Not drinking water? Here's why you should start

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It's in our bodies, in the air, in the ground and sometimes falls from the sky. It's not seltzer, not soda and not fruit juice water. It's regular, plain 'ol water, and chances are you're not drinking enough of it.

From my observations, I have this assumption that people who "don't like the taste of water" drink seltzer water or have to have some sugar with it. This is probably due to the fact that sugar is a cousin of crack and you just can't drop it.

I started drinking more water when I got a water bottle and began working out regularly. It got to a point where I didn't go anywhere without water, or even a snack if I knew I'd be out of the house long; something my relatives got me in the habit of doing.

If you have dry skin or tend to get blemishes, or even suffer from frequent headaches, you need to drink more water. If it wasn't an essential nutrient, then there wouldn't be so much fuss over the Flint, Mich. water crisis or the drought in California.

There are many sources online that suggest how much water you should consume, but start with having a glass as soon as you wake up to get the digestion system moving (Nothing's been happening for about eight hours). Then, have a glass at lunch, and then again before bed or with dinner, just to get into the habit. Even better, invest in a reusable water bottle, one with measurements on it. And, if you own a Fitbit fitness tracker, you can even log the amount of water you drink over the course of the day.

Not keen on constantly refilling a bottle? Grab a gallon jug and keep that close all day long. Some people even chalk it up with reminders along the measurements. For example, make eight horizontal lines and on the top line write 10 a.m., and increase the time as you go down to make sure you're drinking to that line by the time written on it. Little stick figure drawings are good encouragement too. If you prefer a specific measurement, divide your body weight in half and drink that amount of water in ounces. So, if you weigh 160 pounds, drink 80 ounces of water. Don't kill yourself, but shoot for 60 to 80 ounces each day. Yes, you'll urinate more, but that's how you can tell it's working. Also, who wouldn't want a break every hour away from their desk? If you can manage it at least.

Now that you know how to drink water efficiently, here's why you should: According to Health.com, water makes your hair shinier and smoother (hydrates it), brightens eyes, reduces leg dimples (Cellulite, ladies!), firms skin, improves sleep (especially if you're a heavy caffeine drinker), and increases energy. It also helps with digestion during a big meal, relieves headaches and helps with cramps, sprains and muscle soreness.

If you're more environmentally conscious, choose to drink out of a glass instead of plastic. In the summer, if you're transporting a plastic water bottle around, or even drinking from the store's plastic bottles, the weather can alter the temperature of the water and can cause the bisphenol-A (BPA) in the plastic to leach out, according to MyOwnBottle.com. Also, about 2.7 million tons of plastic are used each year worldwide from disposable water bottles and less than one percent of them are recycled, which means the remaining 99 percent piles up in a landfill, that does not magically disappear.

Just like my plug for shopping and eating local at farmers markets, taking care of your body is a win by drinking more water, as well as helping the environment.

— Makayla-Courtney McGeeney can be reached at (802)-447-7567, ext. 118.


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