When you are looking to lose weight, water beats out the best of beverages by far. Water is actually considered a nutrient, which means it is just as important as vitamins, minerals and macronutrients like proteins and fats. All of the biochemical reactions in your body occur in a suspension of…you guessed it. Good old H20.
Lucky for weight loss, water acts as a natural appetite suppressant, filling our bellies and bloodstreams for more free-flowing hydration. With a tummy topped with water, we are less likely to eat as much, and what we do eat is normally better digested, because hydration is imperative for proper digestion. The elimination process is facilitated by water as well, decreasing the likelihood of developing any constipation by keeping tracts moist and lubricated.
Swigging water increases weight loss as well, because water helps break fat tissue down and mobilize it into the liver. Increasing water intake can reduce fat deposits, but if your hydration halts, fat deposits are more likely to form.
Don’t kid around with your kidneys, they need lots of water as well and won’t function properly without it. When your kidneys are working extra hard, they let some duties slack, and so your liver is left to take up the slack. Your liver is the main man for metabolizing stored fat into energy, so your liver may get stuck tag-teaming to help your kidneys instead of clearing up the fat deposits.
Is all that water flowing to your feet? Your best treatment for fluid retention in body tissues is actually to drink MORE water. When your body senses it doesn’t have enough, it perceives less water as a threat to survival, and it will hold on to every drop. This gets stored outside cells in the tissues, causing swollen hands, feet, and legs. The more water your drink, the less water you will retain.
Salt is another cause of water retention and it’s very important to flush that out of your system with additional water intake. Eating too many carbohydrates can also cause tissues hold on to water because for each pound of carbohydrates you ingest, your body retains three pounds of water. Sunburn, tension, loss of sleep and certain drugs like birth control, reserpine and cortisone can all contribute to fluid retention.
To meet the body’s needs for water, most adults need to drink 8 to 12 eight-ounce glasses of water each day. Keeping the river running allows your body to stay in balance. Food is another, smaller source of hydration. Vegetables can contain up to 95 percent water, while fish contains around 70 percent.
If you are overweight, your metabolic load is larger so your water requirement will be higher than a person of normal weight. Keep this in mind when you gulp, the minimum amount of water you should drink is eight glasses each day, and it’s important to add one eight-ounce glass of pure water for every 25 pounds you are overweight.
From Aquafina to Zephyrhills, branding is of no consequence. Tap or filtered, pure water is the best way to get hydrated. Any fluids that also contain caffeine like soda, tea, or coffee, do not count towards your daily water requirement. Beverages containing caffeine have a diuretic effect, which encourages your kidneys to excrete more water. They supply some water, but also take some away. Mineral and sparkling water normally contain sodium, which can cause water retention and won’t allow the water to flow as freely in your body and makes it more difficult to excrete.
Your best choice? Tap water is normally the purest source, and if you are concerned about the purity of your supply, buy a water filter or a pitcher to clean it up. If you need a little extra flavor, try the no-calorie powders like Crystal Light to sweeten your hydration experience.
To learn more, please call our office at 239-288-2789.