Happy, Healthy Drinking! This week is all about making sure the water you consume is as pure, fresh, and beneficial as it possibly can be. Water is essential to life. (There is no life form on Earth than can live without it, which is what spurs man’s quest to find water first and foremost on other planets.) Water is sacred. And without clean water, there is crisis. Our bodies are mostly made of water and it regulates our body temperature, protects the heart, helps burn fat, prevents constipation, decreases fatigue, carries oxygen to cells, and flushes toxins out among other things. And although the need for water seems so straightforward, there is actually a lot to consider. Here are our top 10 important tips about Water: 1. You probably aren’t drinking enough of it. If you’re thirsty, you’re already showing the first very sign of dehydration. How much do you actually need? Take your current body weight and divide it by 2 or in half. That’s how many ounces you need a day! Know how many refillable glass, stainless steel, or BPA-free plastic water bottles you would need to drink for your day, how often you need to gulp down x amount of ounces by each passing hour, and even set an alarm to remind yourself when it’s time to finish off and refill them again. (Bonus to eating a hearty dose of vegetables and fruits daily: they contain mostly water!) 2. While there are many underlying causes of headaches, drink a big glass of water as soon as you feel one. You’d be surprised how often those nagging, minor headaches are related to consistent lack of water intake. (We lose water every day in the form of water vapor in the breath we exhale and in our excreted sweat, urine, and stool. Along with the water, small amounts of salts are also lost. When we lose too much water, our bodies may become out of balance or dehydrated. Severe dehydration can lead to death. Other signs to look out for are dry mouth, swollen tongue, weakness, dizziness, heart palpitations, confusion, sluggishness, fainting, and deeply yellow or amber, concentrated urine.) 3. Timing is everything. When you wake-up, first things first-drink at least 1 full glass of room temperature water to activate your organs and start your day. If you can squeeze a little bit of lemon juice into it, even better. It will help your detoxifying organs kick into gear. Drinking a glass of water 30 minutes before a meal will not only aid digestion, but it will help your body “decide” how hungry it actually is before your first bite. (The signal for thirsty is eerily similar.) Drinking a glass of water before you take a bath or shower helps lower blood pressure. And drinking just a glass of water before bedtime has been shown to help avoid having a stroke or heart attack. 4. Proper hydration is important before, during, and after exercise or exertion. It is vital to peak athletic performance. Before a long run, a race, or a training workout, drink plenty of fluids. Monitor the color of your urine. The goal is pale yellow, not clear. To help you determine the amount of fluid you lose during exercise, you can weigh yourself before and after. For each pound lost during activity, drink 24 oz. of fluid. If your body weight increased, you have overhydrated and you should drink less fluid in future exercise sessions. After a practice or competition, drink to quench your thirst and then drink some more. 5. Whatever you do, don’t buy/use disposable plastic water bottles. If anything, they can be convenient. However, tap water is tested more often and held to higher safety standards than bottled water in the U.S., 30 million plastic bottles a day end up in landfills or the ocean (only 5% are recycled!), and bottled water consumes 2,000 times more energy than tap water. The disposable plastic water bottle pollution is harming the environment at devastating rates. (Airports can be the hardest place to avoid using disposable water bottles because of the regulations about liquids. You can still bring an empty refillable vessel and look for a drinking fountain after security checkpoints to fill it up.) 6. Modern day contaminants are no joke. There are agricultural by-products , industrial residues, and other impurities in our global water systems. It’s not impossible to find truly pure water sources, but it’s not worth the risk to not filter. Filtered water is your friend! On the expensive end, there are numerous full house, under the counter, or on the tap itself water filtration systems out there (which are important if you want to avoid harsh allergic reactions to chlorine on the skin while bathing or fluoride while brushing your teeth for example). On the less expensive end, there are water pitcher filtration systems. Shaklee’s “Get Clean Water” system is economical and eco-friendly. Each Get Clean® Water filter handles 80 gallons of water, twice as much as Brita® and Pur®, and each filter is made from sustainable coconut shell carbon using a zero-emission process. Plus, it’s the first pitcher with a refillable carbon-block filter system, so there’s less waste going to the landfills. And it’s certified by the Water Quality Association (WQA) to reduce up to 99% of lead. (You can even pack an empty pitcher to use while traveling!) Don’t forget to use filtered water with all the inhabitants of your home, including any animal companions. 7. Alkaline water may not fully live up to its hype, but is not a complete “hoax” either. It is possible that alkaline water may provide some health benefits, to some people, in certain circumstances, such as acid reflux. If you don’t suffer from kidney problems, you may consider drinking some alkaline mineral water in addition to predominantly filtered tap water. Natural spring water passes through rocks and soil and picks up various minerals, which affect its pH. Naturally-occurring mineral water contains alkalizing compounds, such as calcium, silica, potassium, magnesium, and bicarbonate. Alkalized water works by making our bodies less acidic and maintaining the slightly alkaline 7.4 pH of our blood. If you don’t have direct access to a natural spring source (and are avoiding disposable plastic bottles), you can purchase reverse osmosis and water ionizing machines. 8. For those individuals looking to go beyond purification and who are open to the possibility that water conveys energy, vortex water is the next frontier. According to the work of Dr. Viktor Schauberger, the way nature purifies water’s energy in an active stream is to move it spirally in a longitudinal vortex structure. We remove this natural energy from water as we put it in pipes, confining it and depriving it of its ability to move or flow. We can replicate this by restructuring the filtered water with an artificially created vortex, which produces a laminar structure in the water that can store higher energies. There are different devices available to do this at home too. 9. Consciousness has proven measurable effects on the geometric structure of water crystals. Previous studies (starting with the photographed research of Dr. Masaru Emoto) suggest that intention may be able to influence the structure of water. The theory is that water is far from inanimate, but is actually alive and responsive to our every thought and emotion. You can create more healing crystalline structures to your water just by simply using positive affirmations or prayers before you drink it. (Think of the intricate beauty of snowflakes.) It won’t hurt to try! 10. Water “wasting” hurts. About 95% of the water entering our homes goes down the drain. Everything from leaky, dripping faucets to inefficient landscape sprinkler systems and older flushing toilets and appliances like dishwashers and washing machines to long bathing sessions to leaving the water running while brushing your teeth all matters. Many people in the world exist on 3 gallons of water per day or less. When it comes to our water usage and conservation, we can always do better!