Water, Water Everywhere !
Did you know that more than 70 percent of our planet is covered by water? Oceans, lakes, rivers, glaciers – water is everywhere, even in the air itself! Our bodies are also made of water, comprising nearly 60 percent of our body weight, so water is truly ubiquitous.
Sometimes when I drink water, I feel like I’m drinking life itself. I can feel it flowing throughout my body, delivering oxygen to all of my internal organs, flushing out toxins, helping me digest food, and keeping me healthy.
Getting more water is the solution to so many things. If you’re dehydrated, drink more water. If you want to lose weight, drinking more water is one of the key strategies. If you’re not feeling well, the doctor tells you to drink more fluids, including water.
What about when you’re trying to conceive? Can drinking more water help you there too?
The short answer is a resounding YES.
Water has enormous benefits during preconception. One simple, but very important, reason is because it benefits your overall health, which is such a vital part of being able to get pregnant. Almost everything we do to physically prepare our bodies for conception is done with the aim of improving and maintaining our overall health.
Upping our water consumption does also have some very specific benefits for creating an environment conductive to conception. Here are a few:
- Water improves uterine health. Your uterus is the house where an embryo grows and becomes a baby, so it’s important to keep your uterus healthy, and getting enough water plays a huge part in that.
- Water improves egg health. Water also keeps your hormones balanced, which helps keep your eggs healthy – and healthy eggs have a better chance of becoming healthy babies.
- Water improves cervical fluid. Increased water consumption helps you produce more cervical fluid, which increases the sperm’s ability to reach and fertilize the egg.
So what are some strategies for getting more water?
- Carry a water bottle with you everywhere. That way you’re never caught empty-handed (literally and figuratively!). My red water bottle is like an extension of my hand… seriously! It goes everywhere with me, out for a walk, in the car, on errands. It’s usually easy to find a fountain to keep it full. I recommend a stainless steel bottle and make sure that it doesn’t contain BPA (Exposure to BPA has been linked to infertility so having that in your water bottle would be counterproductive).
- Drink water mindfully. Instead of realizing late in the day that you haven’t had any water yet and then trying to pound down 8 glasses of water all at once, drink consistently throughout the day. Sometimes, especially when I’m marathon training, I set an hourly alarm on my computer or phone to remind myself to drink. When the alarm goes off, I take a few sips.
- Jazz it up with fresh fruit. Lots of people don’t like the taste (or non-taste) of water. The best solution for this is to give it some taste, and there are so many wonderful ones to choose from! Add lemon or lime to your water (I could go on and on extolling the virtues of drinking lemon water first thing in the morning, and this will probably be the subject of a future post!). You could also add cucumber, strawberries, orange, or any fruit that you like. Basically, if the water tastes pleasant to you, you’ll drink more of it.
- Check out hydrating foods. You don’t actually have to get all your water from drinking alone. Many foods have high water content and can count toward your water consumption for the day. Examples include soups, fruits like strawberries and watermelon, and vegetables like cucumber, lettuce and tomato (so don’t underestimate the power of that lunchtime salad!). Broccoli and celery are water-rich foods too.
Aim for getting half of your body weight (in ounces) of water every day while you’re trying to conceive. And once you get pregnant, keep on drinking water! It’s one of the essential ingredients for a healthy pregnancy as well.
Lots of love,