Drink Up: The Benefits of Water

I wrote this for a Fitness Nerd column for the Functional Nerds, but now that the summer months are here for most of us, I thought it would be worth reposting. I can’t stress enough how vital it is to keep ourselves hydrated, not with gimmick drinks or high calorie fruit smoothies, but with water. Here are some things to help convince you to drink more.

Water helps metabolize stored body fat!!

Increasing your water intake can help reduce fat deposits! Your entire body needs water to function properly, including your kidneys and liver. If the kidneys do not have enough water to function properly, part of their job is put onto the liver. Metabolizing stored fat into usable energy for the body is one of the liver’s primary functions. If the liver is doing the job of the kidneys, it cannot do its job of metabolizing fat properly.

Muscles need water too!

Muscles need water to properly contract, and they will function at the best if they are fully hydrated. A body that is dehydrated is tired and weak!

Reduce water retention by drinking more water!

When you do not eat enough food, the body thinks that it is starving and will hold onto all the calories it can. Similarly, if the body doesn’t get enough water, it will hold onto every drop and holds it in the outside cells, causing a bloated appearance. If you’re feeling bloated, drink MORE water to help your body release what it’s holding. Want to feel and look leaner? Drink more water.

Drinking water helps get rid of body waste.

While losing weight, the body has a lot of waste to get rid of. Drinking plenty of water will help flush out that waste. YES, you’re going to have to use the little girl’s or little boy’s room more often, but that is how our bodies are supposed to work!

Dehydration can be Debilitating

Most people are walking around in a constant state of dehydration and don’t even know it. Dehydration to even small levels can cause headaches and extreme fatigue. Tired, cranky, not feeling your best during the day? Drink more water!

Bottled or Tap?

This is a personal choice, I’d recommend checking out your local water supply to see how it rates. Whenever possible I avoid buying plastic water bottles and have a few reusable water bottles instead.

 

But Drinking Water Isn’t Cool!

You can drink other things besides water (though I don’t recommend high calorie drinks, myself, I’d rather eat my calories) but make sure you also get the water in. Drinking diet pop, or other flavoured drinks are a poor replacement for actual water. Most people know tea and coffee are diuretics, so the water in your coffee and tea doesn’t count. The coolest thing you can do is take care of yourself.

The Numbers

The human body is about 60% water in adult males and 55% in adult females.

Water composes 75% of your brain.

Your lungs are nearly 90% water.

Water makes up 83% of your blood.

Water makes up 72% of your muscles.

Water accounts for 22% of your bones.

So how much water is enough?

The average of eight 8 ounce glasses a day is only a minimum.  **That amount should increase:

a)      if you have excess body fat to lose (additional glass for every 25lbs of excess weight)

b)      if you exercise-before, during and after!

c)      On hot and dry days

How to Execute

The easiest way to monitor how much water you drink is to fill a bottle with a measured amount, carry it with you and use it to drink from or pour glasses of water from. A one litre bottle (33.8 ounces for USA readers) is a great way to start. I drink 4L (about a gallon) of water on an average day. Using a 1L bottle makes that easy to track.

Let’s drink to our health, with a fresh, clear class of water!

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Filed under fitness, Fitness Nerd, Health Ally

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