Sometimes a simple large glass of water can curb your cravings, boost your metabolism and save you from overeating. While water is essential to our well-being, there are some water DO’s and DON’T’s that need to be addressed.

QUANTITY

When it comes to figuring out how much water to drink, listen to your body and look at your tongue. If you see cracks on your tongue’s surface, then your system may need extra hydration.

See how it feels to drink about eight glasses a day – each with eight ounces of water – and increase your water intake when you exercise.

Its best to drink BETWEEN meals, with either hot or room temperature water.

COLD WATER DON’T

Avoid drinking cold water before, during or after a meal.

It can dampen your digestive fire and prevent you from absorbing important nutrients. It can also push the food out from your stomach faster, making you hungry sooner.

Did you know that people who drank cold water after breakfast were hungry sooner than those who drank a hot beverage after eating?

WARM and HOT WATER DO

To help digestion, drink warm or hot water before and after the meal as it can actually help your digestion. But be careful not to drink too much so you don’t dilute your digestive enzymes and prevent proper absorption. When your body gets the largest amount of high-quality nutrients for the least amount of calories, you will crave less food and feel more energetic

METABOLISM BOOSTING WATER TIP

One of my favorite metabolism boosters is sipping plain hot water during the day. No lemon, no honey, no tea.

Begin your day with 20 ounces of hot/warm water and drink it before your reach for your morning coffee or breakfast. See how that feels. You may feel surprisingly refreshed without needing as much caffeine.

Then sip on hot water all day long and you may find you have more energy and your cravings have gone away. Other possible benefits include clearer skin and brighter skin tone.

BOTTLED WATER DON’T

Bottled water is available in almost any convenient store, vending machine or gas station. Even though it is a better option to stay hydrated than soda, there can be a lot of chemicals found in plastic water bottles. The biggest issue with plastic bottles is the heat.

While being transported from the factory to the retail outlet, bottles get heated and plastic can leak out chemicals into the water.

That process is often repeated when the water bottles are left in the warm car in the sun. When you choose that water, you also choose the chemicals.

BOTTLED WATER DO

To avoid chemicals from the plastic, I suggest buying glass water bottles. They are available by brands such as VOSS, Saratoga, Jana and Mountain Valley.

My favorite brand is VOSS, as you can easily reuse their small bottles by washing them in the dishwasher and refilling with the filtered or distilled water at home.

Cases of these bottles are available at grocery stores or online.

After all, we don’t drink wine from plastic bottles. Why not show the same respect for water that nourishes our bodies on daily basis?

WATER FOR TRAVELING

When traveling or on-the-go, I recommend Water Bobbles or Brita Bottles – filtered, refillable water bottles that are available online, Publix and even at Office Depot. These bottles are lightweight and can be taken through security at the airport. They come in different colors and make drinking water stylish!

FILTERED WATER DO

Filtered water is a good option to reduce chemicals and trace medicine that is currently found in local water supplies. You can either get a filtered pitcher, under-counter filter or an all-home unit, depending on your budget.

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About Alina Z.

Alina Z., aka “The Green Goddess,” is a certified holistic health coach, detox specialist and raw-food chef (she conducts occasional classes at Whole Foods in Boca). Prior to moving to Florida,  Alina hosted her own TV show in Maryland—“Entertaining A to Z”—for people who didn’t have time to cook but wanted to eat healthy. Catch one of her web episodes at eHow.com, visit Alina’s website at alinaz.com, or follow her on Facebook (facebook.com/CoutureFood) or Twitter (@CoutureFood). The Green Goddess blog runs every other Wednesday at bocamag.com.