I'm not talking about coffee, juice, or alcohol. I'm talking about water! It's something that's very accessible, affordable, and absolutely critical to life, but so many of us disregard it's importance.
Dehydration can be more serious than you may realize. If severe and chronic enough, it can cause acid reflux, colitis, constipation, arthritis, back and neck pain, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, asthma, allergies, diabetes, and many other problems.
Given this long list of problems and how easy dehydration is to avoid, there's really no excuse to not drink plenty of water. Filtered water is always best, but if it's not available, tap water is certainly better than nothing.
As a general guideline, you should aim to drink approximately as many ounces of water each day as half of your body weight in pounds. Ideally, you should have a glass of water as soon as you get out of bed in the morning and about 15 minutes before each meal. Drinking water before a meal rather than during or after it should aid your digestion.
Although it might initially take some work for you to drink enough water each day, it will eventually become a habit. Once it does, there's no need to obsess about meeting the guideline above. If you fall short once in a while, it's not a big deal. In fact, the stress that you might cause yourself by worrying about it too much could very well be more harmful than the slight dehydration that might result from occasionally falling short of the guideline.
For more information, I suggest that you review Lesson 2 and read the article below about dehydration.