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water, water, everywhere!!

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

water, water, everywhere!!

We all know that we are supposed to drink roughly 2 liters of water a day, but do you know why and how beneficial it is to your body?  Do you know how much you actually are supposed to take in a day?  Read on, my faithful blog-readers and all your water questions shall be answered!!

Why is water so good for me?
Well, for starters roughly 2/3 of your body consists of water: blood is 83% water, brain is 90%, bones have 20%, and muscles are around 75% water- that is a LOT of water!!  Water helps with various functions in the body: gives moisture to the air in your lungs, transports nutrients and oxygen into the cells, aids in metabolism, protects vital organs, helps to regulate body temperature, and detoxifies the body.

Water can help you lose weight because it flushes the body and allows the body to flush out by-products of fat metabolism and it can be filling with zero calories.

It can help relieve headaches and some muscle pains/strains that are due to dehydration.

Water helps to replenish skin cells of the face and it helps you to actually look younger by increasing elasticity and boosting moisture

It can help you workout better because your body will auto-regulate temperature better so you will sweat out toxins, and feel better while doing it

Water actually helps with digestion and can stave off constipation- we all know that fiber is great for pooping, but it only works when you are adequately hydrated with water, and the water can help to boost the metabolism by giving it something to absorb throughout the day and keep it constantly working

Keeping hydrated helps to prevent a kidney and bladder stones by keeping the kidneys hydrated and constantly working and flushing out calcium and other electrolytes/minerals that can cause stones.  Also, by keeping your body hydrated you keep your immune system in tip top shape!

Because it helps to flush the body and get rid of toxins, drinking your daily amount of water can actually increase your energy level; your body works more efficiently, and that can also boost your mood!


How much should I actually be drinking?
Most MD's give the general rule, that most people know, is 8 8oz glasses (which is 2 liters).  The Institute of Medicine recommends that men drink 3 Liters of water a day (or 13 8oz glasses) and that women should take in 2.2 Liters (or 9 8oz glasses). But you need to remember that we lost water through breathing, sweating, urinating, and bowel movements.  So, on a day of heavy exercise, or when you are sick (vomiting/diarrhea), etc. you will need to replace your body with even more water.  Also, fruits and vegetables have high water content, so you ladies can get away with drinking only two liters if you have a high fruit/veg day!!

What "counts" as water?
Obviously water is best because it is what your body needs and it is calorie free BUT I know that we need to drink other things sometimes (I actually jazz up my water by adding a slice of lemon or I will put a jug of water in the fridge and add a few cucumber slices to give it a little flavor and refreshing!)  You can also drink milk, herbal teas,  fruit juices, soda, coffee/teas, and electrolyte drinks (vitamin water, gatorade, etc.) all "count" towards your daily fluid intake but anything with sugar in it will add to your daily calorie intake.  Vitamin water zero is sweetened with stevia (a natural extract from the sunflower family that has 300 times the sweetness of sugar but no calories).  So, try to mainly take in water as your hydration source but you can drink other beverages as well to keep your body hydrated.  Also, there is no science behind it, but my body feels so much better when I keep super hydrated with water all day (hence why I find ways to flavor it because I drink so much!)

For those of you who are already avid water drinkers, rock on and keep on keepin' on!  And for those of you who "don't like the taste" etc of water, try adding lemon, drink sparkling water with lemon- it almost seems like soda! Or add some cucumber slices- it makes me feel like I am in a spa (which I love).  Try different things to start breaking the soda/juice habit and just start slowly but increase your daily water intake and I promise you will feel so much better and you may notice the change around your waistline too!!

Yours in Good Health

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