I'm starting a new blog series for this new year, and it's a simple thing, really. It's called Monday Basics and it's meant to be a quick read for your Monday mornings on one manageable thing you can add to your day / your life / your regimen, one simple and effective change in order to help you achieve optimal health. It won't be complicated; there may be some recipes involved at times. Oh sure, some posts may involve a bit more work, but I guarantee you balance with some easier to achieve tasks, some simpler things to make it all work. Most of these posts will delve into food and nutritional things, but I promise to veer off the path to include some simple lifestyle changes that may be of support to you. How much you take in is up to you. So check back here every Monday morning for the weekly post on how to up that nutritional ante.
This week's post is one of the most basic things, one of the easiest things you can add to your regimen and perhaps one of the most over-looked things we can do in order to best support our bodies. Today we're talking WATER.
This is one of the foundations of my practice, recommending water to each and every one of my clients. Adults are 60% water, and newborns up to 80%! Our body needs water for blood, sweat, tears, urine, saliva; it is necessary for digestion, injury repair and getting nutrients to where they need to be, but my favourite part is that we need it for elimination. It helps get the colon rollin (yes I just said that) but also helps to flush out toxins from every nook and cranny of our body: it is a main component in our lymph system, that mysterious part of our body that looks after taking our body's garbage to the curb. Drinking water is a fairly easy and inexpensive thing you can do; there is evidence that we as adults should aim for 2 litres a day. This two litres includes herbal teas and things like meat stock or other beverages you consume, other than caffeinated teas and coffees and alcoholic beverages. To help you get enough in in good time, you may want to download an app that reminds you to have a cup of water every hour on the hour, or use your timer on your phone to give you a nudge to down a glass every ninety minutes. You can fill a glass 1L jar twice a day, aiming to consume the contents by supper hour. You can buy yourself a fancy new water bottle to entice you to carry it with you wherever you go, or if your work keeps you in the air or unable to have a glass handy, a hiking camel-type container you can keep on your back might be of use to you.
The most important part of today's write up is the timing around your water consumption.
In order to best support your digestive system, it is recommended you stop drinking water 30 minutes before a meal and that you wait a whole hour until after the meal to resume your water consumption. Minimize or eliminate beverages with your meal, unless they are filled with protein like milk, or bone broth / meat stock. If you do choose to drink water with your meal, make sure it is room-temperature and don't have more than one cup. Any cold beverage can slow down your stomach's digestive function thus impeding the digestion of protein in your meal. Consuming too much water before or during a meal can dilute the hydrochloric acid in your stomach, which can hinder your ability to digest protein and this can have a long-term impact on your body's overall function. (Check out this event if you want to learn more about how best to digest like a pro!)
This is where we start, my food-loving friend. I hope you enjoy this wee series I have dreamed up, and that you will come back for more. Every Monday morning from here until the end of 2016, I promise you one easy add-on or swap in order to best support your sweet self towards optimal health. Let's do this. (Well now, we did do this. Find the full write up of ideas here: The Monday Health Basics wrap up!)
(Oh yes we will talk what kind of water later, and may delve in to other things about water as the year progresses. For now, just work on getting your consumption up, and working on the timing. Bonne chance.)