Water is the answer.
My son and I start our afternoon grabbing lunch at a restaurant in Malibu; one we’ve never tried. I decide on the salmon over quinoa with a mango salsa. The waiter delivers the dish to our table; it looks fantastic. It tastes as delicious as it looks, and I wipe it out in four bites. In my mind, I feel like it wasn’t enough food, even though there was plenty of nutritious density.
Getting home, I head into my office to resume my work day. I’m immediately hungry. I know I won’t be eating again until mid-afternoon, so I attempt to focus. The hunger signals make it increasingly difficult.
Finally, after what seems like forever, 3:30 finally rolls around. Snack time! I waltz into the kitchen, down a glass of water, and I head outside to hydrate my plants prior to eating.
Back inside, barely five minutes later, a tenth of my hunger remains. I realize what I interpreted as a hunger signal was actually my body letting me know it was thirsty. Thinking back, I walked quite a bit over the course of the day and didn’t pay attention to my water intake. I had some irritability throughout the morning, but hadn’t put the puzzle pieces together.
To avoid these types of moments (most of the time, at least) I drink a huge glass of water with lemon first thing in the morning. I wait a few minutes and drink another tall glass to continue to flush my system. My water intake comes before I eat anything. I try to wait at least a few minutes to let the water hydrate my cells without my body doing any work breaking down foods.
Maintaining proper hydration helps to rid your body of toxins, carries nutrients to the cells, increasing absorption and ensures a proper environment for ear, nose, and throat tissues which helps in preventing infections like the cold and flu.
Mild dehydration is linked to headaches, moodiness and fatigue. If folks would simply do the research, they would avoid the expense of Advil and energy drinks.
The first thing I do when I get a headache is reach for water. Cranky? Water. Tired? Water. More times than not, I feel better quickly.
If you’re trying to achieve your fitness goals, water is even more important for you. Even 1% dehydration (by body weight) begins to decrease physical and athletic performance. Drinking a big glass of cold water can increase your metabolic rate by as much as 30%. Studies have also shown that drinking more water helps maximize weight loss.
Skincare? H2O checks that box, too. Dehydration causes the skin to look dry and wrinkled.
For all of these reasons, when teammates and loved ones ask me to help them achieve their goals, I ask them to take the very simple step of drinking more water. I don’t waste my time or theirs with step two until they’ve completed that task.