Saturday, June 26, 2010

Hydration is Key

Water is a basic life requirement. Our bodies are composed of (approx) 70% water-practically every system uses water. Blood, brain, breathing, organs, joints, muscles, skin...all of these things and more are dependent upon water. Dehydration is the #1 trigger for daytime fatigue-not lack of sleep!

What may be surprising to some is the link between weight loss (or optimal weight maintenance) and adequate hydration. I read on that water makes your metabolism burn 3% faster. In addition, being sufficiently hydrated allows your body to be working at peak performance. That's a desirable outcome.     

Another issue linking water to weight loss is this-and I can attest to it's veracity, as I have experienced it myself: sometimes people confuse thirst with hunger and eat instead of drinking water. Imagine if your body was trying to tell you to drink water, and instead, you ate a bag of chips. So not only are you eating all those unnecessary and unwanted calories (and fat, and salt...), but you're still not getting the water your body needed in the first place. Interesting. I have noticed, today especially, that if I concentrate on drinking when I feel "hungry", I was actually just thirsty, as the sensation went away after drinking a glass of water. Now of course, I could be filling myself up with water, but that's not a bad thing, either. I know I've consumed enough calories for my energy output for today, so anything that might stop me from going out to the kitchen and grabbing a handful of those Oreos is a GOOD THING.

Recommendations for water intake vary, but the general rule seems to be to consume at LEAST 8 cups (that's 250 mL, or 8 oz in each cup) of water daily. Some say that a person should consume 1 oz of water for every 2 pounds of body weight-so at 141 pounds I should be drinking a minimum of 8.8 cups of water a day (and that minimum doesn't take in to consideration people who exercise-they have a higher requirement).

Don't like the taste of water? Throw some lemon wedges in there, or orange, or lime. Or all three! Any citrus will freshen up your water and provide a bit of vitamin c, at the same time. A bit of lemon in your water will also assist in suppressing appetite, as well.

One last bit of water info: keeping your body sufficiently hydrated will also assist in keeping your skin healthy. People who drink enough water look younger, have fewer wrinkles, and generally, just look good.

So go and have a glass of water-you probably need it!

***edited to add:  HERE is a fun calculator that estimates the number of glasses of water you should be drinking each day.  (by the way, to figure out how many kilograms you weigh, divide your weight in pounds by 2.2)


  1. Just stumbled across your blog - great site! I'm looking forward to reading more, keep it up!

    What do you know about Vitamin D and its benefits???? Can you maybe write about that?

  2. Thanks!

    Sure, I had planned a whole series on Vitamin D. Stay tuned.