If you’re reading this, chances are that you live in a society with an abundance of clean drinking water. It’s easy to forget when you can just turn on the facet in your kitchen for a cold, safe glass of water, but that privilege is out-of-reach to many. An estimated 663 million people in the world lack access to safe drinking water. You might ask yourself how people survive without regular access to the most basic of human needs. The tragic answer is that people die everyday due to water-related illness and children are affected the most.
It turns out almost every one on the planet could use a little bit more water. Despite free flowing clean water, 75% of Americans don’t drink enough water and are considered chronically dehydrated. A big part of the problem is Americans drink a lot of liquids that actually contribute to dehydration. So what are we drinking?
Soft drinks - Soda is one of the most consumed beverages with the average American consuming 44.7 gallons of the sugary treat every year. These extra calories don’t satisfy hunger and can lead to weight gain.
Beer - Hooray beer, but only in moderation. The top 10% of American drinkers, which make up 24 million people, consume on average 74 alcoholic drinks per week. This type of overconsumption can lead to all sorts of problems including chronic dehydration.
Coffee - Coffee is possibly America’s most prefered beverage, with the average American drinking 69.8 gallons every year. Coffee is reported to have some health benefits, but caffeine is a diuretic. That means it makes you pee. Without replacing the fluids lost through urination, excessive consumption of coffee can contribute to dehydration.
Health benefits of drinking water
According to WebMD, water is our body's principal chemical component making up about 60 percent of our total weight. Every system in your body depends on water. For example, water flushes toxins out of vital organs, carries nutrients to your cells, and provides a moist environment for ear, nose and throat tissues.
Lack of water can lead to dehydration, a condition that occurs when you don't have enough water in your body to carry out normal functions. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired. Every day you lose water by breathing, sweating, and taking trips to the restroom. For your body to function properly, you must replenish its water supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water.
Bottom line: You need water to survive.
The only question is are you drinking enough? There is an easy formula to determine how much water you need to drink daily. If you are working out regularly, you need between one half and one whole ounce of water per day for each pound of bodyweight. To determine your baseline range for water requirement, use the following formula:
- Low end of range = Body weight (lbs) x 0.5 = (ounces of fluid/day)
- High end of range = Body weight (lbs) x 1 = (ounces of fluid/day)
A gallon of water consists of 128 ounces and is a great daily goal for most people, especially if you are active to any degree. It definitely won't hurt you!
The Water Challenge
Never Settle Fitness is challenging YOU to make a difference in not only your life but in the lives of others! We challenge you to drink one gallon of water everyday for the entire month of November. Two awesome things are going to happen when you complete the challenge:
You will finally get in the habit of drinking enough water for your body to perform at it’s peak. You’re welcome!
I will donate $5 on your behalf to clean water projects when you post a video or photo to the NSF Facebook or Instagram using the hashtags #WaterChallenge and #NeverSettleFitness.
100% of all donations will be distributed to our non-profit partner, Splash. They have also committed to using all NSF donations to fund the direct costs of water projects. That means your donation goes towards hygiene training and water purification systems instead of CEO salaries. The staff at Splash are absolute experts in cleaning the dirtiest water using modern technology and teaching communities the basics of hygiene.
In the words of Ghandi, "Be the change you want to see in the world." The Never Settle Fitness #WaterChallenge is the perfect opportunity for you to do just that - improve your own health while making a difference in the world. Stay thirsty my friends.