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KEY POINTS:

1. Mild dehydration, just a 1% loss in body fluids can impair your mood, concentration and thinking.

2. Water consumption is the easiest way to improve your health. It helps boosts energy production in the body, prevents headaches, improves elimination of toxins, and supports the skin, bowels, eyes and brain.

3. Drink ½ of your weight (lbs) in ounces of fluid each day. If you weigh 150lbs, you need to consume about 75 oz of fluid/day (1L=32oz, so that would be about 2.5 L/day – or 5 standard water bottles).

Eating smarter can help you in all aspects of your life. The solution lies in each of us building a lifestyle that helps us to be healthy, happy and to be our best. The foundation needs to be built on great foods that help us be better. We just need to eat the right food at the right time and we can have amazing health and perform at any level you need to any time you need to. If we add good sleep and exercise to the mix, we can amplify our health and potential. Here's the first key to eating smarter.

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Key #1: Hydrate

Quick! What’s the most important thing for health? Breathing? Yes, stop breathing and you’ll die in a few minutes. How about the second most important thing for staying alive? Any guesses? Exactly! Water. Water is absolutely vital to a body’s function and survival. Stop being hydrated for a few days and you stop living. Remember the remarkable story of the Bangladeshi woman who survived 17 days in the wreckage of a collapsed garment building? She managed that near impossible feat because she had found some bottled water.

There is not a single cell in your body that does not rely on water. Water helps transport the carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that your cells need to make energy. When your body works, functions or moves it does so because water helped transport the necessary fuel or energy building components. By the way, reflect on the word “carbohydrate” for a moment. Do you see the word “hydrate”? That’s not an accident. Carbohydrates are basically hydrates of carbon. Carbon. Hydrogen. Oxygen. Even carbohydrates rely on water.

Think of your veins and arteries as your city’s roads and highways. These roads are used to bring goods into the city but also to transport unwanted materials out. If this transportation is slowed, the result is a city that is starving for goods and overflowing with garbage.

Continuing with this analogy, think of your body’s water molecules as the vehicles on the roadways, transporting the nutrients your cells need to make energy. Water makes up 80% of your blood’s volume, so when water is depleted, this has a huge impact on the efficiency of your blood cells.

If that was hard to follow, drink a glass of water. Now. Before you read on. Your brain needs water. 60 percent of your body weight is made up of water but incredibly it makes up almost 90 percent of your brain. Water lubricates and cushions the brain. It also helps you to think, concentrate, problem solve and remember. With water those important cognitive functions… well, they function. Without water and they stop functioning properly, or worse. A recent study out of the UK indicates that dehydrated adolescents had structural changes in their brains that were equivalent to an Alzheimer’s disease patient over a two-and-a-half-month period or 14 months of ageing in a healthy adult. In other words, dehydration can cause a person’s brains to shrink (Human Brain Mapping, 2010).

Not a teenager anymore? Water still matters. Mild dehydration, just a one percent loss in body fluids, can impair your mood, concentration and thinking. With a fluid loss of only 2% (3lbs in a 150lb adult) concentration and thinking will become impaired. This 2% loss is incredibly common with a typical day at the office with back-to-back meetings.

Water consumption is the easiest way to improve your health. It helps boosts energy production in the body, prevents headaches, improves elimination of toxins, and supports the skin, bowels, eyes and brain… Aim to drink at least ½ of your weight (lbs) in ounces of fluid each day (more in times of stress or heat). Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink water, or you’ll be playing catch up all day! If you weigh 150lbs, you need to consume about 75 oz of fluid/day (1L=32oz, so that would be about 2.5 L/day – or 5 standard water bottles).

HYDRATION TIP: IF YOU FIND THE TASTE OF WATER BORING, TRY ADDING A PACKAGE OF TRUE CITRUS TO YOUR WATER BOTTLE. IT CONTAINS ALL NATURAL CITRUS INGREDIENTS WITH NO ADDED SWEETENER OR ARTIFICIAL SWEETENER. IT'S JUST LIKE ADDING A SLICE OF LEMON OR LIME TO YOUR WATER AND EASY TO TAKE WITH YOU ON THE ROAD!

Today's POWER-UP: Get Hydrated!

So make drinking water part of your daily routine.

Get a water bottle and keep it with you and fill it up a few times every day. Water is just as important at work as it is in the gym!

Stay hydrated, stay healthy and Be Better!