Who Knew That Some Of Us Are Actually Drinking Water Wrong?

Believe it or not, water has some rules of action too.


I already know. Some of y'all are like, "I know that drinking water is good for me. That doesn't mean I like it, so trying to convince me that I'm doing it wrong is asking for a lot." Sis, I hear you. It's not like drinking water is my favorite thing to do either. So much, in fact, that I oftentimes go with sparkling water with a splash of juice in it, just to get my daily quota in. Still, personal feelings don't change the fact that water consumption is oh so very necessary if you want to keep toxins out of your system, regulate your body temperature, keep your joints lubricated, produce saliva and lubrication, push oxygen throughout your organs, keep your skin healthy and so much more.

That's why it's not only important that you drink water but that you do it right. If you had absolutely no idea that there are a myriad of different ways to do it wrong, let me share 10 of 'em, along with how to correct these common mistakes—now.


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1. Stop Drinking Bottled Water

Let's start with something that I'm thinking is a given, at this point (although I see A LOT of people do it so, maybe not). Bottled water—what I mean is water that comes from a plastic bottle—needs to be an absolute no-no. Aside from the fact that it is absolutely horrible for the environment (it's been reported that there will be somewhere around 30 million metric tons of plastic in the oceans, every year, by 2040), plastic oftentimes contains BPA (which is a synthetic compound known as bisphenol A) and other plastic toxins.

This can ultimately lead to all sorts of health-related issues including fertility problems, weight gain and even heart disease. Instead, you're much better off using a recyclable bottle. It lasts longer, there's no trash and it's so much better for your overall health and well-being.

2. Drink Less Cold Water

While I can certainly get down with the fact that drinking cold water can be really refreshing, when it's ice cold, it actually isn't all that great for you in the long run.

For one thing, if you heard somewhere that it boosts your metabolism, drinking cold water doesn't really do that any more than room temperature water does. Also, because it can restrict your blood vessels, cold water can make it harder to digest your food easily. Other challenges that it presents? It can decrease your heart rate, hinder your body from breaking down fat and even leave you constipated.

So yeah, water with a ton of ice in it isn't really the way to go. Room temperature water is your far better bet.

3. Leave the Lemon Slices Alone (When Eating Out)

If you're someone who's good for getting a couple of lemon slices in your water while you're out—yeah, you might wanna chill on that. There are many studies which indicate that as much as 70 percent of lemon slices have all kinds of nasty germs including bacteria, viruses and E. coli all over them. What about lemon slices at your crib? Well, that's an entirely different story.

If you drink it there, lemon water can help to detox your system, give you a boost of Vitamin C, freshen your breath, reduce your chances of getting kidney stones and even aid in your body's digestive process (especially if you have a glass, first thing in the morning). The reason why DIY lemon wedges are better is because you know what's going on with your knives, countertops and kitchens (and your hands). In restaurants? Not so much.

4. Use a Straw

If water isn't really one of your favorite things on the planet (again, I get it; I oftentimes say it's like drinking wet air) yet you want to amp up your water intake, try drinking it from a straw. Believe it or not, drinking liquid from a straw makes it easier to consume more of it. Hmph. Maybe that's why so many fast food joints want us to take as many straws as possible for those sodas, huh?

5. Have Some Water with Your Alcohol and Coffee

Two things that are diuretics are alcohol and coffee. This is why a lot of people can drink either (or both) and end up still being thirsty all of the time. If you check out the article, "10 Overlooked Signs That You're Dehydrated" on our site, you'll see several reasons why being dehydrated (75 percent of us are, by the way) is absolutely not a good look.

Yet what if you can't imagine a day without a glass of red wine or a couple of cups of java? At least balance things out a bit by following those with a glass of water. It can help to keep you hydrated. It can also reduce your chances of drinking more alcohol or coffee than you actually should.

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6. Drink a Full Glass with Your Vitamins or Medicine

Whether it's some sort of medicine that you've been prescribed or you're like me and you are all about getting some vitamins and supplements into your system on a daily basis, chase those down with a full glass of water.

If you're concerned that doing this will flush out what you just took in, first, one glass shouldn't be able to rock any kind of boat. And, as far as vitamins and supplements are concerned, many of them are water soluble which means that the water can actually help them to dissolve into your system easier/quicker.

7. Avoid Artificial Flavorings. Add Fruit Instead.

OK, so back to the wet air thing. There are plenty of products on the market that claim to make drinking water easier because they will add flavor to it. Uh-huh. What they don't tell you in the ads is all of the artificial flavors, colors and other chemicals that are in them too.

Water is supposed to free you of toxins, so it makes absolutely no sense to intentionally put things into it that will work against instead of for you. Your better bet would be to make some of your own infused water. Whatever fruits, veggies or herbs that you decide to go with will help to add nutrients to your water without all of the added fake drama.

8. Have a Couple of Glasses When You’re Tired

Question. What's the first food or drink that you reach for, whenever you are feeling completely worn out? If it's not water, chile, it should be.

The truth is a sign of being dehydrated if feeling like your energy levels are zapped. So, when you combat that with a glass or two of water, it can increase your brain functionality by as much as 14 percent. Since your brain is made up of around 80 percent water, that actually makes a lot of sense.

9. Know the Signs of When You’re Water Deprived

You might've heard somewhere before that if you wait until you're thirsty to drink water, you're already mildly dehydrated. And yes, there is a lot of truth in that. That's why it's smart to drink water throughout the day.

Just in case you're wondering what some not-so-obvious signs of water deprivation are, they include headaches, joint pain, dry skin, cravings for salty foods, stomach pain, dark urine and not urinating between 6-8 times a day (up to 10 if you're drinking water around the clock).

10. Drink Water at in the Morning Instead of at Night

To be honest with you, there isn't really a "bad" time of the day to drink water. However, if you've gotta choose, taking in 2-4 glasses, first thing in the morning is really wise. For one thing, waiting until nighttime could cause you to have to keep getting up and going to the bathroom. Also, consuming more in the morning is one of the best ways to kick your metabolism into high gear.

The reason why is because, when you're asleep, your metabolism slows down. So, when you drink water, it helps to get your metabolic processes going while aiding in burning fat in the process. Having some water in the morning is refreshing on some many levels. Tomorrow morning, why not give it a shot?

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.


We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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