Not only is water the best thirst quencher for you, you need it — really! It’s not just a beverage Mom provided when you requested a soft drink with dinner and she declined. Water plays an important part in maintaining hydration and good health.

Sixty percent of the body is composed of water, yet the bloodstream contains 90 percent. Sweating, excretion, salivating and even breathing cause water loss. Replenishing what’s depleted is critical to keep healthy and hydrated. Water helps nutrients reach their destination in the body and helps maintain our core body temperature. The pituitary gland, located in the brain, and the kidneys work together to decide how much water the body needs and what can go. When we experience thirst, it’s a signal that our reserves of fluid are low and it’s time to hydrate.


Water helps control calories. It fills you up between meals — a zero fat and zero calorie perk. Eating foods dense with water helps satisfy hunger and allows you to monitor caloric intake wisely. Dr. Barbara Rolls, a Penn State researcher and author of The Volumetrics Weight Control Plan credits choosing water over high calorie, sugar-laden drinks as part of any successful health plan.


For those who can’t fathom drinking eight glasses of water daily, here are some strategies to reach your daily intake goal:


Fruit infusion

If drinking straight-up water makes you sneer, consider infusing fruit. Add flavor and nutrients, by combining water with strawberries, lemon or even kiwi. If veggies are more your style, try cucumber or celery. Fresh mint, basil and lavender give water a punch of flavor without artificial ingredients. Consider purchasing water infusing pitchers, carafes or glasses and make your favorite flavor at home.


There’s an app for that

Of course there is, right? Daily Water Free and Daily Water are free in the app store. Log how many glasses you drink and set reminders or alarms to help you stay on track and hit your daily goal.


Keep the fizz

When you want to reach for a soft drink, grab a better-for-you beverage. Sparkling water, or club soda, is a great alternative when craving something a little bubblier than a glass of water. Not a big fan of the taste? Try it with a squeeze of lemon or lime or add a splash of your favorite juice.


Eat your veggies

Consuming water-rich foods is a great way to hit your water goal. Have on hand cucumber, watermelon, grapefruit and zucchini. Respectively, their individual water content is in the 90 percent range. Sneak in more water by making smart food choices.


Yay you!

Who doesn’t like a prize for a job well done? Create rewards for yourself when you hit your water intake goals. Whether it’s daily, weekly or monthly, knowing something sweet — yes, it can be a donut — is around the corner as an incentive will help you hit your mark. Yet nothing beats the best achievement when it comes to drinking more water: great health and good hydration.

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Enjoy encouraging, motivating, uplifting content created just for women like you, all from the health care name you trust: Franciscan Health.