Friday, June 20, 2008

Have a Drink!

Ok, this is nothing new - and you're probably sick of hearing it, but that doesn't stop it from being true. We've all heard for years that we need to drink more water. 6 - 8 glasses/day is what's recommended, and an additional glass for every 10 -25 pounds you need to lose (again, experts vary in their recommendations). With recommendations like that, water is all many of us would ever have time for. Then, of course, there's all that time spent in the bathroom. Annoying but true, you do need water. And the bathroom thing - your body will adjust so long as you're consistent. Stopping and starting your water intake will restart the whole adjustment process all over again.

So, to recap what you've hear a thousand times, here's how plain old, free (unless you absolutely must pay for bottled) water will help you meet and maintain your weight loss goals:

Drinking more water can
* Keep you from overeating. Your body can't always distinguish between thirst and hunger - so dehydration can feel like hunger. It can also help you feel more full, so you eat less.
* Help relieve water retention. Strange but true, but drinking enough water will help keep your body in balance and prevent water retention. If you don't get enough water, your body will hold on to reserves to prevent dehydration as a survival mechanism - so drinking more water will allow your body to release these reserves and actually prevent water retention.
* Promote faster weight loss. Weight loss burns calories and leaves behind residue that needs to be flushed from the body - drinking enough water will help flush these toxins from your body and keep your metabolism at optimal levels. The liver is what's doing the work here, but if the kidneys aren't sufficiently flushed, it will have to take over and do some of their job too, which means that fat burning is the first item off your liver's plate while it attends to other more critical issues. So, let your liver burn fat by making sure your kidneys have what they need to do their job.

There's also information to suggest that drinking water will help with dry skin, wrinkles, acne, general skin tone, digestion, regulation of body temperature, energy, blood pressure, cholesterol, joint pain, headaches and assorted other issues that are far beyond the scope of what we're discussing here.

Bottled, Filtered or Tap? Well, again, opinions vary - but mostly we come down to taste. I like bottled water, but it can get expensive. We all have our favorite brands, and some are just bottled tap water - so please make sure you aren't paying for that! You can buy a filter (faucet or pitcher) and get many of the contaminants out of tap water and improve the taste. It's a very green alternative, and much cheaper than bottles. You can also hybridize, buy bottled water and then refill your bottle with filtered water. Don't forget to recycle those bottles when you're done, or buy a reusable bottle. Tap water in some places tastes fine, in others there's too much chlorine. It's really up to you, but you can also add a squeeze of lemon juice (or any citrus fruit) to take the edge off the taste. There's also information to suggest that lemon juice also has metabolic benefits - but we're only talking about a very small amount here, but then again, every little bit helps.

Water or just any liquid? Experts often disagree. Many will say 6 - 8 glasses of anything will work, but that doesn't address the bodies need to metabolize the ingredients in other liquids. Water doesn't need any additional processing, so logic would dictate that the greatest benefits would be achieved by pure water. That doesn't mean you can't have your coffee or tea, just that it should be in addition to your water intake and not considered part of your total water needs (for weight loss that is).

Drink up!

Partnership for Change

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