BETTER LATE THAN NEVER
Up to about 4 years ago, I was drinking as many diet drinks as bottles of water. I couldn’t resist the “bite” of carbonation and the artificial sweetness.
Maybe I am a slow learner. Both provided no calories, so I viewed them as equals. At least, I wasn’t consuming sodas loaded with sugar.
Gradually, I realized that water quenched my thirst much more effectively. Also, the aspartame in diet sodas had seemed to increase my hunger at times.
Switching to water only has had a positive effect on my weight control. I can even forestall hunger by drinking a bottle of water. I have lost about 35 pounds since I made these changes.
At this point, I am drinking at least 6 bottles of water daily. The bottles (by Aqua Fina) contain 16 ounces of water. I generally add lemon juice to the water.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF HYDRATION
We need hydration to flush out toxins and to maintain moisture in our eyes, nose, throat and ears. Water is also essential to avoid wrinkling and other skin disorders.
Our kidneys filter at least 120 quarts of fluid on a daily basis. Poor kidney function allows waste products to build up. The best indicator of healthy hydration is clear or light colored urine.
Severe dehydration can create cramps and heat stroke – or medical emergencies. Even mild dehydration can deplete our energy. All of our bodily systems depend upon water for function.
Water is especially important during pregnancy. Producing blood for nourishment of her baby is crucial for a pregnant woman – and more water is needed to produce more blood.
Paraphrasing Medical News Today, here are more specific reasons why our bodies need water:
- To lubricate our joints since cartilage contains 80 % water
- To create saliva, for better digestion
- To deliver oxygen throughout our bodies, since blood is 90% water
- To help produce neurotransmitters for better brain function
- For regulation of body temperature
- To help with digestion and to prevent constipation
- To flush away body waste
- To help maintain healthy blood pressure
- For prevention of asthma and to keep allergies in check
- To provide transport of minerals and nutrients
- To reduce the possibility of hangovers
There is also strong evidence that dehydration can adversely affect performance levels in activities that are longer than 30 minutes, such as athletic activity.
The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine recommends that men should average a daily intake of 125 ounces of water and that women should average 91 ounces.
When I read this, I immediately felt that my 100 ounces per day were insufficient, but the above recommendations included water from food as well, so I am on track, especially since I eat lots of fruit. It is suggested that we get 80% of our hydration from water. Alcoholic drinks are not considered a useful part of the above suggestions.
- Electrolyte powder for quick dehydration
- Electrolyte drink tablets
- Hydration backpack gear
- Bike hydration backpack
- Running belt with bottles
- Tactical backpack with 2.5 liter hydration bladder
Understanding the importance of drinking water has been a pivotal part of my fitness program. It has made a huge difference for me personally, for all the reasons shown in this post.
It has also been enlightening to do some research to learn more about the underlying reasons to hydrate.
I can remember playing a tennis match in heat of over 100 degrees, for 3 long sets in an important match. My fingers and toes were spasming afterwards. I may have been near heat stroke, but fluids and bananas were available to help me out. Looking back, I should have hydrated more carefully during the match.
Trust me on this – water is your friend.
Please leave any comments or questions in the “Comments” section below. Or email me, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be safe and be well!