Myth. While it used to be believed that staying properly hydrated led to youthful, vibrant skin, the reality is that the amount of water you drink probably has very little to do with what your skin looks like. “Unless the individual is severely dehydrated, drinking large quantities of water will not prevent dry skin,” Hess-Fischl says. “Basically, the moisture level of skin is not determined by internal factors. Instead, external factors such as skin cleansing, the environment, the number of oil glands, and the functioning of these oil-producing glands determine how dry the skin is or will become. The water that is consumed internally will not reach the epidermis [the top layer of the skin].”
Learn how to separate the myths from the facts about drinking water.
Myth. Sports drinks may have fancier advertising campaigns, but water is really all you need to get the fluid necessary to participate in most athletic endeavors. “Adequate fluid, especially water, is most important for athletes of all ages as it is the single most important way the body has to transport nutrients and energy and remove heat during exercise,” says Chavent. “A sports or vitamin beverage may taste better, but is not necessary for hydration and is expensive.” Keep in mind though that people who run marathons or compete in highly strenuous activites may need to supplement their water intake with sports drinks to offset the salt they lose due to heavy sweating over long periods of time. This doesn’t apply to most people who are simply exercising to get fit at the gym, for instance.
9. It’s possible to drink too much water.
Water is essential to survival — use these facts to figure out if you need to increase your intake or feel reassured that you’re drinking enough.
Fact. Plastic water bottles can present a couple of risks to people who drink their contents and then fill them up time and again. “These bottles leach chemicals into your water after multiple uses,” Hess-Fischl explains. “The bottle, if not properly cleaned, may also harbor bacteria from your mouth.”
For something so seemingly simple and essential as drinking water, plenty of myths and misconceptions exist about possible water benefits and harms.
Fact. Though water doesn’t necessarily neutralize toxins, the kidneys do use water to get rid of certain waste products. If you don’t drink enough water, your kidneys don’t have the amount of fluid they need to do their job properly. “If the body does not have sufficient water, then metabolic wastes will not be removed as efficiently as they should,” explains Amy Hess-Fischl, RD, CDE, of the University of Chicago Kovler Diabetes Center. “In essence, the body would be holding in toxins instead of expelling them, as is required for proper health.”
Myth. Though water is the easiest and most economical fluid to keep you hydrated, the latest Institute of Medicine recommendation is that women should strive for about two liters or eight glasses a day and men should aim for three liters or 12 glasses a day of any fluid, not just water. “No one can figure out where this ‘eight glasses of water’ came from, but I believe it came from the old RDA [recommended daily allowance] for water that matched water requirements to calorie requirements,” notes Georgia Chavent, MS, RD, director of the Nutrition and Dietetics Program at the University of New Haven in West Haven, Conn. “The new requirement from the Institute of Medicine is much more generous and includes recommendations for total beverage consumption, not just water.”
There’s a lot of information and misinformation about drinking water. Discover the truth about water benefits and whether you really need eight glasses of water a day.
Start your day by waking up with a glass of warm or cold lemon water. The pectin from the lemon aids in digestion, helping to make lemon a phenomenal detoxifying food. Water with lemon also helps curb your appetite and boosts satiety.
While there is no such thing as a one-day miracle fix for overindulging, it can help to hit the reset button for the New Year, giving you a little push towards feeling better stat and making healthier long-term decisions.
Or if you’re on the go, opt instead for an easy gut healthy smoothie.
Energizing your digestive tract sounds like a great way to start the day, right? The bonus is the little wedge of lemon bobbing in your cup, which reminds your brain, “Hey, I’m making healthy choices today!”
After water, fuel yourself with food!
Here are five tips to help you cleanse, de-bloat and set your diet and health back on the right track in just one day:
Make sure to eat breakfast, lunch, dinner and at least one snack (absolutely no skipping meals!) and ensure they consist of whole, real foods only. Eating consistently throughout the day will help you lay the foundation for ongoing healthy eating. I’m talking loads of veggies, lean protein such as grass-fed steak, chicken, fish, eggs and healthy fats from nuts, seeds or olives, avocado or coconut.
Increasing your heart rate will mean an increase in blood flow. This, in turn, will help your body to flush out toxins all on its own. You don’t even need to hit a gym to get your sweat sesh in, here’s a quickie workout I do just about anywhere. The takeaway here is to rev your heart rate, break a sweat, and get in a better mindset to kick it up a notch again tomorrow.
What is the quickest way to detox? While there is no such thing as a one-day miracle diet, these tips can help rejuvenate your body in just a day.