WHY DRINK MORE WATER?
The following will probably amaze and startle you.
One glass of water shuts down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters studied in a University study.
Lack of water is the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue.
Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers.
A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen.
Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, plus it can slash the risk of breast cancer by 79%, and one is 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer.
Are you drinking the amount of water you should every day?
Water - The Beverage Your Body Needs Most
Why You Need to Drink WaterYour body is estimated to be about 60 to 70 percent water. Blood is mostly water, and your muscles, lungs, and brain all contain a lot of water. Your body needs water to regulate body temperature and to provide the means for nutrients to travel to all your organs. Water also transports oxygen to your cells, removes waste, and protects your joints and organs.
Signs of DehydrationYou lose water through urination, respiration, and by sweating.
Symptoms of mild dehydration include chronic pains in joints and muscles,lower back pain, headaches and constipation. A strong odor to your urine, along with a yellow or amber color indicates that you may not be getting enough water. Note that riboflavin, a B Vitamin, will make your urine bright yellow. Thirst is an obvious sign of dehydration and in fact, you need water long before you feel thirsty.
How Much Water do You Need to Drink?A good estimate is to take your body weight in pounds and divide that number in half. That gives you the number of ounces of water per day that you need to drink. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds, you should drink at least 80 ounces of water per day. If you exercise you should drink another eight ounce glass of water for every 20 minutes you are active. If you drink alcohol, you should drink at least an equal amount of water. When you are traveling on an airplane, it is good to drink eight ounces of water for every hour you are on board the plane. If you live in an arid climate, you should add another two servings per day. As you can see, your daily need for water can add up to quite a lot.
Twenty percent of your water need will come from the foods you eat. The rest of your water need should come from the beverages you drink. Water is the best choice. Sodas have a lot of sugar in them, so if you drink sodas, you may take in more calories than you need. Herbal teas that aren't diuretic are fine. Sports drinks contain electrolytes and may be beneficial, just look out for added sugar and calories that you don't need. Juices are good because they have vitamins and nutrients.
Caffeinated beverages will also add to your daily water need. Even though caffeine is a diuretic, if you regularly consume caffeine, your body will regulate itself to that diuretic effect.
Drink Enough WaterIt may be difficult to drink enough water on a busy day. Be sure you have water handy at all times by keeping a bottle for water with you when you are working, traveling, or exercising. If you get bored with plain water, add a bit of lemon or lime for a touch of flavor. There are some brands of flavored water available, but watch for extra calories.
Study: Drink more water, lose more weight
Most popular diet programs and books advise drinking plenty of water to aid digestion and to help reduce intake of sodas and other high-calorie drinks, but there haven't been many studies to back up the advice.
So researchers analyzed weight-loss data on 240 overweight women, ages 25 to 50, who were following one of several popular diet plans, including Atkins and The Zone, programs that restrict carbohydrate consumption to varying degrees.
Before beginning their programs, the women drank an average of about two cans a day of sugary drinks (about 200 calories total), including soda and juice. Findings:
•Dieters who replaced virtually all sweetened drinks with water lost an average 5 pounds more in a year than dieters who didn't.
•Those who drank more than four cups of water a day lost an additional 2 pounds more than dieters who did not drink that much.
"Drinking water can help you lose weight, partially because you are replacing some calories, and there may be additional reasons related to the total volume of water that we don't understand," says lead researcher Jodi Stookey of Children's Hospital and Oakland Research Institute in California.
Thomas Wadden, president of the Obesity Society, says the study "is a provocative and important finding. Water displaced the consumption of sweetened beverages, and that's great news."
When you are trying to lose weight, it's easy to change the beverages you drink, says Barry Popkin, nutrition professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
"It doesn't matter if you drink bottled water or tap water: Just drink more water. It's a powerful way to cut weight."
Adults haven't changed their water intake over the past decade, but they are drinking about 20 more ounces a day of caloric beverages. "This is the major cause of our overall caloric increase during this period, and it's clearly linked with the increase of obesity."
Why you should drink more water
The body needs water to function. Many parts of the body contain water, including the brain, blood and lean muscle. Water in the body serves to:
- regulate body temperature
- remove wastes (through urine and stool)
- carry nutrients (food) and oxygen to cells
- cushion joints and
- dissolve nutrients to make them available to the body
Water does not contain any calories. The body absorbs water through the stomach and gut. Water leaves the body through urine, sweat, and stool and at times, vomiting and diarrhea.
It is important to balance the amount of water going in to the body with the amount of water being lost by the body. This is especially important for persons who are:
- very young
- ill with fever, vomiting or diarrhea
- taking medications that cause the body to lose water
- living in hot, humid, dry or high altitude climates and
- traveling on a long airplane trip
How much water should you drink?
That depends on your age, what you eat, your level of activity, the weather, your health, whether you are a man or woman and what medications you take. Elderly persons may have a decreased sense of thirst. Solid food contains water, so it is important to eat a balanced diet. Other beverages, such as milk, juice and soup, also contain some water. Drink 6 to 8 eight-ounce glasses of water, or other fluids, or half of the body weight in ounces each day as part of a healthy diet. It is important to limit how much soda, caffeine and alcohol you drink. Soda contains sugar and empty calories. Caffeine and alcohol can cause the body to lose water. You may need to increase your fluids if you are exercising or spending time in hot or humid weather. Men usually require more water than women do because they have more lean muscle. Persons taking certain medications or with some chronic diseases may have to restrict their water intake.
For healthy children and adults who eat a balanced diet, drinking water with each meal and between meals will meet the body's need for water. The healthy body can regulate the balance of water. A quick way to check that you are getting enough fluids is to look at the color of your urine. The urine should be pale yellow. If your urine is dark yellow and has a strong odor or if you go to the bathroom less than 4 times a day, you probably need to drink more fluids.
Talk with your healthcare provider about how much water you need daily.
We can survive for a month with out food but can only survive about four days with out water. Our bodies are made of 70 percent water and need water for life and functioning.
Water takes part in every function in our body. It is the transporter of nutrients necessary for body functions. It works in digestion, absorption, circulation and excretion. Water maintains our normal body temperature. Water improves the look of our hair, skin, eyes and muscle tone. We must replace the water that we lose through daily sweating and elimination.
Many people don't drink enough water. Being thirsty is not a good signal for how much water you need to drink. If people drank only when they were thirsty, most would never drink anything.
Everyone has heard that we need eight glasses of water a day. This is a half gallon. Experts are now suggesting that we need more. A gallon of water a day for optimum benefits.
You may think that this is too difficult. It is at first, but your body will adjust. In the beginning you will need to urinate frequently, but after about one week you will find that holding more urine is possible without having to go to the bathroom as much.
To make sure you are drinking enough, fill up a gallon jug everyday and make sure you drink at least 3/4 of it. Write your name on the jug, don’t let anyone else drink from it. Tell them to get their own jug! Guzzle down your water through out the day, or sip it. Drink your water at room temperature or cold, however you prefer it. Just drink it.
A good test to know if you are getting enough liquid is the color of your urine. If it is dark yellow, you need more liquid. You need to make sure that your urine is clear and pale in the morning and in the evening.
Soda with caffeine, and alcoholic drinks, do not count toward your liquid intake. They actually do the opposite of hydrating your body, they cause you to lose fluids. Avoid these drinks for optimal hydration. If you plan to party at night, drink more water during the day.
If you become dehydrated while you exercise it will stress your cardiovascular system. This reduces your ability to rid your body of excess heat. You may end up with heat stroke. Our body needs water to re-build the muscles that are being taxed during exercise. Before exercising, you should make sure you are hydrated. After exercising drink water to replace lost fluids from sweating.
The first thing that goes when you are becoming dehydrated is short-term memory; yet another reason to drink more water. Drinking more water also prevents halitosis.
It's important to remember that thirst is not a good indication of dehydration. This can be a major problem for the elderly, as they often fail to recognize their own need for water. I find as I get more hydrated the sensation of thirst actually increases. When I feel no thirst, I assume I'm water deficient and start drinking. Water is my first reaction to many symptoms: headache, hunger between meals, digestion issues, bloating, vocal fatigue, muscle ache, dry skin... the list goes on. My favorite hydration hack: drink a glass of water right before you go to sleep, and first thing in the morning when you wake. It gives you a head start and keeps you wanting more throughout the day.
How to start drinking more water:
- Determine how much water you need. You've probably heard the "8 by 8" rule - drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day (2 qts, 1.8 l) - but the amount of water a person needs varies depending on his or her weight and activity level. Another way to determine your specific recommended water intake is to divide your weight (in pounds) by two. The resulting number is the number of ounces of water you need each day. For example, if you weigh 150 lbs., strive to drink 75 ounces of water daily. For those who use the Metric system, divide your weight (in kilograms) by 30 (ex. somebody weighing 70 kg is going to need 2.3 litres per day). Keep in mind that these recommended intake numbers are controversial and some experts believe they are a gross exaggeration. See "warnings" below for more information.
- Measure your daily intake of water. Do this for a few days. If you find that you're drinking less than the recommended quantity, try some of the following tips.
- Carry water with you everywhere you go in a bottle or other container. Before long, you'll find yourself reaching for it without a second thought.
- Keep a glass or cup of water next to you whenever you'll be sitting down for a long time, such as when you're at your desk at work. Drink from it regularly as you're working.
- Try wearing a digital watch that beeps at the beginning of each hour. Use that as a reminder to pour yourself a glass of water. Vow to drink that water before the next beep. If you drink only one small (6 ounce or 180 ml) cup per hour, you'll have consumed 48 ounces (1.4 l) by the end of an 8-hour workday.
- Get a water purification system. Purified water tastes very good and may help make drinking water more appealing to you. Be aware, though, that as you grow accustomed to purified water, you may find that tap water leaves a bad taste in your mouth.
- Add lemons or limes to your water, it makes it taste better and makes you want to drink more of it. Be careful not to make it too sour, just a splash of sourness should do the trick. Some mint leaves can be added to a pitcher of water which should be allowed to sit overnight. These are cheap alternatives to the bottled flavoured water.
- Eat water rich foods, such as fruits like watermelon, which is 92 % water by weight. Blend up some seedless fresh watermelon flesh with some ice and place a few sprigs of mint (optional) - one of the most refreshing drinks, especially for the summertime. Cranberry juice is also another option, and has a bitter taste. It is advised to patients suffering from urinary infection caused by insufficient intake of water to drink cranberry juice and watermelon if not plain water everyday. A tomato is 95 % water. An egg is about 74 % water. A piece of lean meat is about 70 %water.
- Try having 8 glasses (1600ml) of water a day - 2 before breakfast, 2 between breakfast and lunch, 2 between lunch and dinner, and 2 after dinner. It may take a while to get used to, but it will be very good for you.
- Except in very rare cases, it is not necessary to buy expensive bottled water. Companies that sell water have a financial interest in convincing you that tap water is undesirable. A simple water filtration system or boiling of the water will help reduce these risks. Most studies done today of water sources in the US say that the tap water is just as clean and healthy as bottled water. The only time bottled water is necessary is when in a developing or third world country.
- Instead of that Coke, try a glass of water. It may not be as tasty, but it's a lot better for you than drinking almost ten teaspoons (50 ml) of white sugar. It's also considerably cheaper, especially if you drink tap water.
- If you really can't stand the taste of your water, try adding a tiny bit of fruit juice or a squeeze of lemon or lime - just enough to slightly change the taste. Refrigerating your water may also help make it more palatable.
- For a feeling of accomplishment, fill two 32-ounce (1 l) water bottles (or one big 64-ounce (2 l) bottle, as in the full "8x8" (2 l) amount) in the morning and make sure you have consumed the contents of both by the end of the day.
- Drinking a full glass of water first thing in the morning helps wake the body up. So kick-start your day with water!
- Water helps you look good. By flushing out toxins and impurities, water can make your skin clearer, smoother and younger looking.
- Drinking water helps you control hunger. Drink a large glass of ice water 20 minutes before meals. The cold causes your stomach to shrink somewhat, which will make you feel full more rapidly.
- Whether drinking tap or bottled water, do some research on the source. In some places, such as Philadelphia, the tap water actually contains the same electrolytes that are in Gatorade. On the other hand it's also possible that your bottled water may be from a different source than its name suggests. If the bottle says 'Municipal Water Supply' or something to that effect, then the company has simply bottled tap water, and you're probably wasting your money.
- If you find out you have lead plumbing, and water is abundant in your area, let the water run for about thirty seconds before filling your glass. This can reduce the amount of lead - and the bad taste that accompanies it - in the water you drink. If you live in an area with a shortage of water, however, this is probably not a good option. But you should probably just buy a refillable jug from the local grocery store and refill it with purified, lead-free water so you don't waste water and get lead poisoning.
- Every time you walk past a water fountain, take a sip or two.
- Gradually increase your daily intake of water by starting with, for example, 1 l. Keep a 1-l bottle of water in the fridge and aim to have it finished by the end of the day. Increase this amount every day.
- Vow to drink only water for a month. Once your body becomes accustomed to it, it will be hard not to drink enough water. Also, by the end of the month water starts to taste delicious... no lie!
- To get the needed 8 oz. (250 ml) glasses of water, say 8, put 8 hair ties or rubber bands on your right hand to represent each glass of water you need. When you drink one of the glasses, switch one rubber band to your left hand. Your goal is to get 8 hair ties on your left hand before the day is up! Or simply start with a 2-l bottle of water and make sure it's empty by the end of the day.
- If you don't like the taste of water try hot water. It's a different taste and it feels good on your throat!
- Try drinking cold water out of a glass instead of a plastic or paper cup. The glass will retain the cold better than other materials and will keep your water crisp and fresh-tasting longer.
- Crystal Light flavours water and has practically no calories or carbs, but don't use too much... just a pinch to flavour your water
- Try getting a really cool waterbottle that you enjoy having around, it makes drinking water more fun!
- Also you can try eating saltier foods before having a glass of water; it'll make your mouth a bit drier and you'll feel the need to drink more water.
- Eat ice, it's water and it tastes really good! Just don't chew it; that will ruin your teeth.
- Try setting a glass of water near where you are, for example if you're sitting at a computer for a long period of time. Sometimes, you will automatically drink without realizing it. Your mind knows when you're thirsty, even if you don't.
- If you don't want to put anything fruity in your water, try adding a Splenda to your plain water. It gives it a bit of a sweet taste and makes it easier to drink if you don't like the taste of water.
- Take a hot bath and keep a few bottles of water on the shelf of the bathtub. The heat will make you thirsty and the water will taste great.
- Don't like the taste of water? Use a straw. You won't taste the water as much, because it will skip part of your tongue.
- If you like the bubbly aspect of soda and want to get your daily water needs, try drinking seltzer/club soda/carbonated soda. Seltzer also comes in lots of different flavors too.
- If your urine is dark yellow you may not be drinking enough water.
- Vitaminwater is healthy for your body, but does have sugar. Do not drink too much. One small bottle a day will do fine to get your healthy vitamin dose.