Sunday, April 2, 2017

Life Liquid: Water

WATER is the liquid of LIFE! Getting fluids in our bodies is important by almost any means, but just plain WATER is the best way to hydrate for everyday life. Athletes, or doing athletic things like running marathons, require making sure that your getting enough electrolytes with your WATER, but for normal everyday activities, WATER is our optimum hydrator.

As healthy adults, our bodies are made up of 50% to 70% fluid; every cell in our bodies contain fluid. Body fluid varies depending on age and gender. An average male will have a higher body fluid content than an average female, and that's because men naturally have leaner muscle mass than females. As we age, our total amount of body fluid decreases. An infants body weight is about 75% WATER, while an elderly persons body weight is made up of less than 50% WATER. This is the result of loss lean tissue as we age (Pruitt, 2009). And this is another indicator of the importance of resistance training as we age.

One of the first things that we should do when we wake up in the morning, is drink a glass of WATER. We become a bit dehydrated when we sleep all night, and WATER can give us that initial boost of energy in the morning by re-hydrating us. Re-hydration includes re-hydrating our organs, and our brains.

WATER can solve many health issues that we don't even think about. The first thing that we should do when we're not feeling well is drink a glass or bottle of WATER. WATER also keeps us regular and can prevent constipation. As a matter of fact, when we become a little "backed up", WATER should be the first remedy that we try.

When we get a cold or the flu, WATER and rest are the top remedies for combating these viruses. All of those medications on the market are for treating the symptoms of a cold and the flu; they do not help to get rid of them. Certain anti-viral medicines may help to shorten the length of them, if taken early on, but fluids and rest are the most important ways to combat these viruses. It's even more important if we have a fever, because our bodies can lose even more fluid through sweating. This can result in becoming dehydrated, which can cause dizziness or even fainting.

Having a stomach virus is another way to become dehydrated, although this is another time when you may want to replace your electrolytes too (Many people go for Gatorade and other sports drinks, but Pedialyte is widely recommended, even for adults). Otherwise, you may just end up in the hospital hooked up to an IV.

Some other reasons to drink plain WATER are:

  • It increases energy and relieves fatigue
  • Promotes weight loss (It's a natural appetite suppressant)
  • Flushes out toxins
  • Improves skin complexion (prevents wrinkles 😊)
  • Natural headache remedy (can also be caused by dehydration)
  • Prevents cramps and sprains (Phon, 2012). Whenever I get a muscle cramp, I grab a bottle of water to drink, and that usually helps to aleviate it.
  • Helps to maximize physical performance
  • Helps concentration and mood
  • Helps to prevent kidney stones
  • Helps prevent hangovers (Leech, 2017).

For me, I drink WATER before going to bed, if wake up in the middle of the night, and first thing in the morning. I stopped drinking Diet Pepsi's about 2 years (or so) ago, because of the many messages I heard and read over the years about drinking the strong drink; and replaced the several bottles a day that I used to drink, with bottles of spring water. I use to be unable to get through a work day without drinking at least 3 to 4 - 20 to 24 oz. bottles of Diet Pepsi, and this was my routine for over 20 years. I now can not get through my work day without drinking at least 3 to 4 bottles of spring water. Also, research has shown a probable tie between drinking caffeinated, carbonated drinks, and osteoporosis (Haak, 2016); and research has also shown that as you age, drinking one 20 oz soda per day, adds on 4.6 years of biological aging (Rockwood, 2016). 

Drinking soda and sugary drinks can put a lot of weight on you, if you drink them regularly. Even drinking diet soda seems to be a not so good idea, for research has shown that artificial sweeteners may trick the body and mind into thinking it's okay to eat more. The tests on artificial sweeteners have been inconclusive, but for me I've chosen to stay away from them, after using them too for over 20 years. For diabetics, it still may be a better choice than trying to use sugar, if you can't stay away altogether. 

Many people don't like the taste of WATER. Years ago, while I was nursing my health and recovering from the effects of a food allergy, I learned to just "down" my water by holding my breath and drinking as much as I could at a time. I still drink this way, and don't really taste anything unpleasant. I drink it at room temperature, in order to prevent "brain freeze" which would end up being a deterrent to drinking as much WATER as I do.  Also, sipping wouldn't be a good idea for people who don't like the taste of WATER, although many people have learned to enjoy a little lemon in it. 

All in all, just plain WATER is the best way for us to hydrate, whether that's tap WATER, spring WATER, or filtered WATER. I haven't researched which is the best, but I'm sure that depends on several factors. The bottom line is that WATER doesn't add the calories of sugary drinks, and it flushes toxins from our bodies. If you're a diabetic, or have high blood pressure, WATER helps to dilute and flush the sugars and sodium that you ingest. Just plain WATER is an optimum liquid for your body.

The amount of WATER that we should drink per day varies by opinion, but most health authorites recommend about 8-8oz. glasses (which is about a half gallon or 2 liters) per day (Gunnars, 2017). The best way to judge whether your drinking enough WATER, is the color of your urine. It should be a very pale yellow. The darker your urine, the less hydrated you are.

So, as I've said when I started this article, WATER is the liquid of LIFE! Even if you choose to drink other beverages to get your daily fluid recommendations, please find a place for a couple of glasses of just plain water per day. Just imagine that this clear, calorie-free liquid is helping to flush all of the bad stuff out of your body; and remember that it's not just imaginary. STAY HYDRATED!!!! 💧💧💧

Talk to you all next time! 😊

References

Gunnars, K. (2017). How much water should you drink per day? 
     Authoritynutrition.com. Retrieved from https://authoritynutrition.com
     /how-much-water-should-you-drink-per-day/

Haak, E. (2016, November 21). 5 surprising things that age you. Oprah.com.
     Retrieved from http://www.oprah.com/health_wellness/Surprising-Things
     -That-Age-You

Leech, J. (2017). 7 science-based health benefits of drinking enough water. 
     Authoritynutrition.com. Retrieved from https://authoritynutrition.com/
     7-health-benefits-of-water/

Phon, A. (2012, March 20). 10 reasons why you should drink more water. 
     mindbodygreen.com. Retrieved from http://www.mindbodygreen.com/
     0-4287/10-Reasons-Why-You-Should-Drink-More-Water.html

Pruitt, et el. (2009). Nutrition, Health, and Wellness An Applied Approach,
     Pg. 267.

Rockwood, K. (2016). 3 things to do now to slow down aging later. 
     Oprah.com. Retrieved from http://www.oprah.com/health/3-Things-to-
     Do-Now-to-Slow-Down-the-Aging-Process

Photo by Pixabay.com

2 comments:

  1. I love water! You do not have to convince me at all, but this is a great article that hits all points. Great job (again) Lisa!

    ReplyDelete