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The Importance of Water

Water! Why drink at least two quarts a day?

Because that's roughly how much water we lose normally through perspiration, waste removal and other functions. Add sultry weather or enough exercise to break a sweat and the amount of water needed to stay healthily hydrated - not to mention avoid fatigue, light-headedness, nausea, and even heat stroke - quickly climbs. The body loses water via the skin by perspiration, kidneys by urine, lungs by exhaled water vapor, and intestine by feces. Additionally, water keeps your energy up, weight down, muscles strong, joints supple, digestive system smooth -- your whole system in physical balance.

Water:

  • 1) regulates body temperature
  • 2) makes up 83% of blood
  • 3) removes waste
  • 4) composes 75% of brain
  • 5) helps carry nutients and oxygen to cells
  • 6) moistens oxygen for breathing
  • 7) helps convert food to energy
  • 8) protects and cushions vital organs
  • 9) helps body absorb nutients
  • 10) accounts for 22% of bones
  • 11) cushions joints
  • 12) makes up 75% of muscles
  • 13)makes up 90% of lungs
  • 14)Your body is roughly 60 % water!!!

It really depends on the person and their activity level as well as the weather. I find the more I drink the less I actually retain with my activity level and climate.

Additionally because of diuretic effects of caffeine drinks you should have 1 8-ounce glass of water for each 8-ounce glass/cup of these you drink to minimize the effects. On the other hand however, there is a thing as too much water. If you drink in excess of 8 liters without getting the proper other nutrients your body will actually start depleting itself of those nutrients. So, do not be one of those people who gets too "water obsessed" and drinks a gallon a day either.There is a fine balance in all parts of woe.

Water is VERY important and you should get enough each day, but too much or too little is not good. I suggest 10-12 eight ounce glasses a day, more if you are in hot weather, exercise, or have been drinking alcohol. Also, "Are you Hungry? Many of us mix up food pangs with water cravings! By Malcolm Stewart, PhD As a clinical and health psychologist, I work with many people who want to lose weight for personal or medical reasons. It's not uncommon to hear complaints of intense hunger between regular eating times, no matter how satisfying their meals.

For some people, it's puzzling, irritating hunger that makes them want to pick at food constantly. Others describe sharp cravings that demand immediate satisfaction. Regardless, the effect is the same: Despite increasing their physical activity (perhaps the key weight loss technique), they can't lose unwanted pounds. But a little-known fact both helps explain these food pangs - and provides a means to deal with them: Sometimes thirst masquerades as hunger. So you may think your body is asking for food when what it's actually asking for is water. Your body needs water - a lot of water, every day - more than anything else except oxygen. WE can live without food for a week or more if necessary, but not without water. If your body has just 2 percent less than it requires, you'll feel fatigued. A 10 percent shortfall can produce significant health risks. A week without water can be fatal.

Adults need six to eight 8-ounce glasses (about 1 to 2 quarts) every day, more if you're large or physically active and even more if you drink much coffee, tea or cola, because the caffeine in these is a mild diuretic.

Why do we sometimes feel hungry when in fact we're thirsty? For one thing, many of us seem to have learned to interpret some signs of thirst as signs of hunger. For another, the body may seek food as a source of water because about 37 percent of our daily water intake comes from food. Fruits and vegetables are typically 70 to 95 percent water. Cooked meat is 50 to 60 percent. Even bread is made up of about 35 percent water. So your body may signal that it's hungry in order to get more water through food. And because water is so important, the body gives off strong messages when it needs more, which is why thirst masquerading as hunger can be so compelling. Which would be fine if food didn't contain calories as well as water.

Being able to understand that sometimes "I'm hungry" really means "I'm thirsty" can help you react more healthfully, starting with drinking eight glasses daily. This takes a conscious effort for most of us, but it's easier if you make a habit of drinking water every time you do a particular activity - for instance, each time you go into the kitchen or whenever you're about to make a phone call. You can also up your intake by using a larger glass or drinking a refill. Some people find "sipper bottles" convenient. Now apply this to dealing with hunger between meals (which can be translated as "reach for water, not the ice cream"). If you feel hungry when it's not meal time, first have a large glass of water, then get busy doing something - keep at it for at least 20 minutes before you consider eating anything. After drinking one glass, you may immediately want another. This is your body saying, "Yes! That was want I really wanted - give me more!" If you still feel hungry after 20 minutes, try having another glass of water, then get busy again.

People often feel like they're "bad" or "weak" if they feel hungry at times they think they shouldn't be. However, once you are aware that thirst can masquerade as hunger, you realize that hunger pangs often are a legitimate request by the body - but for water rather than food. This isn't a cure - all for curbing hunger, but I've learned from my practice that it can go along way toward beating between meal eating. And that can mean weight-loss success. " and An excerpt from Oprah's book, Make the Connection, by Bob Greene: "Water is essential to life. Without it, we would survive maybe two or three days. That makes it our most important nutrient. Water surrounds and is a part of each and every cell in your body, and it's needed or involved in virtually all body functions.

About 60 percent of your body weight is water. We lose a lot of water each day through basic body functions. By exercising, you lose even more water depending on the type, length, and intensity of exercise and the climate you work out in. Your body must continually regulate the amount of water that it holds. You become dehydrated when your body's water supply cannot meet its demands. This can cause a variety of complications, including heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Although less life threatening, dehydration also affects the body's ability to digest food and metabolize fat. Needless to say, having enough water is essential for your body to function at its optimum. As far as weight loss and weight maintenance are concerned, drinking enough water is extremely important. There are at least six basic reasons why replacing water on a daily basis is important for controlling your weight.

1) Digestion and metabolism - These are two functions we are particularly concerned with when it comes to controlling our weight. If you aren't getting enough water, you risk impairing these two functions to a certain degree. Enough water ensures that both digestion and metabolism are working at their full capacity.

2) Water's filling effect - by drinking six to eight glasses of water, you can help curb your appetite. Water can fill you up so that you don't overeat.

3) The thirst-hunger response - When you are dehydrated, your body may signal you to eat when what it really requires is water. It does the same thing for a variety of nutritional needs. For example, your body may need sodium, so it signals you to eat foods containing salt. But all you really need is the salt without all the additional calories in food. I call this phenomenon artificial hunger. By meeting all of your nutritional needs, including your need for water, you can control artificial hunger.

4) Better workouts - You can exercise more effectively and at higher levels when you are getting enough water.

5) Muscle requires more water - Muscle is comprised of about 70 percent water, whereas fat is made up of less than 25 percent water. One of the many benefits of exercise is that you maintain and even add muscle weight, which in turn burns fat. As you gain muscle, you require more water and need to replace more of it daily. So water becomes more important the more active you are. Think of it as a cycle: The more muscle you maintain, the more water is held by the body and the more calories are burned by that additional muscle. So the more muscle you have, the more water you must have available.

6) Glycogen storage - Glycogen is a form of carbohydrate stored in your muscles. It can be used as energy when you exercise. The more fit you become, the more glycogen is stored in your muscles. Every gram of glycogen holds about 2.5 to 3 grams of water. So, the more fit you are, the more water your body will hold, and the more water you need each day. Being more fit also allows you to burn calories at a higher rate. In addition to those six reasons, as you begin to lose fat, your body increases its percentage of water. So the amount of water you need to drink each day increases. This is especially so the more active you become. Your body is signaled to hold more water. It will usually let you know it needs more water by making you thirsty, but not always. "

Water is often called the forgotten nutrient since many people take it for granted, but water is essential to life. We can live with less than enough food for weeks, months, even years, but take away our water and we last just a few days. Water makes up about 60 percent of the average adult's weight. It is the medium the human body uses for nearly every activity it performs and has many functions, including: Carrying nutrients in the body Cleansing the body's waste products Acting as a solvent, dissolving minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and other substances Being involved in the chemical reactions in the body Lubricating joints Acting as a shock absorber for many organs Helping to regulate body temperature Since water is so important, its balance is delicately monitored by a number of mechanisms.

Our brain signals us to drink when the sodium concentrations in the blood become too high or when blood volume drops too low. Unfortunately, by the time this thirst mechanism kicks in, we are already in the beginning stages of water deficit. That's why nutritionists recommend drinking before you are thirsty. This is particularly important for the elderly population because as we age we become less sensitive to our thirst mechanism. At the same time, our percentage of body fluid drops, so it's easier to become dehydrated faster.

Young children are also at a higher risk for dehydration, but for another reason: Their thirst mechanism is not yet fully developed, nor are they always able to recognize when they are thirsty. Water needs vary with each individual, but in general, nutritionists still abide by the old rule of eight glasses - - 64 ounces - - or more of fluid a day. Water is your best bet, but it is certainly not the only way to get fluids. .

Alcohol and caffeinated beverages like tea and coffee do not count because they are actually diuretics, meaning they cause you to lose fluid rather than retain it. How much water do you need? The old standard suggestion of 6 to 8, 8-ounce glasses of water a day is still good. But people who exercise may need more like 2 or 3 quarts, especially when it's hot and humid outside (and during illness). Get in the habit of carrying a water bottle. It's easy to measure, handy to cart around especially during workouts, and saves waiting in line at the water fountain - - where it never seems polite to guzzle what you really need when others are waiting.

Drink before you're thirsty. People who drink to satisfy thirst replace only about half of what they need. An intelligent, by the book, "hydration schedule" for a workout looks something like this: 17 ounces of water 2 hours before your workout 8ounces or more 15 minutes before your workout 4 to 8 ounces every 10 to 20 minutes during your workout another 8 ounces after your workout " By now, I am hoping you see how important water is to weightloss and also to your health! It is a wonderful beauty secret we should all adopt as part of our new healthy lifestyle!

I am repeatedly appalled that we are teaching our kids from birth on to drink ANYTHING but water!!! WHY do we do that? People erroneously think juice is better for kids, but it is almost all sugar and only a precentage of real juice anymore and studies have shown kids who drink too much juice have stunted growth and do not develop enough growth hormones. When the juice is taken away,the body then makes more growth hormones, giving the child a chance to grow normally.This is espeically true with any "failure to thrive child".Teach your kids to like and drink yummy water! It is GOOD for them! Give them real whole fruits for the vitamins from fruits instead of juices. Now,remember -drink 64 ounces minmum of water EVERYDAY. Some say 1/2 your body weight in ounces and some 64 ounces plus an additional 8 ounces for every 25 pounds you need to lose.

I find most people lose well with around 80-96 ounces. I have a brita filtered pitcher and I LOVE it! I highly recommend getting one or something like it. There are tap filters also and the price range varies. -Drink all your water before anything else each day. Other things do not count as water. Unsweetened green tea is also fine according to Dr A. When you drink enough water,you actually promote the production of MORE ketones.This means more fat is being burned! YES! If you do not drink enough water, your stix might show a color, but you might not lose, because if you do not get enough water to flush out old ketones,then new ones cannot be generated and old ketones just keep recirculating.

Caffeine, artificial sweetners, citric acid and other ingredients in drinks will most times hinder your success.You want to drink extra water anytime you drink something like that.It is best to drink only water and green tea. The occassional diet rite might be fine too. But, remember it has citric acid and that hinders people also. It is sweetened with splenda, so is a better choice than other colas. It comes in many flavors and I find it at my superwalmart.

There are some flavored seltzer waters that might also be ok for a once in awhile change. CVS has one that is sweetened with splenda also. The best kind are ones that are completely unsweetened and sodium free. Check all labels. Not just the nutriton facts, but the fine print ingredients too! So, drink up and WHOOOSH!!! You can do it!

Article submitted by SuzyQ


 

 

   

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