Benefits of Proper Water Intake

At some point in your life, you have been told to drink more water because it is “good for you”, but why exactly is it good? The true benefits of adequate water intake are often overlooked by most people. Humans are made mostly of water, and without proper hydration, many key functions of the body would simply not be possible. Proper water intake has a direct effect on our daily lives and our overall health.


Lack of proper water intake can lead to dehydration, feeling faint, and mental fogginess. Proper water intake helps regulate your body temperature, flush waste from your body, and transport nutrients via the bloodstream. How much water does the body need to properly function and avoid negative side effects? There are a few highly regarded recommendations for daily water intake that include eight 8-ounce glasses a day (64 ounces). Another recommendation suggests drinking half your body weight (pounds) in ounces of water a day. Outside factors also play into your daily water that should be considered. The climate in which you live can come into play because people living in hot climates will need to drink more water to regulate body temperature and replace water lost sweating. Also, your level of physical activity effects your daily hydration needs due to water lost with extra internal functions and sweating.


It is nice to know that adequate water intake is good for your health, but you may wonder how it will affect you on a daily basis. Personally, increasing my water intake had a huge impact on my daily life. As a teenager, I would have three cans of soda a day, but decided to cut it out and replace it with just water. I was surprised by the results. Instead of feeling hyperactive, I felt even-keeled. Instead of having issues staying awake during the day and issues falling asleep, I was able to be awake, focused, and energetic while also being able to fall asleep well at night. For me, once I felt the results it has been a major focus to keep my water intake high. Water is a key building block of life, so do not be surprised if you see improvements to your energy levels, mood, skin, or sleep.


Whether adding more water throughout the day or replacing other beverages, adding an appropriate amount of water to your lifestyle can make a major difference. Think about where you can add water into your own day. First thing in the morning, between meals, or after physical activity are all great times to make improvements. Give it a try and find what works best for you.



CHES, ACE Health Coach, AFPA Nutrition & Wellness Consultant

Health Coach

[Video] Who Works With A Health Coach?

Here is a video I made last month to give a description of what kind of people use a health coach.

If you have questions on working with a Health Coach, please ask.



CHES, ACE Health Coach, AFPA Nutrition & Wellness Consultant


Making Smart Choices When Snacking

Snacking gets a bad reputation from the health industry sometimes, but that really should not be the case. I think most of us understand that eating ice cream and cookies right before we go to bed is not productive towards an overall healthy lifestyle. However, snacks absolutely do have a place in a healthy lifestyle and can be great when worked in properly. Snacking can be a great tool to reduce hunger between meals, improve energy levels, and keep meal portions in check. There are three key factors to focus on for healthy snacking: when you are snacking, what you are snacking on, and how much you are having for your snack.


When Are You Snacking?

From my experience, people do not think about when they eat their snacks, they just eat whenever they are hungry. Often people have snacks late in the evening, which is usually is not the best time since there will be little time to work off those extra calories. This is especially a problem when trying to watch your weight. It is generally best to fit a healthier snack earlier in the day while most people are more active. It also can help to cut back on the urge to snack late at night.


What Are You Snacking On?

Anything can technically be eaten throughout your day as a snack. Picking the better available options is going to help you improve your overall health. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, granola, and hummus are all great options. Generally, snacks high in protein and fiber will keep you satisfied and satiated throughout the day. A snack of complex carbohydrates before physical activity can be appropriate to make sure you have the energy for your exercise. In contrast, snacks like crackers, most granola/protein bars (often glorified candy bars), and dried fruits loaded with sugar are foods some people may perceive as a good choice.


How Much Are you Snacking On?

Snacking a little is alright, but what if I told you portion size is important for higher quality snacks as well? I am a big fan of snacking on nuts because they are high in fiber, protein, and healthy fats. Remember that both fats, saturated and unsaturated, are fairly high in calories. One gram of fat is nine calories, while a gram of carbohydrates or protein is just four calories. This means the calories can rack up quickly when eating nuts, sunflower seeds, peanut butter, or to a lesser extent, hummus. Be mindful of the appropriate portion size on the label if you are trying to watch your weight. For items such as chips, ice cream, and pretzels, try using a smaller bowl to decrease the size of your portions.


Snacking is absolutely part of a healthy diet but it is important to do it intelligently. Try working in small snacks throughout the day to see what exactly works best for you. Remember, the more active you are, the more appropriate it is to work in more snacking. It will help keep your energy up, your hunger low, and more satisfied throughout your day.



CHES, ACE Health Coach, AFPA Nutrition & Wellness Consultant

Health Coach

[Video] What is a Health Coach?

Here is a quick video I made about What a Health Coach does and how they work with someone to help improve their health.



CHES, ACE Health Coach, AFPA Nutrition & Wellness Consultant


Natural Foods to Improve Blood Pressure

Heart disease is the number one cause of death worldwide. One of the largest causes of heart disease is due to long term high blood pressure. In my last blog, I addressed the issues that high blood pressure can cause and what foods can increase your risk of high blood pressure. Today we will focus on natural foods that may improve blood pressure that are simple to add to most anyone’s eating habits.



One of my personal favorite spices is cinnamon, due not only to its great flavor but also to its perceived health benefits. Early studies have shown it’s a natural source to assist in managing high blood pressure. It has shown to improve systolic blood pressure (blood pressure when the heart is contracting) and, to a lesser extent, diastolic blood pressure (blood pressure when the heart is between beats). Greater improvements were seen in people with Type I & Type II diabetes (Akilen).


Beet Juice

Studies have shown that beet juice can also assist in improving blood pressure. The nitrate in the beet juice is converted within the body into nitrite, which helps vasodilate (widen) blood vessels that reduce overall blood pressure. Beet juice has been shown to be part of a ‘”natural’ low-cost approach for the treatment of some cardiovascular disease” (Webb). The particular study showed improvement in one to two hours after volunteers ingested beet juice. The study used two cups of beet juice before each test, so consuming enough juice in an ordinary day seems quite reasonable.


Cayenne Pepper

Another spice that studies have shown may improve blood pressure is cayenne pepper. It contains a natural chemical compound called capsaicin that promotes vasodilation as well as improvements in sodium retention, both of which lead to improved blood pressure (McCarty). About a half teaspoon of cayenne pepper in water can help improve blood flow and assist in removing excess sodium from the body. Cayenne pepper can be used on a wide variety of foods to add flavor and assist in improved heart health.


Making a change to improve your dietary health and heart health does not have to be difficult. All of these items can be easily added to most regular dietary habits. Cinnamon and cayenne pepper can be added to food items or just combined with water to drink. Beet juice can be had with a meal or between meals. Small, simple changes and additions can make an impact, improve your overall health, and assist in managing healthy blood pressure.


CHES, ACE Health Coach, AFPA Nutrition & Wellness Consultant



  1. Akilen, Pimlott, Tsiami, Robinson N. “Effect of short-term administration of cinnamon on blood pressure in patients with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23867208. October 23, 2013. Vol 29, Issue 10.


  1. McCarty, Dinicolantonio, O’Keefe. “Capsaicin May Have Important Potential for Promoting Vascular and Metabolic Health.” http://openheart.bmj.com/content/2/1/e000262. June 17, 2015.


  1. Webb, Patel, Loukogeorgakis, Okorie, Aboud, Misra, Rashid, Miall, Deanfield, Benjamin, MacAllister, Hobbs, Ahluwalia. “Acute Blood Pressure Lowering, Vasoprotective, and Antiplatelet Properties of Dietary Nitrate via Bioconversion to Nitrite.” http://hyper.ahajournals.org/content/51/3/784. February 20, 2008.