It is Valentine’s Day. A somewhat commercialized holiday, in my opinion, but none the less it is nice to be reminded about love. Love in all forms, not just significant others, but siblings, parents, children, friends perhaps even pets.
Now, I think we use the word love to convey many meanings. For example, I LOVE my new BKR water bottle with the mint green, silicone sleeve. I take it everywhere, to work, in my car, and at night it sits on my nightstand. Last night I forgot to bring it upstairs and was too lazy to go get it, and I missed it, I went to grab it first thing when I woke up and was a little put out to find it wasn’t there. To clarify, what I really feel is a genuine happiness to have that water bottle near, but I wouldn’t classify my feelings as even similar to the love I feel for my husband, children, grandchildren etc. But I do really, really like it.
I bought my BKR (that is the brand name), because I wanted a glass water bottle that I could carry around everywhere. At the gym I stick to plastic, BPA free, but I can be a bit of a coordination challenged individual (aka clutz), and am prone to knock it over, thus plastic is best. I use a Brimma water bottle at the gym. Let me digress and say each purchase is done after a fair bit of research. For the gym I wanted a water bottle that would have an easy and quick open feature, be BPA free and wouldn’t break or be super loud if I knocked it over. My Brimma provides that. But the drawback is, even though it is BPA free, what other chemicals are in plastic that eventually could break down, slowly leaching into my water? One of the things I do now, is I fill my water bottle just before my workout and empty it after, so the water doesn’t sit for prolonged periods in the bottle.
But for everyday use, I wanted something that was pretty, completely safe, with no potential for chemicals to be leaching into my water, no funny taste and environmentally friendly. When I did my google thing, I saw the BKR was the choice for several celebrities, so that made me investigate further. Sure enough, I can see why, it is attractive and functional, I love the little carry handle the lid is fitted with and it fits into my car’s cup holder.
I also ordered two S’well water bottles from Amazon, a 17 oz and 9 oz in designs I found pleasing to the eye. I’m still waiting for delivery of the 9oz and I haven’t yet tried the 17 oz, it’s still sitting on my counter. I am planning to bring the larger one with me on my upcoming trip to Mexico to keep my water cold as I spend most of the day outside. These bottles are stainless steel and insulated so they will keep cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot, as well as being environmentally friendly, and won’t have potential chemicals leaching into my water.
So why my fascination with water bottles? Well, hydration is important. Most of us likely don’t drink enough water daily. I can understand the struggle, water is not “exciting”, though I suppose if I lived in a third world country where clean drinking water is hard to come by, my perspective might change on that. (Consider that my tip if you are looking for worthy causes to donate to). But here in North America, most of us don’t give a second thought to our water (exceptions exist ie Flint Michigan, Walkerton Ontario), but generally we all have access to clean, safe drinking water, gallons and gallons of it. Yet, many of us are probably on the low end of what we need.
What is the recommended amount you ask? Well, not a simple question actually, the answer is: it depends. Things like whether we exercise and for how long and how intensely, our environment and where we live, illness or health conditions, pregnancy or breast-feeding are all factors that will influence our fluid needs.
Every system in our body depends on water. We lose water through our breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements. Lack of water can lead to dehydration, a condition that occurs when we don’t have enough water in our body to carry out our normal functions. Even mild dehydration can take away your energy and make you tired. Elderly people in particular are prone to not drinking enough water as they tend not to feel thirst as much.
The general rule is 8×8. Eight 8 ounce glasses of water or other fluid per day. If your urine output is colourless or light yellow and measures about 1.5 litres (just over 6 cups)- assuming you are measuring that – then your fluid intake is probably ok. Food also contributes to our fluid intake, particularly fruits and vegetables. Watermelon for example has a significant amount of fluid. Caffeinated beverages and soda pop also count toward your fluid intake, but I would suggest keeping these to a minimum as they are not especially healthy ways to get your fluid (understatement).
Water is really your best bet to get the majority of your fluid. Personally, I also drink a lot of herbal teas and add a lemon slice to my water to make it a bit more “exciting”. I even went so far as to buy a pretty glass for work so I can have my water with lemon in a visually appealing manner. Most recently, I also added a pretty mint green and gold mug from Chapters to my work place collection for drinking my herbal teas.
I also drink at least three cups of skim milk per day. Yes, (gasp) dairy! The daily recommended amount of milk and alternatives in Canada’s Food Guide for an adult female 19 to 50 years age is two servings. Unfortunately, I seem to be prone to foot cramps and with decades of experimentation, and my doctor’s advice, have found my optimal amount is three cups, which will serve me well in 10 months when I turn 51 and the Canada’s Food Guide recommendation goes up to three cups per day. I don’t plan on having any issues with osteoporosis either, so I will keep up with my dairy intake. And, I do ingest other forms of dairy in addition to my milk, such as yogurt and kefir. I am lactose intolerant, so I do tend to use the lactose free versions of milk and yogurt most of the time and appreciate those companies who are expanding their lactose free options.
All liquids are not created equal. As I’ve mentioned, water is best but herbal teas, milk, juice, fruits and vegetables are all good options as well. Juice can be healthy, but is also full of sugar, albeit naturally occurring sugars if it is unsweetened, and too much sugar isn’t healthy either. This obviously means other sweetened drinks, whether it’s powdered mixes added to drinks, vitamin water, energy drinks etc., that are adding sugar or artificial sweeteners, may be contributing to your fluid intake but are also adding unhealthy and unwanted extras. So go for healthy, unsweetened liquids wherever possible. Adding things like lemon, lime, mint, cucumber, strawberries, watermelon and so on can infuse your water with extra flavour without adding sugar or calories.
Thanks to my collection of pretty water bottles, glasses and mugs, these days I look for opportunities to drink more fluids. Just remember, it’s not about what works for me, or making huge changes in your life. Try for small, consistent changes that work for you that you can incorporate into your life permanently. I encourage you to find your own, unique way of increasing your daily fluid intake. Happy drinking!