Saturday, April 28, 2012

Water: the weight loss, skin shine secret

Many of us know we should drink more water. For many of my clients, increasing the amount they drink has dramatic effects on increasing their energy and decreasing their appetite and cravings. 

Water is the stuff of life, I like to say, including your body:
  • Your muscles that move your body are 75% water. 
  • Your blood that transport nutrients is 82% water.
  • Your lungs that provide your oxygen are 90% water.
  • Your brain that is the control center of your body is 76% water.
  • Even your bones are 25% water!
Our health is truly dependent on the quality and quantity of the water we drink...

Drinking Tips for Healthy Hydration:
  • Start your mornings right: Morning is when you are most full of toxins and dehydrated. Reach for a big glass of water first thing in the morning – even before coffee. This water in the morning really gets the blood flowing. Lemon in your morning water will also alkalize your body, helping to flush out toxins and stabilize your cravings and appetite.
  • Take regular water breaks.
  • Avoid relying on juice, soda, coffee and tea to provide your fluid needs, as the other substances in them change the way your body absorbs and uses the water in them.
  • Drink water before and after food; ideally drink a glass of water half an hour before you eat your meal and half an hour after the meal. You can drink water with meals, and drink water anytime your body feels like it.
    Drinking water prior to and after eating supports the digestive process. The stomach depends on water to help digest food, and lack of water makes it harder for nutrients to be broken down and used as energy. Your kidneys and liver both rely on adequate water to function properly. If you are dehydrated, your kidneys turn to the liver for backup, diminishing the liver’s ability to do its main job – converting fat into usable energy. Dehydration thus limits your body's ability to burn fat, remove toxins and supply your cells with adequate nutrients.

  • Keep a water bottle by your side at all the times. Use either bottled water or tap water, and carry it with you everywhere, to the gym, in your car, to your office. Don't wait until you’re thirsty to drink – thirst is an indicator that you are already drastically dehydrated (more on this below!)
How much and when should I drink water?
A good baseline is to drink approximately half of your body weight in ounces. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, you should drink 100 ounces water (3.13 quarts, 2.98 liters, or about 10-12 cups) a day.

Individuals who are physically active or live in hot climates may needs to drink more. Every person has unique needs – this is just a baseline. Start here and observe how you feel.

How do I know if I'm dehydrated?
If you are thirsty, it means your cells are already dehydrated. A dry mouth should be regarded as the last outward sign of dehydration. That’s because thirst does not develop until body fluids are depleted well bellow levels required for optimal functioning. 
Ever see those cute bathroom kids' books "What's Your Poo Telling You"? Well, you can monitor your urine to make sure you are not dehydrated and to get an idea of how well you are doing with keeping your body properly hydrated:
  • A hydrated body produces clear, colorless urine.
  • A somewhat dehydrated body produces yellow urine.
  • A severely dehydrated body produces orange or dark-colored urine.
The effects of even mild dehydration include decreased coordination, fatigue, dry skin, decreased urine output, dry mucous membranes in the mouth and nose, blood pressure changes and impairment of judgment. Stress, headache, back pain, allergies, asthma, high blood pressure and many degenerative health problems are the result of UCD (Unintentional Chronic Dehydration).
Main source: in association with F. Batmanghelidj, M.D.

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