As the summer months really start to heat up I am more focused on one of the most essential nutrients…yet one that most people don't get enough of…Water!

Our bodies are 60-70% water. You can live months without food but only a few days without water. Water is essential for many functions in our bodies. It removes waste products, is essential to chemical reactions in the body, carries nutrients and oxygen to our cells, and cools the body. Our brains contain the most water at 80%.

Even slight dehydration can cause you to feel fatigued, short tempered, and fuzzy thinking. Lack of adequate water consumption will lead to excess body fat, poor muscle tone, decrease in digestive and organ function, increased toxicity, headaches, and excess water retention. Even your joints will be affected. Your body is always trying to maintain a balance and if you don't provide enough water, your body will take the water out of your joints in an attempt to create balance. This leads to aches and pains in your joints.

Signals of dehydration are heartburn, chronic pain, headaches, irritation and depression, water retention, and weight gain. By the time you have a dry mouth you are already in a deficit.

So how much water do you need? There is a formula…If you aren't very active then you should be drinking about ½ oz. for every pound of body weight. This is on average about 8-10 8oz. glasses per day. Add 16oz. for hot and dry climates as your lungs will take more water to breath. If you are athletic...drink 2/3oz. per pound of body weight. If you work out that day add 16oz. and if it is hot and dry add another 16oz. more. Drink your water throughout the day to provide a constant supply. You will probably be running to the restroom a lot in the beginning but your body will become more efficient as you get into the habit.

You don't have to go out and buy fancy bottled water. A good water filter on your faucet will do the job nicely. I keep a 74oz. water bottle in my possession all day and make sure I sip on it throughout the day. Be careful with leaving plastic water bottles in the car as they have shown the plastic can leach toxins into your water supply as the bottle heats up. You can also get a significant supply of water from your fruits and vegetables…about 20% if you are eating your daily requirements. Stay away from soda, alcohol, and caffeine as these can be dehydrating.

If you have a weight loss goal, drinking water is one of the most important and easiest part of your program. Your body can't ****bolize fat efficiently without enough water intake. Drink a full glass before you eat and you will find you eat smaller servings. There is some debate over whether it is better to drink ice cold water or room temperature. In my opinion…whatever gets you to drink more…do it! Try keeping a daily diary on your water consumption. This will help you become more aware of how much you are really drinking.

Have a wonderful rest of your summer and drink your water!