Monday, May 7, 2012

Let's Talk About Water!

Hey fitness peeps! How's it going? :) We're already 5 months into 2012, can you believe it? This year feels like it's moving fast! How are the health journeys coming along? I realize we're all on different paths, some still on the weight loss journey, others having reached goal weight are on the journey to maintain, and some of you just want to get healthier by incorporating proper nutrition and fitness. No matter what your particular case happens to be, it's a continuous journey that I'm happy to be apart of with you. :) The subject I'm blogging about today may be an enemy to some but should be a friend to all and that's H20, better known as - "WATER".

Now I already know what some of you are thinking, "Not another post on water and how good is for you... " I know, I know, I'm sure you think you've heard it all before and you really aren't interested in hearing it again. I used to be you. I hated water and although I'd heard all the talk about how it was essential to the body I wasn't buying it. I'm kinda' ashamed to say this now, but there was once a time in my life where I went months without even one glass of water. Crazy right?!? Or maybe some of you can relate. But now I can proudly say that 95% of the time water is the only liquid I drink. That's right, I gave up soda/pop years ago and have limited the juices dramatically! I've never been a coffee drinker (can't stand the taste of the stuff!) and alcohol is not my cup of tea - and speaking of tea, never been a big tea drinker as well. Now I don't say all this to make any of you reading this feel bad or to suggest that you should all "be like me" - that's not who I am or what I do. While this works for me, I totally realize that some of you are never going to give up soda, coffee and/or alcohol, and I'm not asking you to. All I am doing is suggesting that if you do drink soda, coffee, and/or alcohol, that you limit your intake of all three, and also, I want you to realize that there are some serious benefits to drinking water and if water isn't currently apart of your diet, you should most definitely add it in! Why? I'm glad you asked! :) Let's talk about it!

The Benefits of Water
Drinking plenty of cold, clear water is essential for your health and, in fact, for your very survival. You can live much longer without food than you can without water. Water is an important part of all body functions and processes, including digestion and elimination. You will be amazed of the benefits of drinking water!
Here are the top 10:
  1. Lose weight: Drinking water helps you lose weight because it flushes down the by-products of fat breakdown. Drinking water also reduces hunger, it’s an effective appetite suppressant so you’ll eat less. Plus, water has zero calories!
  2. Natural Remedy for Headache: Helps to relieve headache and back pains due to dehydration. Although many reasons contribute to headache, dehydration is the common one.
  3. Look Younger with Healthier Skin: You’ll look younger when your skin is properly hydrated. Water helps to replenish skin tissues, moisturizes skin and increases skin elasticity.
  4. Better Productivity at Work: Your brain is mostly made up of water, thus drinking water helps you think better, be more alert and more concentrated.
  5. Better Exercise: Drinking water regulates your body temperature. That means you’ll feel more energetic when doing exercises. Water also helps to fuel your muscle.
  6. Helps in Digestion and Constipation: Drinking water raises your metabolism because it helps in digestion. Fiber and water goes hand in hand so that you can have your daily bowel movement. (Hey, I know this is the kinda' stuff nobody wants to talk about it but it is an essential body function and if it stops happening you're gonna' have some problems!)
  7. Less Cramps and Sprains: Proper hydration helps keep your joints and muscles lubricated, so you’ll less likely get cramps and sprains.
  8. Less Likely to Get Sick and Feel Healthy: Drinking plenty of water helps fight against flu and other ailments like kidney stones and heart attack. Water adds with lemon is used for ailments like respiratory disease, intestinal problems, rheumatism and arthritis,... etc. In another words, one of the benefits of drinking water is that it can improve your immune system.
  9. Relieves Fatigue: Water is used by the body to help flush out toxins and waste products from the body. If your body lacks water, your heart, for instance, needs to work harder to pump out the oxygenated blood to all cells, so are the rest of the vital organs, your organs will be exhausted and so will you.
  10. Reduce the Risk of Cancer: Related to the digestive system, some studies show that drinking a healthy amount of water may reduce the risks of bladder cancer and colon cancer. Water dilutes the concentration of cancer-causing agents in the urine and shortens the time in which they are in contact with bladder lining.

How Much Water Should I Drink?
So by now you're thinking, "Okay, so how much water should I be drinking?", right? You've probably heard that you should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day, but how much water you actually need depends on your weight, level of activity, the temperature and humidity of your environment, and your diet. Your diet makes a difference because if you eat plenty of water-dense foods like fruits and vegetables your need to drink water will be diminished. You can do some research and use a calculator and measuring cup if you like, but nature's pretty good at letting you know the right amount to drink. Listen to and observe your body. When you drink enough water, your urine will usually be pale yellow (though vitamin supplements and antibiotics can discolor it). On the other hand, you shouldn't need to run to the bathroom too frequently (don't get me wrong, anytime you start to drink more water than you're used to, you're going to be making way more trips to the bathroom than you're probably used to, but if you're having to go, say every 30 minutes, that may be a problem). The rule of thumb says, when in doubt, drink a little more. Don't worry that drinking water will give your body a bloated look. There are a number of causes of water retention, including consuming too much salt, but drinking water is not one of them. It is possible to harm yourself by drinking too much water, but it takes quite an effort. Either through obsessive-compulsive behavior or extended athletic activity, drinking large amounts of water can dilute the electrolytes (sodium and potassium) in your blood to the point that it interferes with brain, heart and muscle function. Athletes compound the problem with the loss of sodium (salt) through sweating, but can drink electrolyte replacement drinks like Gatorade Endurance Formula to help keep things in balance.

Four Tips for Getting Your Fill
So now that you have been properly informed on some of the top benefits of water and how to tell if you're drinking enough, all that's left is actually getting it in your body. Here are some easy tricks for getting enough water:
  • Use a water tracker. A water tracker is merely a device which helps you keep track of how much water you drink. A water tracker can provide a graphic record of eight glasses of water which are checked off as they are consumed. For example, drinking a 20-ounce bottle of water would translate into two and a half cups on the tracker. Such trackers are available online or can be easily replicated.
  • Add water throughout your day. People can use a variety of methods to help ensure they get enough water. Some carry a 64-ounce container of water and drink throughout the day, with the goal of drinking all the water before they go to bed. I keep a 24oz water bottle at my job with the goal being to drink 2 bottles full a day - that's 48 ounces of water right there! I just make sure that I get in at least 16 more ounces before the day is out. Other people may take a portable 16-ounce container, knowing that they need to fill and drink it four times throughout the day. Others associate drinking with routine activities throughout the day, such as drinking fluid at meals, before brushing their teeth, or after feeding the dogs.
  • Get water through food. Fruits and vegetables, especially those that are fresh and juicy, provide fluid to the diet. Like water, clear soups and broths help dieters feel full for very few calories, contributing to weight loss. However, beware of creamy soups that, while adding fluids, contain many calories. Skim milk, and low-fat and no-added sugar yogurts and puddings also help hydration and nutrition without excessive calories. Melons and citrus fruits also have a very high water content. 
  • Jazz up your water glass. Many people find that adding low- or non-caloric flavorings to water, such as a wedge of fruit, helps satisfy their appetite cravings. This is also a very inexpensive way to make your own flavored water. Crystal Light and other brand water flavoring packets have become my best friends!

As I hope you now see, WATER IS ESSENTIAL! Water can fill you up, decrease your appetite, and help your body get rid of waste from that fat you’re burning... and so much more! So what are you waiting for? Water is available right now from your tap, and IT'S FREE! :) Go get some now!


  1. I love water, as long as it's ice cold. Many people tell me that ice water isn't as good for you, but aren't the benefits the same no matter the temperature?

    1. Me too! And I would agree with you about water being the same no matter what the temperature. I'll have to look more into that, though, because I've never heard of ice water not being as good for you.

  2. Besides almond milk (well and the occasional bottle of wine), the only I keep to drink in my fridge is water. I just decided one day to stop with the iced teas, etc. and go totally with water.

    1. I'm that way, too, Missy! Besides 1% milk I don't have any other liquid in my house. I may drink the occasional juice when I'm out but that is rare. 95% of the time, I'm drinking water!