Have you noticed that every diet plan you have ever followed suggests that you drink lots of water? Why is that? To fill you up when there isn’t enough food? To give you something to do when you want to EAT? To keep you so busy in the bathroom you will forget about eating?
None of the above.
Water is the most essential item in the body. Your body uses water in all its cells, organs, and tissues; mostly it helps regulate temperature, but it also maintains other bodily functions. Overall, the body is about 60% water. Because your body loses water through breathing, sweating, digestion, and many other areas, it is important to maintain your water balance.
Water’s main function is to keeps the body tissues in your body moist, according to the Mayo Clinic Health System. It hurts when your eyes, nose, or mouth get dry. Keeping your body hydrated helps it maintain moisture in these sensitive areas. But water is essential for the workings of the blood, bones, and brain. And water helps protect the spinal cord, and it acts as a lubricant and cushion for your joints.
Adequate water intake enables your body to excrete waste through perspiration, urination and defecation. Water helps your kidneys remove waste from your blood and keeps the blood vessels that run to your kidneys open and filtering properly. Water helps break down the food you eat, allowing its nutrients to be absorbed by your body. After you drink, both your small and large intestines absorb water, which is also used to break down the food into nutrients, then move them into your bloodstream
Ever feel foggy headed? Drink a glass of water. Research shows that dehydration slows down all memory, attention, and energy functions. Because water makes up 75 percent of the brain, and electrolyte balance – in the rest of the body – its lack can cause issues including muscle weakness, fatigue, and confusion.
Water is a huge part of your blood stream – about 90 percent is water. If you become dehydrated, your blood becomes more concentrated, which can lead to an imbalance of the electrolytes and minerals it contains. These electrolytes are necessary for proper muscle and heart function. Dehydration can also lead to lower blood volume, and thus blood pressure, so you may feel light-headed or woozy standing up,
When you are dehydrated, the scale may go down a bit; it will return to normal as soon as it can. When the weather is hot and humid, more water is stored in the body, making your weight seem to go up. A long plane flight can wreak havoc with your water balance; be sure to drink enough (a lot) and expect to see the water increase pass in a few days.
If you are wanting to lose weight, and If there is not enough water to wash the end products of your fat loss out of the body, it is carried back to the liver to be recycled into fat cells.
Honestly, water may be the most important thing you can do to lose weight and keep it off. The kidneys just cannot function properly without enough water. When they are overloaded some of the products are sent to the liver. If that fat is sent to the liver it will be metabolized into fat cells and stored in the body. Your weight loss will slow.
When the body gets too little water, it perceives that as a threat to its survival and it begins to hold on to every drop. That is why you may see swelling in your feet, legs, ankles, and tummy.
Diuretics force out stored water and nutrients. Now the body feels even more threatened for survival, and struggles to hold onto as much water as it can. You overcome this problem by consistently giving the body the water it needs. (And be careful of your salt intake, too.)
Experts differ o how much water we need, and this may change dependent on your life situation, but most say to take your body weight in pounds, divide by 2, and drink that many ounces per day.
When you get enough water, you may notice that your skin is smoother, your endocrine function improves, digestion improves, constipation diminishes, and more fat is used as fuel because the liver is free to metabolize stored fat and the kidneys are free to discard the end products of metabolism.
Try to distribute your water intake evenly through the day, stopping about 1 ½ hours before bed.
You may add orange or lemon, lime or cucumber slices to flavor the water.
Next week, we will discuss artificial sweeteners
As always, please call or email me if you have questions or concerns.
Blessings to you,
Please note that the sane food solution course is postponed till September 15. Call if you have questions about it.
And do join us for Wacky Wednesday on September 9.