Drinking water has impressive benefits, and it should. Water is a key component to human life. Why? Our bodies are 78% water and our brain is 80% water. When we do not have adequate hydration, cellular function slows and so does our quality of thinking, metabolism, and much more. Creating increased beneficial health, involves getting optimal water intake. Most people are not aware if they are 1% – 2% dehydrated, this is the level of dehydration that can create symptoms. Even mild dehydration of 1 to 2 percent can raise cortisol levels. Cortisol is a stress hormone, — and one of the things it can do is cause you to store more fat, particularly around your belly.
The unfortunate result of this lack of water intake, is that a great many folks are walking around mildly dehydrated, unnecessarily suffering symptoms of joint pain, hunger, sugar cravings, headaches, fatigue or foggy thinking and have no idea it is simply a lack of water in the body.
Helps to Detox the Body
Toxins that result from simply living are actually a normal part of your bodies intake of food and oxygen. Toxicity and not removing the toxicity from the body is one of the primary causes of diseases such as cancer. Much research shows having excess free radicals in our system creates serious health conditions. Water, fortunately, supports the body’s natural elimination process and preventing the day-to-day buildup of toxicity and also transports nutrients.
Increases Focus, Energy and Relieves Fatigue
Our brain is mostly water, and why, when we are mildly dehydrated, we can experience foggy thinking. Drinking water consistently, to stay ahead of dehydration, will help you think, focus, concentrate better and be more alert. As an added bonus, your energy levels are also boosted! When cellular function slows, so does your energy output and as a result you feel fatigued or that afternoon slump rears its ugly head. So instead of reaching for that coffee or candy bar, drink a glass of water.
Stops Hunger and Sugar Cravings
Without water, your body can’t convert glycogen stores in your liver and muscles into glucose for fuel. The end result: You crave food! Dehydration can also manifest as mild hunger, so the first thing to do when you get a craving is drink a tall glass of water. Additionally, a lack of serotonin can trigger sugar cravings and hunger. Staying consistently hydrated will help you consistently make it easy to say ‘no’ to sugar.
Sip your stress away. A surprising cause of stress is mild dehydration that triggers the stress hormones cortisol. Cortisol promotes hunger and cravings, including the most inflammatory fat; belly fat.
Promotes Fat Loss
Research shows that drinking 16 oz. of water or a glass of water 30 minutes before a meal reduces eating intake. Drinking water also reduces hunger. It also raises your metabolism by 30% for hours later and has zero calories! The most consistent characteristic of those who have lost 50 lbs or more and kept it off, are those that drink water steadily, every day, throughout the day.
Research shows that drinking water consistently can help prevent headaches – migraines too. Regularly sipping water can also reduce the severity of headaches and migraines, reducing the need for medication.
Prevents and Helps Ease Joint Pain
Joints in the human body are prone to continuous friction and weathering. These can be maintained better by the regularly drinking water. A decrease in water consumption may lead to dehydrated cartilage, the discs (shock absorbers that keep the bones from rubbing together) are unable to perform their functions unless they are fully hydrated. The cushioning ability of your disc is based on the water content. If you are dehydrated this may lead to degeneration and pain in the joints.
How Much Water to Drink Daily?
I recommend half your body weight in ounces of water each day at a minimum. So if you weight 120 lbs., 60 ounces of water is your goal. Use reminders like water apps. Keep your water bottle or glass in your sight at all times as a visual reminder.
Types of Drinking Water
Adding flavor to your water changes the taste as well. So with a bit of variety you will drink more of it! Add a cinnamon stick to your water; buy a water infuser and infuse/steep multiple varieties of fruits or berries, herbs or even veggies such as cucumbers. Add flavored ice cubes such as any pureed fruit or berry, mint leaves or even coffee.
LORI SHEMEK, Ph.D., is a leading researcher in fat cells and the owner of DLSHealthWorks, a company she created to help men and women conquer their issues with weight and self-esteem. Her work has been featured in Ladies’ Home Journal, Shape, Woman’s Day, The Rikki Lake Show, ABC, CNN, NPR, FOX News, and The Huffington Post, which recognized her as one of the nation’s top diet and nutrition experts.
Dr. Shemek holds a Doctorate in Psychology; she is a Certified Nutritional Consultant and a Certified Life Coach.
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