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Old 03-23-2004, 08:53 AM   #1
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Default WW question about water

DH joined WW with me on Saturday. Drinking water has always been a problem for him. He hates it.

Does caffeine free diet coke count as a water? How about Crystal lite that is sugar free?

Any suggestions because he really needs to change what he drinks.

Thanks!
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Old 03-23-2004, 10:57 AM   #2
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You can count up to 3 8-ounces servings of water as decaff beverages. But the remaining 3 are supposed to be plain old water. But have him read on in this post about why water is good:

Water! Why drink at least two quarts a day?

Because that's roughly how much water we lose normally through perspiration, waste removal and other functions. Add sultry weather or enough exercise to break a sweat and the amount of water needed to stay healthily hydrated - not to mention avoid fatigue, light-headedness, nausea, and even heat stroke - quickly climbs.

Additionally, water keeps your energy up, weight down, muscles strong, joints supple, digestive system smooth -- your whole system in physical balance.

Water:

1) regulates body temperature
2) makes up 83% of blood
3) removes waste
4) composes 75% of brain
5) helps carry nutrients and oxygen to cells
6) moistens oxygen for breathing
7) helps convert food to energy
8) protects and cushions vital organs
9) helps body absorb nutrients
10) accounts for 22% of bones
11) cushions joints
12) makes up 75% of muscles

It really depends on the person and their activity level as well as the weather. I find the more I drink the less I actually retain with my activity level and climate. Additionally because of diureteic effects of caffeine drinks you should have 1 8-ounce glass of water for each 8-ounce glass/cup of these you drink to minimize the effects.

On the other hand however, there is a thing as too much water. If you drink in excess of 8 liters without getting the proper other nutrients your body will actually start depleting itself of those nutrients.


Are you Hungry? Many of us mix up food pangs with water cravings!
By Malcolm Stewart, PhD

As a clinical and health psychologist, I work with many people who want to lose weight for personal or medical reasons. It's not uncommon to hear complaints of intense hunger between regular eating times, no matter how satisfying their meals. For some people, it's puzzling, irritating hunger that makes them want to pick at food constantly. Others describe sharp cravings that demand immediate satisfaction.

Regardless, the effect is the same: Despite increasing their physical activity (perhaps the key weight loss technique), they can't lose unwanted pounds.

But a little-known fact both helps explain these food pangs - and provides a means to deal with them: Sometimes thirst masquerades as hunger. So you may think your body is asking for food when what it's actually asking for is water.

Your body needs water - a lot of water, every day - more than anything else except oxygen. We can live without food for a week or more if necessary, but not without water. If your body has just 2 percent less than it requires, you'll feel fatigued. A 10 percent shortfall produce significant health risks. A week without water can be fatal. Adults need sixto eight 8-ounce glasses (about 1 ˝ to 2 quarts) every day, more if you're large or physically active and even more if you drink much coffee, tea or cola, because the caffeine in these is a mild diuretic.

Why do we sometimes feel hungry when in fact we're thirsty? For one thing, many of us seem to have learned to interpret some signs of thirst as signs of hunger. For another, the body may seek food as a source of water because about 37 percent of our daily water intake comes from food. Fruits and vegetables are typically 70 to 95 percent water. Cooked meat is 50 to 60 percent. Even bread is made up of about 35 percent water.

So your body may signal that it's hungry in order to get more water through food. And because water is so important, the body gives off strong messages when it needs more, which is why thirst masquerading as hunger can be so compelling. Which would be fine if food didn't contain calories as well as water.

Being able to understand that sometimes "I'm hungry" really means "I'm thirsty"can help you react more healthfully, starting with drinking eight glasses daily. This takes a conscious effort for most of us, but it's easier if you make a habit of drinking water every time you do a particular activity - for instance, each time you go into the kitchen or whenever you're about to make a phone call. You can also up your intake by using a larger glass or drinking a refill. Some people find "sipper bottles" convenient.

Now apply this to dealing with hunger between meals (which can be translated as "reach for water, not the ice cream"). If you feel hungry when it's not meal time, first have a large glass of water, then get busy doing something - keep at it for at least 20 minutes before you consider eating anything.

After drinking one glass, you may immediately want another. This is your body saying, "Yes! That was want I really wanted - give me more!" If you still feel hungry after 20 minutes, try having another glass of water, then get busy again.

People often feel like they're "bad" or "weak" if they feel hungry at times they think they shouldn't be. However, once you are aware that thirst can masquerade as hunger, you realize that hunger pangs often are a legitimate request by the body - but for water rather than food.

This isn't a cure - all for curbing hunger, but I've learned from my practice that it can go along way toward beating between meal eating. And that can mean weight-loss success.


An excerpt from Oprah's book, Make the Connection, by Bob Greene.

Water is essential to life. Without it, we would survive maybe two or three days. That makes it our most important nutrient. Water surrounds and is a part of each and every cell in your body, and it's needed or involved in virtually all body functions. About 60 percent of your body weight is water.

We lose a lot of water each day through basic body functions. By exercising, you lose even more water depending on the type, length, and intensity of exercise and the climate you work out in. Your body must continually regulate the amount of water that it holds. You become dehydrated when your body's water supply cannot meet its demands. This can cause a variety of complications, including heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Although less life threatening, dehydration also affects the body's ability to digest food and metabolize fat. Needless to say, having enough water is essential for your body to function at its optimum.

As far as weight loss and weight maintenance are concerned, drinking enough water is extremely important. There are at least six basic reasons why replacing water on a daily basis is important for controlling your weight.

1) Digestion and metabolism - These are two functions we are particularly concerned with when it comes to controlling our weight. If you aren't getting enough water, you risk impairing these two functions to a certain degree. Enough water ensures that both digestion and metabolism are working at their full capacity.

2) Water's filling effect - by drinking six to eight glasses of water, you can help curb your appetite. Water can fill you up so that you don't overeat.

3) The thirst-hunger response - When you are dehydrated, your body may signal you to eat when what it really requires is water. It does the same thing for a variety of nutritional needs. For example, your body may needs sodium, so it signals you to eat foods containing salt. But all you really need is the salt without all the additional calories in food. I call this phenomenon artificial hunger. By meeting all of your nutritional needs, including your need for water, you can control artificial hunger.

4) Better workouts - You can exercise more effectively and at higher levels when you are getting enough water.

5) Muscle requires more water - Muscle is comprised of about 70 percent water, whereas fat is made up of less than 25 percent water. One of the many benefits of exercise is that you maintain and even add muscle weight, which in turn burns fat. As you gain muscle, you require more water andneed to replace more of it daily. So water becomes more important the more active you are. Think of it as a cycle: The more muscle you maintain, the more water is held by the body and the more calories are burned by that additional muscle. So the more muscle you have, the more water you must have available.

6) Glycogen storage - Glycogen is a form of carbohydrate stored in your muscles. It can be used as energy when you exercise. The more fit you become, the more glycogen is stored in your muscles. Every gram of glycogen holds about 2.5 to 3 grams of water. So, the more fit you are, the more water your body will hold, and the more water you need each day. Being more fit also allows you to burn calories at a higher rate.

In addition to those six reasons, as you begin to lose fat, your body increases its percentage of water. So the amount of water you need to drink each day increases. This is especially so the more active you become. Your body is signaled to hold more water. It will usually let you know it needs more water by making you thirsty, but not always.

WATER

Water is often called the forgotten nutrient since many people take it for granted, but water is essential to life. We can live with less than enough food for weeks, months, even years, but take away our water and we last just a few days.

Water makes up about 60 percent of the average adult's weight. It is the medium the human body uses for nearly every activity it performs and has many functions, including:

· Carrying nutrients in the body
· Cleansing the body's waste products
· Acting as a solvent, dissolving minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and other substances
· Being involved in the chemical reactions in the body
· Lubricating joints
· Acting as a shock absorber for many organs
· Helping to regulate body temperature

Since water is so important, its balance is delicately monitored by a number of mechanisms. Our brain signals us to drink when the sodium concentrations in the blood become too high or when blood volume drops too low. Unfortunately, by the time this thirst mechanism kicks in, we are already in the beginning stages of water deficit. That's why nutritionists recommend drinking before you are thirsty.

This is particularly important for the elderly population because as we age we become less sensitive to our thirst mechanism. At the same time, our percentage of body fluid drops, so it's easier to become dehydrated faster.

Young children are also at a higher risk for dehydration, but for another reason: Their thirst mechanism is not yet fully developed, nor are they always able to recognize when they are thirsty.


Water needs vary with each individual, but in general, nutritionists still abide by the old rule of eight glasses- - 64 ounces - - or more of fluid a day. Water is your best bet, but it is certainly not the only way to get fluids. Fruit juice, seltzer, milk, lemonade, and soft drinks can also quench thirst. Alcohol and caffeinated beverages like tea and coffee do not count because they are actually diuretics, meaning they cause you to lose fluid rather than retain it. Food like soup, cucumbers, watermelon, lettuce, tomatoes, and oranges are high in water and good way to supplement your liquid intake.

How much water do you need?

The old standard suggestion of 6 to 8 8-ounce glasses of water a day is still good. But people who exercise may need more like 2 or 3 quarts, especially when it's hot and humid outside (and during illness).

Get in the habit of carrying a water bottle. It's easy to measure, handy to cart around especially during workouts, and saves waiting in line at the water fountain - - where it never seems polite to guzzle what you really need when others are waiting.

Drink cool water when you're hot. Cool water empties out of the stomach and enters the system faster. Drink warmer water (room temperature or warm uncaffeinated tea or broth) when exercising outside in the cold.

Drink before you're thirsty. People who drink to satisfy thirst replace only about half of what they need. An intelligent, buy the book, "hydration schedule" for a workout looks something like this:

· 17 ounces of water 2 hours before your workout
· 8ounces or more 15 minutes before your workout
· 4 to 8 ounces every 10 to 20 minutes during your workout
· another 8 ounces after your workout you thirsty, but not always.

This was forwarded to me by one of my friends. I hope we will get inspired to keep drinking lots of water!


WATER - We all know that water is important but what we don’t realize is that:

1. 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated.
(Likely applies to half world population)

2. In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so
weak that it is often mistaken for hunger.

3. Even MILD dehydration will slow down one's
metabolism as much as 3%.

4. One glass of water will shut down midnight hunger
pangs for almost 100% of the dieters studied in a
U-Washington study.

5. Lack of water, the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue.

6. Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses
significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80%
of sufferers.

7. A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy
short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and
difficulty focusing on the computer screen
or on a printed page.

8. Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the
risk of colon cancer by 45%, plus it can slash
the risk of breast cancer by 79%, and one is
50% less likely to develop bladder cancer.

How 8 Glasses a Day Keeps Fat Away

Incredible as it may seem, water is quite possibly the single most important catalyst in losing weight and keeping it off. Although most of us take it for granted, water may be the only true "magic potion" for permanent weight loss!

Water suppresses the appetite naturally and helps the body metabolize stored fat. Studies have shown that a decrease in water intake will cause fat deposits to increase, while an increase in water intake can actually reduce fat deposits. Here's why: The kidneys can't function properly without enough water. When the kidneys don't work to capacity, some of their load is dumped onto the liver. One of the liver's primary functions is to metabolize stored fat into usable energy for the body. If the liver has to do some of the kidney's work, it can't operate at full throttle. As a result, it metabolizes less fat, more fat remains stored in the body, and weight loss stops. Drinking enough water is the best treatment for fluid retention. When the body gets less water, it perceives this as a threat to survival and begins to hold on to every drop. Water is stored in extra cellular spaces (outside the cells). This shows up as swollen feet, legs and hands. Diuretics offer a temporary solution at best. They force out stored water along with some essential nutrients. Again, the body perceives a threat and will replace the lost water at the first opportunity. Thus, the condition quickly returns. The best way to overcome the problem of water retention is to give the body what it needs…PLENTY OF WATER. Only then will the stored water be released. If you have a constant problem with water retention, excess salt may be to blame. Your body will tolerate sodium only in a certain concentration. The more salt you eat, the more water your system retains to dilute it. But getting rid of un-needed salt is easy - just drink more water. As it's forced through the kidneys, it takes away excess sodium. The overweight person needs more water than the thin one! Larger people have larger metabolic loads. Since we know that water is the key to fat metabolism, it follows that the overweight person needs more water. Water helps maintain proper muscle tone by giving muscles their natural ability to contract and by preventing dehydration. It also helps to prevent the sagging skin that usually follows weight loss - shrinking cells are buoyed by water, which plumps the skin and leaves it clear, healthy, and resilient. Water helps rid the body of waste. During weight loss, he body has a lot more waste to get rid of - all the metabolized fat must be shed. Again, adequate water helps flush out the waste. Water can help relieve constipation. When the body gets too little water, it siphons what it needs from internal sources. The colon is one primary source. Result? Constipation. But, when a person gets enough water, normal bowel functions returns. So far, we've discovered some remarkable truths about water and weight loss:

The body will not function properly without enough water and can't metabolize stored fat efficiently.

Retained water shows up as excess weight.

To get rid of excess water you must drink more water.

Drinking water is essential to weight loss. How much water is enough??

On the average, a person should drink eight 8-ounce glasses every day. That's about 2 quarts. However, the overweight person needs one additional glass for every 25 pounds of excess weight. The amount you drink also should be increased if you exercise briskly or if the weather is hot and dry. Water should preferably be cold - it's absorbed into the system more quickly than warm water. And some evidence suggests that drinking cold water can actually help burn calories. When the body gets the water it needs to function optimally, its fluids are perfectly balanced. Once this happens you have reached the "breakthrough point". What does this mean?

Endocrine-gland function improves.

Fluid retention is alleviated as stored water is lost.

More fat is used as fuel because the liver is free to metabolize stored fat.

Natural thirst returns.

There is loss of hunger almost overnight.

If you stop drinking enough water, your body fluids will be thrown out of balance again, and you may experience fluid retention, unexplained weight gain and loss of thirst. To remedy the situation you'll have to go back and force another "breakthrough".

By Donald S. Robertson, M.D., M. Sc

20 Tips For Getting Your 8 Glasses of Water Daily

Sometimes drinking our eight glasses of water a day can be a real challenge Here are 20 tips to help you accomplish that feat! It is said by many beauty experts that drinking your water is the cheapest, quickest way to look better! That should motivate us!

1. Make a bet with a co-worker to see who can drink more water in the course of a day.

2. Have a big glass of water at every transitional point of the day: when you first get up, just before leaving the house, when you sit down to work, etc.

3. Make it convenient - keep a big, plastic, insulated water bottle full on your desk and reach for it all day.

4. When you have juice (apple, grape, or orange) fill half the glass with water.

5. When you have a junk-food craving, down a glass of water immediately. You feel full quickly and avoid the calories, and it lets time pass till the craving fades.

6. Have one glass every hour on the hour while at work. When the work day is done your water quota is met.

7. Substitute a cup of hot water with a drop of honey for tea or coffee.

8. While at work, get a 20 ounce cup of ice and keep filling it up from the office water cooler. The key is drinking with a straw - you take bigger gulps and drink much more.

9. Freeze little bits of peeled lemons, limes, and oranges and use them in place of ice cubes - it's refreshing and helps get in a serving or two of fruit.

10. After each trip to the ladies room, guzzle an eight-ounce glass to replenish your system.

11. Don't allow yourself a diet soda until you've had two to four glasses of water. You will find that you won't want the soda anymore or that just half a can is enough.

12. Let ounces of water double grams of fat: When eating something containing 10 grams of fat, I drink 20 ounces of water.

13. Drink two full glasses at each meal, one before and one after. Also, drink one glass before each snack so you don't eat as much.

14. Carry a small refillable water bottle at all times and drink during downtime; while waiting in a bank line, sitting on the train, etc.

15. Use a beautiful gold-rimmed glass and fill it with cold water from the tap.

16. Drink two glasses of water immediately after waking up.

17. Bring a two-liter bottle of water to work and try to drink it all before you leave work. If you don't finish, drink it in traffic on the way home - it's like a race.

18. Always keep a 24-ounce bottle of water handy while watching TV, doing laundry, making dinner, etc.

19. Add drinking two glasses of water to your daily skincare regimen. Drink, cleanse, moisturize, etc., then drink again.

20. Drink your water out of a big Pyrex measuring cup - it's a good way to keep track of how much water you are drinking.

WEIGHT CONTROL BEGINS WITH HYDRATION
By Linda McDonald, RD

As a nutrionist, I recommend to my dieting patients that they drink daily at least 1/2 oz. of water for each pound of body weight in addition to exercising and eating sensibly. Stretching out water consumption throughout the day, especially before and after meals, also helps.....What appears to be fat on overweight people is often retained water. When the body gets less water, it senses this as a threat and holds on to every drop. This results in the swollen feet, legs and hands......Water is the most essential ingredient for the process of digestion of food and helps the body maintain proper muscle tone; in fact, drinking water may help to prevent sagging skin which often follows a dramatic weight loss. When we're properly hydrated, the efficiency of our cardiovascular system improves. Water helps to process foods high in fiber and even acts as a lubricant for joints

Water! Why drink at least two quarts a day?

Because that's roughly how much water we lose normally through perspiration, waste removal and other functions. Add sultry weather or enough exercise to break a sweat
and the amount of water needed to stay healthily hydrated - not to mention avoid fatigue, light-headedness, nausea, and even heat stroke - quickly climbs.

Additionally, water keeps your energy up, weight down, muscles strong, joints supple, digestive system smooth -- your whole system in physical balance.

Water:

1) regulates body temperature
2) makes up 83% of blood
3) removes waste
4) composes 75% of brain
5) helps carry nutients and oxygen to cells
6) moistens oxygen for breathing
7) helps convert food to energy
protects and cushions vital organs
9) helps body absorb nutients
10) accounts for 22% of bones
11) cushions joints
12) makes up 75% of muscles

It really depends on the person and their activity level as well as the weather. I find the more I drink the less I actually retain with my activity level and climate. Additionally because of diureteic effects of caffeine drinks you should have 1 8-ounce glass of water for each 8-ounce glass/cup of these you drink to minimize the effects.

On the other hand however, there is a thing as too much water. If you drink in excess of 8 liters without getting the proper other nutrients your body will actually start depleting
itself of those nutrients.

Are you Hungry? Many of us mix up food pangs with water cravings!
By Malcolm Stewart, PhD

As a clinical and health psychologist, I work with many people who want to lose weight for personal or medical reasons. It's not uncommon to hear complaints of intense hunger between regular eating times, no matter how satisfying their meals. For some people, it's puzzling, irritating hunger that makes them want to pick at food constantly. Others describe sharp cravings that demand immediate satisfaction.

Regardless, the effect is the same: Despite increasing their physical activity (perhaps the key weight loss technique), they can't lose unwanted pounds.

But a little-known fact both helps explain these food pangs - and provides a means to deal with them: Sometimes thirst masquerades as hunger. So you may think your body is asking for food when what it's actually asking for is water.

Your body needs water - a lot of water, every day - more than anything else except oxygen. We can live without food for a week or more if necessary, but not without water. If your body has just 2 percent less than it requires, you'll feel fatigued. A 10 percent shortfall can produce significant health risks. A week without water can be fatal.
Adults need six to eight 8-ounce glasses (about 1 ˝ to 2 quarts) every day, more if you're large or physically active and even more if you drink much coffee, tea or cola, because the caffeine in these is a mild diuretic.

Why do we sometimes feel hungry when in fact we're thirsty? For one thing, many of us seem to have learned to interpret some signs of thirst as signs of hunger. For another, the body may seek food as a source of water because about 37 percent of our daily water intake comes from food. Fruits and vegetables are typically 70 to 95 percent water. Cooked meat is 50 to 60 percent. Even bread is made up of about 35 percent water.

So your body may signal that it's hungry in order to get more water through food. And because water is so important, the body gives off strong messages when it needs more, which is why thirst masquerading as hunger can be so compelling. Which would be fine if food didn't contain calories as well as water.

Being able to understand that sometimes "I'm hungry" really means "I'm thirsty" can help you react more healthfully, starting with drinking eight glasses daily. This takes a conscious effort for most of us, but it's easier if you make a habit of drinking water every time you do a particular activity - for instance, each time you go into the kitchen or
whenever you're about to make a phone call. You can also up your intake by using a larger glass or drinking a refill. Some people find "sipper bottles" convenient.

Now apply this to dealing with hunger between meals (which can be translated as "reach for water, not the ice cream"). If you feel hungry when it's not meal time, first have a large glass of water, then get busy doing something - keep at it for at least 20 minutes before you consider eating anything.

After drinking one glass, you may immediately want another. This is your body saying, "Yes! That was want I really wanted - give me more!" If you still feel hungry after 20 minutes, try having another glass of water, then get busy again.

People often feel like they're "bad" or "weak" if they feel hungry at times they think they shouldn't be. However, once you are aware that thirst can masquerade as hunger, you
realize that hunger pangs often are a legitimate request by the body - but for water rather than food.

This isn't a cure - all for curbing hunger, but I've learned from my practice that it can go along way toward beating between meal eating. And that can mean weight-loss success.

Water the forgotten nutrient.

Water is often called the forgotten nutrient since many people take it for granted, but water is essential to life. We can live with less than enough food for weeks, months, even years, but take away our water and we last just a few days.

Water makes up about 60 percent of the average adult's weight. It is the medium the human body uses for nearly every activity it performs and has many functions, including:

· Carrying nutrients in the body
· Cleansing the body's waste products
· Acting as a solvent, dissolving minerals, proteins, carbohydrates,
vitamins and other substances
· Being involved in the chemical reactions in the body
· Lubricating joints
· Acting as a shock absorber for many organs
· Helping to regulate body temperature

Since water is so important, its balance is delicately monitored by a number of mechanisms. Our brain signals us to drink when the sodium concentrations in the blood become too high or when blood volume drops too low. Unfortunately, by the time this thirst mechanism kicks in, we are already in the beginning stages of water deficit. That's why nutritionists recommend drinking before you are thirsty.

This is particularly important for the elderly population because as we age we become less sensitive to our thirst mechanism. At the same time, our percentage of body fluid drops, so it's easier to become dehydrated faster.

Young children are also at a higher risk for dehydration, but for another reason: Their thirst mechanism is not yet fully developed, nor are they always able to recognize when they
are thirsty.

Water needs vary with each individual, but in general, nutritionists still abide by the old rule of eight glasses - - 64 ounces - - or more of fluid a day. Water is your best bet, but it is certainly not the only way to get fluids. Fruit juice, seltzer, milk, lemonade, and soft drinks can also quench thirst. Alcohol and caffeinated beverages like tea and coffee do not count because they are actually diuretics, meaning they cause you to lose fluid rather than retain it. Food like soup, cucumbers, watermelon, lettuce, tomatoes, and oranges are high in water and good way to supplement your liquid intake.

How much water do you need?

The old standard suggestion of 6 to 8 8-ounce glasses of water a day is still good. But people who exercise may need more like 2 or 3 quarts, especially when it's hot and humid
outside (and during illness).

Get in the habit of carrying a water bottle. It's easy to measure, handy to cart around especially during workouts, and saves waiting in line at the water fountain - - where it never seems polite to guzzle what you really need when others are waiting.

Drink cool water when you're hot. Cool water empties out of the stomach and enters the system faster. Drink warmer water (room temperature or warm uncaffeinated tea or broth) when exercising outside in the cold.

Drink before you're thirsty. People who drink to satisfy thirst replace only about half of what they need. An intelligent, buy the book, "hydration schedule" for a workout looks something like this:

· 17 ounces of water 2 hours before your workout
· unces or more 15 minutes before your workout
· 4 to 8 ounces every 10 to 20 minutes during your workout
· another 8 ounces after your workout

Make the Connect excerpt!

An excerpt from Oprah's book, Make the Connection, by Bob Greene:

Water is essential to life. Without it, we would survive maybe two or three days. That makes it our most important nutrient. Water surrounds and is a part of each and every cell in your body, and it's needed or involved in virtually all body functions. About 60 percent of your body weight is water.

We lose a lot of water each day through basic body functions. By exercising, you lose even more water depending on the type, length, and intensity of exercise and the climate you work out in. Your body must continually regulate the amount of water that it holds. You become dehydrated when your body's water supply cannot meet its demands. This can cause a variety of complications, including heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Although less life threatening, dehydration also affects the body's ability to digest food and metabolize fat. Needless to say, having enough water is essential for your body to function at its optimum.

As far as weight loss and weight maintenance are concerned, drinking enough water is extremely important. There are at least six basic reasons why replacing water on a daily basis is important for controlling your weight.

1) Digestion and metabolism - These are two functions we are particularly concerned with when it comes to controlling our weight. If you aren't getting enough water, you risk
impairing these two functions to a certain degree. Enough water ensures that both digestion and metabolism are working at their full capacity.

2) Water's filling effect - by drinking six to eight glasses of water, you can help curb your appetite. Water can fill you up so that you don't overeat.

3) The thirst-hunger response - When you are dehydrated, your body may signal you to eat when what it really requires is water. It does the same thing for a variety of nutritional
needs. For example, your body may need sodium, so it signals you to eat foods containing salt. But all you really need is the salt without all the additional calories in food. I call this phenomenon artificial hunger. By meeting all of your nutritional needs, including your need for water, you can control artificial hunger.

4) Better workouts - You can exercise more effectively and at higher levels when you are getting enough water.

5) Muscle requires more water - Muscle is comprised of about 70 percent water, whereas fat is made up of less than 25 percent water. One of the many benefits of exercise is that you maintain and even add muscle weight, which in turn burns fat. As you gain muscle, you require more water and need to replace more of it daily. So water becomes more important the more active you are. Think of it as a cycle: The more muscle you maintain, the more water is held by the body and the more calories are burned by that additional muscle. So the more muscle you have, the more water you must have available.

6) Glycogen storage - Glycogen is a form of carbohydrate stored in your muscles. It can be used as energy when you exercise. The more fit you become, the more glycogen is stored in your muscles. Every gram of glycogen holds about 2.5 to 3 grams of water. So, the more fit you are, the more water your body will hold, and the more water you need each day. Being more fit also allows you to burn calories at a higher rate.

In addition to those six reasons, as you begin to lose fat, your body increases its percentage of water. So the amount of water you need to drink each day increases. This is especially so the more active you become. Your body is signaled to hold more water. It will usually let you know it needs more water by making you thirsty, but not always.

Water, water, everywhere...even in your food!

JaneStarr posted 01-23-2001 10:45 AM I think that some of us are getting carried away with the "benefits" of consuming large quantities of water. I truly believe in moderation in all things -- water included.
--Jane


Water, Water, Everywhere, Even In Your Food from healthcentral.com The Dr. Dean Digest Daily Issue on January 19, 2001

I have never liked specific rules like "You must drink eight glasses of water per day to be healthy." Here is a study from Tufts University that backs me up.

A study of a small group of women, measured each drop they took in and each drop they eliminated, and found that the water, juice and decaffeinated beverages consumed averaged the recommended eight cups per day.

"But the real surprise was that women met almost 40 percent of their water needs with food alone. In fact, when their water intake from food, water and other beverages and metabolic reactions was added up, they exceeded their minimum recommendation by 50 percent."

Eating and drinking as they naturally would, they took in more fluid than they needed.

Foods contain a lot of water; some are more than half water. Vegetables are about 95 percent water, sirloin steak is 60 percent water, a slice of white bread is 37 percent water.

Dr. Wayne Campbell of Purdue University thinks people mistakenly think they have to drink eight cups of water each day. Because foods contribute to water balance too, most people are getting their eight cups of water without actually drinking eight cups of water.

You can get your fluids from food and from other beverages, but not alcohol. Alcohol doesn't count.

People who exercise heavily and sweat a lot, and anyone who is ill, especially with fever, vomiting or diarrhea should drink a lot. People older than 70 can be dehydrated without feeling thirsty, so they should drink a lot whether or not they feel a need.

Of course, if you want to chug down eight glasses a day, no harm done.

Source: January 2001. Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter.

Water Weight Gain

"Is this some sort of joke?" I muttered as I stepped on and off the scale three times in a row. This news was not the sort that I wanted to start my day with. "There is no way I gained three pounds overnight! All I ate yesterday was rice cakes!"

Moments like this make dieting one of the most loathsome endeavors known to man. I've had several moments such as this in my experience. The last time this happened, I was so upset that I nearly broke down in tears. There are also days, of course, when dieters wake up to discover they have LOST several pounds overnight. These are mornings to be savored and remembered. However, these dramatic shifts in weight, up or down, hardly ever stick. The pounds are put back on or lost by the next day. What causes these weight fluctuations that tease the emotions of every dieter? The answer is nearly always water weight.
Our bodies are so saturated with water, we are practically walking, talking Evian bottles. Each of our cells contains water that it uses and eliminates everyday. Under normal conditions, this water gets replaced.

However, dieters are often dehydrated because of high exercise and low water intake. This leads to dehydration. Dieters on high-protein diets are also susceptible to dehydration. Dieters that take certain herbal supplements, such as Dandelion extract, are susceptible to dehydration. High-protein diets and certain supplements will cause a very quick weight loss. This weight loss, however, is not fat loss...it is merely water loss. Once their bodies return to the healthy, fully hydrated state, the weight comes back on virtually overnight.

What about when our bodies seem to be retaining too much fluid? We say we are 'retaining fluids' when excess water is stored in our tissue spaces between cells. This feeling of being bloated and uncomfortable is a common complaint of dieters. In some rare instances, the cause of the fluid retention is a hormonal imbalance. This cause can only be determined after tests have been run in a doctor’s office. Many of us suffer from bloating because of a second cause: taking in excess sodium. When we eat all those delicious salty snacks, our body will retain more water in order to dilute the sodium. A third cause for fluid retention seems counter-intuitive at first blush: not drinking enough water.

"If I feel bloated with water, why should I drink more water?" was my first reaction to this news. As it turns out, my body is trying to do me a favor. While I may initially drop a few pounds because I'm dehydrated, my body soon quickly believes that I may be in real danger. All the fluids my body can get, it tries to store in order prolong my survival in this apparent time of need. Most of us are fortunate enough to have access to safe, clean water whenever we need it.

According to the Mayo Clinic, drinking water has benefits that go beyond preventing water weight gain:

1. Water lessens fatigue by keeping muscles in good a contractile state.

2. Drinking water will maintain beautiful skin. For those of us who lose a large amount of weight, consuming lots of water helps to prevent the dreaded sagging skin.

3. If we don't drink enough water, the body will absorb excessive water from the colon, which will lead to constipation.

4. Water makes a great appetite suppressant! Drinking a glass of water before meals fills the stomach and decreases the amount of food we need to eat to feel full. Next time you want a between-the-meal snack, drink a big glass of water and wait a few minutes. You'll be surprised how many calories you can save this way!

5. Dehydration may actually slow down our bodies' ability to burn fat. Water is essential for the chemical reactions of metabolism to occur efficiently.

When dieters are working hard to lose weight, an apparent overnight gain of a couple pounds can be very disheartening. This discouragement can be avoided by drinking plenty of water, staying away from excess sodium, and resisting the urge to weigh yourself everyday. A healthy dieter will recognize that weight fluctuations do occur and weight changes from one day to the next are meaningless. Try not to weigh yourself more than once every week or every two weeks. Give yourself a break! You don't need the scale to dictate whether you will have a good day or a bad day. By taking these precautions, dieters can avoid the emotional distress that goes along with rapid weight gains and losses.
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Old 03-24-2004, 10:36 PM   #3
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Holy smokes! Thanks for the info! We had missed the point about 3 glasses of regular water.
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