Stay Hydrated and Improve Colon Health



In an interview with People magazine, Heather Locklear’s close friend and makeup artist, Lisa Ashley, reveals that Heather has a rather unique nickname. "We call her Camel because she can go so long without drinking water. I don't even know how her skin stays looking so pretty."

In truth, a lot of us have the tendency to be like Heather Locklear. No, I’m not talking about the sultry eyes or the perfectly toned legs. I’m talking about the habit of going without water a lot longer than we should.

According to a recent report by CBS, up to 75 percent of Americans don’t drink enough water throughout the day, which means they are living in a chronic state of dehydration. While we might think we are taking in plenty of fluids as we sip on coffee, tea or soda, what many of us don’t realize is that these drinks actually have a dehydrating effect on the body. Caffeinated beverages are diuretics, meaning they promote water loss. So while you sip away on that gas station Big Gulp or venti Starbucks latte, your body is actually losing out on the fluids it needs to perform properly.

You might remember from your seventh grade science class that 60 percent of the human body is composed of water, so it’s easy to see why hydration is so important. Water is a key component that allows the body to carry out its daily functions, such as absorbing vitamins and nutrients, detoxifying the liver and kidneys, and carrying away waste (Source: Medical Daily). Adequate hydration is also particularly important for colon health.

The colon is responsible for removing liquid from digested food so stool can be formed and eliminated from the body. This continual passage of waste keeps the colon naturally clean, but when the body doesn’t receive an adequate water supply, constipation can occur. Drinking more water throughout the day helps to keep the colon clean, increase overall function and improve regularity (Source: LIVESTRONG).

It will take some time to grow accustomed to drinking more water throughout the day – especially if you’re not a big fan of H2O in the first place – but there are ways to make it a little easier to increase your fluid intake. Follow these steps to keep your body hydrated morning, noon and night:

Keep water readily available – Purchase an eco-friendly reusable water bottle that you can fill throughout the day. This will make it easy to always have water within reach whether you’re in the car, at the office, in the gym or at home.

Measure your intake – The general rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in fluid ounces. For example, a 130-pound individual should drink 65 fluid ounces of water per day, roughly the equivalent of 8 cups. Water bottles with marked measurements make it easy to track your daily intake. But even if your bottle isn’t marked, you can always write measurements in with permanent marker.

Try infused water – If you don’t like the taste (or lack thereof) of plain water, infused water can be a game-changer. Add slices of fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs to your water bottle for some added color and flavor. Have fun experimenting with different combinations like cucumber melon, grapefruit mint and lemon rosemary.

Use a reminder app – Our phones can do pretty much anything these days, and that includes providing helpful reminders to drink more water. Apps like Waterlogged, Daily Water Free and Water Your Body allow you to set reminders to drink water and allow you to record the amount consumed.

Dilute beverages – If you’re not ready to give up your favorite drinks cold turkey, try diluting them with one part water. Tea, fruit juice and lemonade can still be delicious even at half strength, and you can use sparkling water for some extra kick.

Eat hydrating foods – If you just can’t bring yourself to drink water by the glassful, you can still increase your fluid intake by eating foods with a high water content. Snack on cucumber slices (they’re over 96 percent water!), celery sticks, watermelon cubes or strawberries.

Increasing your water intake is great for your body but it can be a big adjustment. Be patient with yourself as you work towards this healthy new habit, and cut yourself some slack if you fall short of your daily goals. What matters most is that you’re working towards a hydrated body and a healthier colon. Bottoms up!