I decided to check the oil in my car today. I probably should have done it months ago, but it's just not something I think about.
Apparently you're suppose to have your oil checked or changed at roughly 5000 km… For me, it's been… oh, probably 40,000.
I'm not joking.
Anyway, I won't go into great detail about the grunge and grime that came up on the dip stick. It wasn't a good sign. In my defence, the oil light never came on…
Well, on my drive into work, I got to thinking about the importance of a well oiled body. Just as I neglected my car, too many of us neglect our bodies by depriving it of water.
Up until this year, I used to make it my New Year's resolution to drink more water. I never drank enough. Sure, I drink coffee, herbal tea, and maybe 500ml while working out, but it never amounted more than about 2 litres a day, and that's not enough.
- water makes up about 75% of our body weight
- you can survive up to 4 weeks without food, but no longer than 3 days without water – my poor car went months upon months without oil, yikes!
- water forms the bulk of blood and tissue fluid in our bodies, which makes it essential for transporting nutrients, hormones and waste products
- our brain consists of 90% water – my poor car!!
- helps with our metabolism – great for losing weight!
- protects and moisturizes joints – again, I'm so sorry car 😦
Not sure how much water you should drink? Checking the colour of your urine is a pretty good determination. It should be pale yellow or clear. Dark yellow or a strong odour usually indicates you need to drink more. General recommendations are between 8-12 glasses a day, more depending on the duration and intensity of your workouts. You can find water consumption calculators online – and in the Useful Tools section of my blog.
- weight loss: drinking more helps flush by-products of fat breakdown, reduces hunger, and acts as an appetite suppressant
- cures headaches: the next time you have a headache, it could be just a symptom of dehydration. Try drinking more water.
- relieves fatigue: drinking 1 pint of water upon waking helps flush out toxins and waste products. It “oils” your heart, which helps it pump oxygenated blood to all cells and vital organs – it's the first thing I do when I get up in the morning!
- healthy skin: see the first point above – our body is made up of 75% water, we need it to stay hydrated
- brain function: with our brain being mostly made up of water, does this point really need explanation?
- improves workouts: water regulates our body temperature, and fuels muscle
- less cramps and sprains: water hydrates joints
- reduce the risk of cancer: studies show that drinking a healthy amount of water ay reduce the risks of bladder or colon cancer-causing agents in the urine and shortens the time in which they are in contact with the bladder lining – sounds good to me!
Just as I've learned a valuable lesson in making sure I check the oil in my car, I've also learned that water consumption is an important and vital need for healthy living. So, no more resolutions that I end up breaking. I ensure I drink the required amount of water daily, which always starts with a pint of room temperature water first thing in the morning.
This is my water bottle – it holds just over 2 litres. I try to drink at least two of these a day – on top of the large coffee, herbal teas and pint of water I consume.