Just Add Water

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By: Michael Katz, Purlife Fitness Master Trainer Special to the Boca and Delray Newspapers

Have you tried everything to lose weight? There may be one easy change that you might not have explored. The key to improving many bodily discomforts, fatigue, body composition and low mental acuity can be found simply at the bottom of a tall glass of water.

Simply improving your hydration habits can help you look and more importantly feel a lot better.  Headache? Try a tall glass of H20 before throwing back some pills to take the edge off.

Back Pain? The discs in between our vertebrae are mostly water and hydration optimizes their shock absorbing abilities reducing pressure and pain.

Feeling fatigued? Increase your hydration and watch your energy levels skyrocket! Upping your water intake will help reduce joint pain by decreasing friction, reducing inflammation and increasing joint lubrication. In fact, proper hydration impacts every single cell and cellular process in your body.

The human body is made up of over 60 percent water, however we are constantly using that water, depleting ourselves throughout every day with everything from urination to breathing itself.

A human can go without food for about three weeks but would typically only last three to four days without water.

Studies in both 2013 and 2015 showed 75  percent of our population is chronically dehydrated.  Unfortunately, research has also shown that these facts and figures, while true, do very little to encourage proper hydration. Instead of focusing on the negatives, let’s take a look at the positive effects more water will have on your body and your life.

Drink to Lose

Water stokes up your metabolism! What is metabolism exactly? Think of metabolism as a series of chemical reactions, specifically the ones that lead to the breakdown of food and its transformation into energy.

Clearly, what our body stores vs what it uses for energy is an extremely important part of weight management. Being even 1 percent dehydrated can cause a significant drop in metabolism.

If you have enough oil and gas in your car, it will run more efficiently and it’s the same with hydrating your body. Water will also helps you lose weight in other ways such as reducing cravings. If you stay properly hydrated, you will be more efficient delivering nutrients to your cells and oxygen to your muscles.  It also cleanses more waste products and toxins from your body, goodbye bloating.

How much do I really need?

Current standards suggest you aim for between 72- 96 ounces of water per day, depending on your size, activity level and climate. To put that in perspective, the average water bottle is 16.9 ounces and the average cup at a restaurant holds 16 ounces.

That means you should strive for 4-6 bottles per day.

To makes things even easier, according to the Institute of Medicine, 20 percent of your water intake can come from your food sources. Whole foods are the ones with the highest water content. A few examples that are made up of at least 90 percent water include, cucumbers, spinach, celery, lettuce, watermelon, broccoli, tomatoes. Stocking up on whole foods like these will also have countless added health benefits.

Where do I go from here?

It doesn’t take much on your end to make a large positive impact such as more energy, higher metabolisms, healthier skin, sharper mental focus and less pain. Simply integrate the following steps and you are eligible to profit from all the positive ways water can impact your life.  So if you want to feel better, sharper, thinner, stronger, clearer, and healthier, life is simple, just add water!

Start your day with a tall glass of water (add lemon/lime/orange or cucumber for taste).

Reach for brightly colored whole foods to help to keep the body’s fluids balanced.

Aim for three small cups (8oz) of water near mealtimes – 1 before, 1 during & 1 after.