The Primary Source of Hydration
Today we will focus on water as the primary source of hydration. Nearly all of the major systems in the body depend on water. Water lubricates our joints, protects body organs and tissues, prevents constipation, carries nutrients and oxygen to cells, regulates body temperature, moistens tissues and lessens the burden on the kidneys by flushing toxins from the body. Each day you lose water through sweating, exhaling, urinating and bowel movements. For your body to function properly, you need to replace the water that is lost through normal bodily functions.
Did you know your body weight is approximately 60% water? I think this question brings up an important topic that is worth discussing. Marketers are finding clever ways to make you believe the consumption of Sweetened beverages, like soda is fun and the perfect complement to any good time. Sweetened beverages are the single biggest source of “added” sugars in our diet today. These drinks have very little, if any, healthy ingredients and there is strong scientific evidence that they are linked to weight gain, obesity and type 2 Diabetes. What we really need is water.
Why is Water Important?
When you drink water you increase your resting energy expenditure, which is another way of saying the calories you burn. If the water is cold it boosts this even more. Let me explain. Research shows that overweight people who drank 34-50 oz of water daily for several weeks were found to have significant weight reduction, Lower BMI and waist circumference. It is important to note that drinking cold water causes the body to use extra calories to warm the water up to body temperature. Keep in mind often times we think we are hungry, but we are really just thirsty. Many of the feelings associated with hunger such as an empty, gurgling stomach, low energy levels and light headedness also occur when we are running low on water.
If you haven’t had weight loss surgery, drinking water before you eat may help you cut down on the amount you eat. Furthermore, studies show that those who drank water 30 minutes before a meal end up eating fewer calories. If you have had weight loss surgery you want avoid fluids 30 minutes before and after meal times to prevent from overfilling your stomach pouch and to keep food from flushing through your stomach quickly. Be sure to sip on fluids slowly and to avoid using straws. You may be asking how much water is enough.
The goal is for you to drink 64 oz of water daily. This is equivalent to 8- 8 ounce glasses of water. You might need more if you live in a hot climate, participate in physical activity, or if you are pregnant and breastfeeding. If you participate in an intense workout program it is important to drink 7-10 oz of water every 15-20 minutes to maintain your hydration. Can you drink too much water? – Yes, although it is very rare. If this is a concern you can talk with your healthcare provider.
A good Rule of thumb for how much and when to drink: is if you are thirsty drink water until you are satisfied or no longer thirsty. Practical ways to monitor your hydration are: Monitoring the color of your urine output. Translucent to light yellow colored urine is a sign you are properly hydrated. Dark colored urine, like the color of apple juice, indicates dehydration. Also, it is important to know the warning signs of dehydration. Signs are excessive thirst, flushed skin, premature fatigue, increased body Temperature, headaches, dizziness and muscle weakness. If you want to try to spruce up plain water, a spritz of lemon juice or lime juice, or a packet of a very low-calorie drink such as Crystal Light, can make things more palatable.
This Week’s Challenge
For the next week record how much and what beverage you drink using your Baritastic application or journal. If you are falling short in the amount or type of fluids you are drinking set an alarm on your phone as a reminder. Try to eliminate sweetened beverages and increase your water intake to 6-8 glasses daily.