Water

Water: 3 Reasons it's Essential

 

In an article entitled The Importance of Water Jen Heath wrote, “In the diet, water is the most important component in losing fat and keeping it off. You heard that right…the most important.” This professional body builder knows exactly what she is talking about. Her article is one of the basis for our entire section on water when we hold a conference.

Water is essential to health. As contestants on Biggest Loser, we were not only actively encouraged to track our calories but also our carbohydrates, protein, fat and water consumption. Most of us would be hard pressed to know how much water we drink on a day-to-day basis. A good nutrition plan without adequate water intake makes weight loss more difficult.

3 Reasons Water is Essential to Health & Weight Loss.

1. Water is the single most important component in weight loss.

Water is a natural appetite suppressant and helps our body burn fat. When our bodies do not have an adequate supply of water for bodily functions, water is drawn from cells, including fat cells. Fat cells that have been "squeezed" are less likely to be burned as energy. Most people who are obese live in a dehydrated state, and the water they consume goes first to hydrate these "squeezed" cells.  It takes a well-hydrated body to begin to allow those cells to be burned as fuel.

Adequate hydration allows your body to run proficiently and means you will experience greater weight loss than you would if dehydrated.

2. Water aids the immune system and thus prevents illness.

 When dehydrated our bodies are more susceptible to germs. Our mucus membranes are the natural gatekeepers to our natural defense system according to Lippincott's Textbook for Nursing Assistants. You might not realize that we have mucus that line all of our organs that come in contact with the outside (respiratory, digestion, urinary and reproductive systems). Mucus basically works by trapping and destroying germs.  When those mucus membranes are dried out, our body's defenses are weakened.

3. Water helps to lower blood pressure.

The American Red Cross conducted a study of water drinking and its relation to blood pressure. When blood donors were given 16 oz. of water to drink before donating blood, a 20 percent drop in fainting occurred. Fainting after donating blood is often connected to a drop in blood pressure. The opposite is also true. Not consuming enough water can cause a rise in blood pressure because our body constricts the blood vessels when dehydrated. Due to dehydration the heart is pushed to pump harder thus causing the blood pressure to rise.

3 Ideas to increase your Water Intake

1. Drink an 8 oz. glass of water first thing in the morning before coffee or tea.   

After sleeping all night you are dehydrated and your body needs water. Drinking the water first quenches your thirst, thus allowing you to enjoy your morning coffee or tea.

2. Keep a bottle of water with you at all times and drink a little all day long.

Many of us try to gulp our water intake down all at once, and we hate it. Instead, drink a little all day.  Invest in a reusable bottle you can slip into your bag, backpack, or car drink holder, and keep it filled as you go from place to place.

3. Add a slice of lime, lemon, BERRIES or cucumber to your water.

Many of us want other beverages because we want the taste. Add healthy options to your water rather than artificial sweeteners. Water will help your body work well!


Jen Heath.  The Importance Of Water: A Full Explanation! Retrieved from http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/jenheath4.htm

Pamela Carter & Susan Lewsen. Lippincott's Textbook for Nursing Assistants: A Humanistic Approach to Caregiving. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2005.

Leigh McMillan. Plain water has surprising impact on blood pressure. Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 2016, retrieved from http://www.mc.vanderbilt.edu:8080/reporter/index.html?ID=9047

Four More Reasons Water is Essential

Three reasons that water is important for our bodies can be found in our article: 3 Reasons Water is Essential.

There are more reasons, however, for making sure we are drinking enough water every day:

1. Water is the main nutrient to the body.

Our bodies are biological machines that depend on balance to function. Our brains are made of 95% water, our lungs 90% water and our blood 82%. Water is the single most important nutrient to the body.  Just a 2% drop in water can cause us to become dizzy and have trouble thinking clearly. The sensation of thirst occurs when our body experiences a slight drop in balance, and thirst is our body's signal that we need more fluid. That 2% drop actually causes measurable brain shrinkage, thus the dizziness. The water and minerals we drink and eat make up the electrolytes our brain needs to function. All of our body functions via electricity: brain, muscles, and heart.

2. Water is essential for kidney and liver health.

Our kidneys need an adequate amount of water to do their job which is to clean the waste out of our bodies. When that water supply is low then our liver has to complete the kidneys’ job. The liver has three main jobs: nutrient breakdown, storage and creation, and detox. Part of that role in storage and creation is the metabolizing of fat. If the liver is having to detox waste that normally would be dealt with by the kidneys then less fat is metabolized - basically, the liver is not doing its own job.

Another benefit of water can be helping to alleviate kidney stones, if your family has a history of this condition.  

3.  Water aids circulation, digestion, and hydrates your skin.

Water levels affect your blood pressure and how hard your heart has to work to get blood around the body. Also, if your body is well hydrated you have a better chance of digesting things and being regular.

Finally, water helps your skin.  When you are hydrated, water helps your body get rid of toxins, so they aren’t sitting in your body and showing up as acne.

4.  Water acts like an appetite suppressant.  

Drinking water consistently throughout the day makes your body feel satisfied.  There are many times when we think we are hungry and we are, in fact, thirsty - we have lost the ability to “feel” what our bodies need.  

 

HOW MUCH WATER IS ENOUGH?

We suggest that you aim to drink half your bodyweight in ounces.

    Example: 200 lb = 100 oz of water

Ease into it, and increase ounces over time.  This can be overwhelming if you have many ounces to drink. Aim to drink consistently throughout the day, but don’t make yourself sick.

 

HOW CAN WE INCREASE OUR WATER INTAKE?

  1. Keep your water with you. Carry that bottle of water around!

  2. If you will get tired of water, find ways to make it interesting. Packets, add fruit, or cucumbers to add something you would enjoy.

  3. Drink a cup of water while you are waiting for your coffee or tea to brew.

  4. After you walk somewhere or do some exercise drink at least 8 ounces.

  5. Have a beverage with every meal and every snack.

  6. Fruits and veggies have tons of water in them, so you can sneak extra water in.