January 13, 2012

Drink Chug-A-Lug, Chug-A-Lug

I drink a lot of water every day.

Actually, on a daily basis I try to drink anywhere from 80-100 oz. I know it seems like a lot, but in reality it really isn’t a lot considering the benefits that water provides your body.

I wanted to write about water today. Specifically the weight loss benefits that come from water and why it is important to keep your body properly hydrated.
So why do I drink so much water??? Really, it’s because it helps me stay satiated throughout the day. This brings me to my first point.

Water helps suppress your appetite. Imagine your stomach as a balloon. If you fill it with water to almost the breaking point, guess what, there isn’t much room for much else. Water works the same way in your stomach. If you are filling yourself with water most likely if you have an ounce of will power you can make it between meals and snack without being tempted to have anything extra. I use water to help me stick to my meal plans and my caloric budget on a daily basis.
Water is also really good for digestion. It helps lubricate the food as it goes down your esophagus and once in your stomach and intestines it helps move the food along. Also, it helps your body absorb fiber properly. A couple of years back the biggest fad slogan for diet companies was, “high in fiber.” These companies were great at educating people that fiber is a healthy sugar/carb that our body needs to metabolize food properly. However, what they didn’t tell the public was that if you didn’t drink enough water all that fiber would turn into a brick in your stomach and most likely cause irregularities in digestion. Water goes hand-in-hand with fiber in any healthy diet. Otherwise, all you are doing is “pluggin’ up the pipin’”, so to speak.
Another great benefit of water is that it helps with muscle tone. Water helps muscles contract and keeps your joints lubricated. I use water specifically when I'm weight lifting because it helps with my muscle soreness. When you workout your muscles, there is a build up of lactic acid in the muscles which we notice as soreness. If you are constantly drinking water you are diluting that lactic acid and in turn helping with the soreness.
The best benefit, from drinking so much water, by far for me is that it doesn't allow me to retain water. Much like when your body goes into starvation mode, it also retains water for the same reasons. If you are not drinking enough water your body begins to think that you are dehydrated and to defend itself from that dehydration, it retains water. Drinking too little water and eating a diet high in sodium also causes the body to retain water because it beleives that every thing you are going to eat will be that high in sodium and so it stores enough water to metabolize the foods that are high in sodium.
These are the main reasons why I think water is just the best thing ever created. Plus, it has no calories and it's delicious if you have access to good quality water.

So yes, step to it and drink chug-a-lug, chug-a-lug!

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