Water Facts

July 11, 2013

We all know we need to drink water, and you may feel you've heard it all before. However, research shows that 75% of Americans have mild, chronic dehydration ... be sure you don't let the term 'mild' fool you! A consistent state of dehydration has serious effects. Tending to your fluid intake is a year-round concern, but it's even more important in warm weather. Your body is composed of about 60% water. These fluids accomplish numerous vital tasks and facilitate all chemical processes in the body-- digestion, nutrient absorption, circulation, maintenance of body temperature and much more! A reduction of as little as 4-5% in body water results in a 20-30% decrease in performance, while a 10% decrease causes significant health risks. Here are a few specifics:
  • A recent study separated 48 inactive, overweight and obese Americans aged 55 to 75  into two equal groups. The control group followed a calorie-controlled diet; the second group followed exactly the same diet, but also drank 2 metric cups of water before each meal for 12 weeks. Both groups lost weight on average, but the water-drinking group lost an average of  5 additional pounds! In other words, drinking water before meals made the diet 30% more effective.
  • Dehydration causes cells to shrivel, which can result in muscle fatigue.
  • Drinking enough fluid is important when exercising. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends drinking approximately 17 ounces of fluid two hours before exercise, and the replacement of fluids lost by sweating at regular intervals during a workout.
  • Your skin contains a lot of water and it is your body's protection against fluid loss.
  • Body fluids transport waste products in and out of cells. Your kidneys cleanse the body of toxins as long as your intake of fluids is adequate. Additionally, if your water intake is consistently low, you may be at higher risk for kidney stones, particularly in warm climates.
  • Water even lubricates your joints!
You should drink a minimum of eight glasses of water a day... if that sounds like a lot try these tips to get started!
  • Start every day by drinking 1-2 glasses of water in the morning.
  • Keep a water pitcher in the refrigerator.
  • Carry a thermos of water with you.
  • Drink water before you feel thirsty; if you feel thirsty, you're already mildly dehydrated.
  • Drink pure water -- if you're unsure of your tap water, there are plenty of excellent, reasonably priced filters.
  • Avoid juices and sodas that are high in sugar content.
  • For every eight ounces of a caffeinated beverage or alcohol you drink, supplement with an additional eight ounces of water.
Water... truly the fountain of life!

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