Friday, March 1, 2013

Worthwhile to Drink Water

Drink 8-10 glasses of water. We've all heard this. How many of us accomplish this? How many even know how much 8-10 glasses of water is? Sometimes the nutrition world throws out all this information and we finish reading wondering, okay, what do I do now?

So, here is the story with water.

We all need it for basic metabolic and cellular functions. Without water, we die. It is essential to our daily life. I really wish "nutritionists" would stop using the phrase "glasses" of water. Please, for heaven's sake, say 64-80 oz. of water per day. Many people like to see an exact amount so they know what to shoot for. My recommendation is to get a Nalgene (my personal favorite water bottle), CamelBack or some other form of water bottle you enjoy with volume measurements on it. It's not a precise thing, but using a 32 oz. Nalgene is easy to say, "Okay, two of these a day". That is my personal goal.

What about water weight gain?! Let's face it, no one likes to see numbers tick up on a scale (unless they are needed). In the first few days you may see a little weight gain. Reducing your salt intake may help with water retention. The best thing you can do is drink more water. Huh? Yep. If your body is not used to consuming that much water it is going to hold onto that water in case it goes in dehydration mode again. Much like if you deprive your body of food, when you do eat, it will hold onto that food to save for later. As your body adapts (the body is very adaptable) it will begin to flush out the excess water, reducing the water weight.

I thought drinking water was supposed to help you lose weight? It helps you to lose weight in the sense that water aids kidney's function. When there is not a lot of water the kidney's are not able to efficiently flush out the gunk and sends it to the liver. The liver metabolizes fat and sends it out for energy for the body. When the liver helps out the kidneys the metabolism of fat is slowed down causing weight gain. So, properly hydrating the body will allow the kidneys to do their job and liver to do its job. Isn't the body just amazing?! Perhaps a big reason we see so many overweight and obese people is they are "hydrating" with sodas, juices, milk, coffee, tea that the liver is not optimally metabolizing fat and holding onto it longer than necessary. Our primary fluid intake should always be water. I personally drink water and some milk. I cut out soda, juice is a very rare occasion. I abstain completely from coffee and tea.

Other benefits of drinking water: increases muscle tone by allowing your muscles to contract properly and efficiently. It leaves your skin clear and tight. A hydrated cell in your body is plump and firm. A dehydrated cell has wavy edges and is saggy. A hydrated person will have nice tight skin because their cells are plump. Kidneys will eliminate waste more efficiently when a person is hydrated leaving you with clear skin because impurities are being filtered. Are you on board yet?

Being March 1st, I challenge you to drink 64-80 oz. of water each day all month long. Get a water bottle you like to carry around or purchase something that will work and fill it up! That is your challenge this month. It is mine as well to fill up my Nalgene two time a day for 31 days. After this, it should be a habit that you will continue doing.

While completing this challenge, I want you to recognize how you feel and look upon starting, and how you feel and look at the end of the month with a fully hydrated body. I'd love to hear at the end of the month how you feel and any changes you see. Cheers-with WATER!

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