There has been a lot of discussion about the importance of drinking enough water. Most people are aware that we need to drink enough water every day so the body can perform its essential functions of circulation, digestion, absorption, elimination, enzyme action and organ function. Dehydration is common and should be avoided as it can lead to excess body fat, water retention, muscle and joint soreness, poor muscle tone, decreased digestive capacity, decreased organ function and fatigue. So, it is important, especially for people getting into shape, exercising and trying to lose weight, to drink enough water.

However it is also important to think about the kind of water you are drinking.

Drink warm water

The simple addition of ice cubes to your glass of water (especially at mealtime) can really have a big effect on the power of your digestion. If you imagine your digestion as the fire in your belly, a fire that will burn up, break down and absorb the food that you eat then imagine the impact of dumping glassfuls of ice cold water on a fire and what this will do. Ice cold water slows down and impedes the digestive process. If our food is not digested properly it becomes toxic material in the body that slows us down and makes us feel tired. Simply eliminating ice from your water is going to help your digestive process and thereby your energy, considerably. Instead drink room temperature or warm water and feel the difference.

Drink filtered water

Tap water often contains added chlorine and fluoride which cause imbalances in the body. These minerals displace other minerals in the body and so can cause mineral deficiencies among other things. Chlorine is a known poison which kills the good bacteria in your colon. We need the good bacteria in the colon to keep the "bad” bacteria in check. Killing off the good bacteria allows the bad bacteria to flourish, causing problems that can lead to yeast or fungal infections. So investing in a good filtration system is an important step towards good health.

How and when to drink your water:

Upon awakening drink 2 cups of warm water. Think of your dirty dishes. What cleans better? Cold or warm water? Warm water first thing in the morning will clean your system, move your bowels and hydrate the body.

Use a water bottle so you can keep track of how much water you consume in a day. Most people need to consume approximately 2 litres of water per day. If you drink caffeinated drinks such as tea or coffee, or are exercising you will need more.

Try to consume the majority of your water in-between meals. This will help to control the appetite and is better for digestion. Too much water taken with meals or before or just after meals dilutes the digestive juices and so impairs digestion. If you need to drink at meals sip only a ¼ cup of water at most and then drink more between meals.

This might seem like a lot of rules but changing the kind of water you drink and changing when and how you drink it are simple, inexpensive changes you can make to your daily routine that can have a big impact on your health. Don’t underestimate the power of water for health and wellbeing!

Anna Louise Dodds is a registered holistic nutritionist who works in Nanaimo. You can reach her at 751 9751 to book a consultation.