it, you can’t eat or breathe. And when your eyes get dry, guess what: you feel tired and you don’t know why.

Water is also essential to your brain and nervous system. It helps you think straight. It keeps you calm. It cushions blows from the outside world, as a shock absorber for your brain and spinal cord.

And 90% of your blood is water. Blood is good, right? Low water intake can lead to high blood pressure. That in turn can cause a stroke or dangerous clotting.

Getting around with alarms and reminders

So we’ve agreed, water can make you feel better and actually be better. But it’s still kind of a chore to remember to drink it. That’s why it can be useful to work out some ways of changing your habits to drink more.

Actually, it’s not too tough to change your schedule. Making the decision to do so is a good start. But you may need alarms and reminders to keep you on track until drinking water regularly becomes your second nature.

1) Drinking a glass when you get out of bed is the best start. You know it’s the first thing you need to do, and also it will dehydrate you after a long night. After that, make the effort to drink a glass of water every hour, on the hour. Or at least fetch yourself a fresh glass of water to sip for the next hour. That way, every time the clock strikes, if you still have water in your glass then you need to drink it up so you can catch a refill!

2) One sip of water per email! If alarms and hourly alerts are too square for you, try attaching your water habits to other things you do regularly instead. Take a sip with every email you send, or – if you spend much of your day reading – fetch a new glass of water for every chapter you read.

3) Coffee and tea as a bonus! If it’s the taste of water that fails to excite you, there are ways around this. Despite the myth that coffee dehydrates you, it actually counts as water intake up to a point. As long as you’re not drinking unhealthy levels of caffeine, tea and coffee hydrate you. But it can be best to think of these as bonuses to your cold water intake.

4)That cold water can be improved by infusing it with fruit or ginger. Put berries or citrus fruits in your water bottle (or buy an infuser) and don’t think about it as drinking water at all; think of it as your fruity liquid treat. Mmmm!

Okay, so it’s tough to get excited about water. But water’s basic nature means it’s quite simple to slide it into your lifestyle. Check out this infographic with tips to drink more water, and you’ll soon realize that upping your intake is one of the simplest ways to feel better and be healthier inside and out.

What are your habits for drinking more water? Let us know in the comment section!

 

Lifestyle Changes to Reduce Indigestion

food basket

Whether you’re experiencing severe symptoms that disrupt your daily life or you just have a lingering discomfort, indigestion can completely pull you out of the present moment. And though these conditions are common topics, many people suffer from heartburn and other forms of indigestion for years without finding a solution that works for them.

In a society where medications seem to be a cure-all, it’s easy to believe that taking the right pill could be a one-size-fits-all solution. However, this is not true as individual cases of indigestion are caused by a number of factors, including food choices, physical conditions, unrelated medications, and even certain postures and forms of exercise. This brief guide will look at some of the major causes of indigestion along with a variety of solutions so you can find a way past digestive problems and appreciate each moment.

Make Healthy Food Choices 

Of course, your diet is one of the most impactful forces on healthy digestion and conditions like GERD, a common form of acid reflux. You may already have a solid understanding of which foods are more likely to give you an upset stomach, and it’s a good idea to trust your body’s reaction to certain foods, even if avoiding them is a difficult choice to make. Because we often try to identify our symptoms within common overlying conditions such as lactose intolerance, it can be easy to dismiss your particular intolerances.

When planning your meals, it may be helpful to keep a list of foods that cause a bad reaction. You can also track this by keeping an indigestion journal where you record entries about what and when you eat, the types of exercise you’re getting, the medicines you take, when the pain starts, and anything that makes it feel better.

Though these will not apply to everyone, here are some foods that commonly cause indigestion:

  • Citrus fruits
  • Onions and garlic
  • Black pepper and excess salt
  • Tomatoes
  • Chocolate and other candy
  • Peppermint
  • Coffee and caffeinated products
  • Alcohol
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Spicy foods
  • Fatty, oily, or fried foods

Here are several foods that have been known to relieve symptoms:

  • Vegetables, such as broccoli, asparagus, green beans, cauliflower, leafy greens, cucumbers, and potatoes
  • Non-citrus fruits, such as bananas, apples, pears, and melons
  • Chicken, turkey, fish and seafood (not fried)
  • Ginger
  • Aloe vera
  • Oatmeal
  • Couscous and rice
  • Egg whites
  • Healthy fats found in avocados, walnuts, flaxseed, olive oil, sunflower oil, and sesame oil
  • Fermented foods like kimchi, kvass, sauerkraut, and kombucha can help to restore your body’s natural bacteria levels.

Any time you change your diet, be careful not to cut out essential nutrients. Even if you’re avoiding certain foods to relieve indigestion, it’s important to maintain a balanced diet.

Aside from the food choices, our eating schedule and other food-related habits also play a major role in causing indigestion. For example, overeating in a single sitting can increase your chances of experiencing heartburn. When your stomach is too full, the muscles that normally prevent stomach acid from rising up cannot close properly. Eating a meal too quickly or too close to sleeping can also cause an upset stomach. Some people find that eating smaller meals more often throughout the day helps to relieve their symptoms.

Find Ways to Relieve Stress

Making healthy food choices isn’t the only thing you can do to reduce your chances of indigestion. An upset stomach is one of the most common physical effects of stress, and if you’re already tracking your food choices and still experience regular digestive problems, dedicating more time to calming down may help relieve your physical discomfort. This could include guided meditations, yoga, listening to relaxing music, reading a book, or even talking to your family or friends about the things that cause the most stress in your life.

Consider Your Medications

Some medications can cause indigestion and abdominal pain, including drugs for asthma, antihistamines, sedatives, antidepressants, antibiotics, and iron supplements. This could include many more, depending on your individual reaction to a medication. Even common painkillers like aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and naproxen can cause your symptoms to worsen.

Though some medications are meant to reduce the amount of stomach acid you produce, these aren’t foolproof and don’t work the same way on everyone. Over a long period, these can even contribute to gastric bacterial overgrowth, which will cause more discomfort. If you think you’re experiencing digestive problems due to a medication prescribed to you by a medical professional, you should let them know. It’s possible that there is an available alternative that won’t make you feel sick.

Adjust Your Posture

You may be surprised to learn that the way you hold your body when you’re standing, sitting, and lying down can contribute to stomach problems. For example, when you are hunched forward in a chair, your internal organs have less space than they normally do, disrupting the digestive process. An upright seated posture is especially important during and after a meal in order to prevent slow-downs and blockages in your digestion.

If you have indigestion when sleeping, many people have found relief by elevating the head of their bed an additional 6 to 8 inches. Be sure to support your torso as well so your body can rest in a naturally aligned position.

Choose the Right Exercises

While regular exercise can help combat obesity and maintain healthy digestion, certain exercises can place added stress on your abdomen causing stomach pain. This is especially true with sit-ups and weightlifting. Running and cycling seem to have less of an effect, though the jarring motions of these exercises can still cause a flare up. Even certain yoga positions, like downward dog, can reverse the normal flow of your digestive system and should be avoided if you’re already experiencing indigestion. As a general rule, try to wait about two hours after eating before you work out in order to give your stomach time to digest and avoid excessive motion when your stomach is distended.

Stop Smoking

Smoking can limit your ability to produce saliva which slows your digestion. Smoking also weakens the muscle that prevents gas and acid from rising out of your stomach. Over time, smoking can even cause stomach ulcers, and because smoking decreases blood flow to the lining of your stomach, your body will have a harder time healing itself.

It’s worth noting, if you are experiencing severe digestive issues, especially over a long period of time you should reach out to a medical professional about other causes and possible solutions. Though no combination of diet, medication, or exercise has been proven to completely eliminate indigestion, being aware of common triggers and tracking how indigestion functions in your daily life will give you the best chance at spending less time struggling with digestive issues.