Why H20 is the “magic potion” for weight loss, muscle tone, and healthy skin

23 Oct

We all know the role that water plays in hydrating our bodies and keeping us well, yet drinking the suggested eight glasses of water a day may often seem like a daunting task. Well, let me renew your belief in the importance of water by discussing the role that it plays in keeping weight off, maintaining a healthy body fat, remaining hydrated and keeping skin healthy and muscles toned.

How much water should I drink?: The average person needs at least 64 ounces of water a day in order to to rid the body of waste and excess fat stores. For every 25 pounds of excess weight that a person is carrying around (if you are above a BMI of 25), one more glass of water is needed. It is believed that 96 ounces of water is an ideal amount of water for weight loss or weight-maintenance, and to attain proper hydration levels of 45-50%.

How will not drinking enough water affect my body?: The body relies on the liver to metabolize stored fat into energy to fuel the body, but without enough water, the kidneys cannot properly function and part of their load gets dumped into  the liver, thus slowing down its ability to metabolize fat stores. When the body perceives that it is not getting enough water, it goes into survival mode, storing the water that it does receive within extra-cellular spaces. This causes water retention which can result in constipation, bloating, and swollen feet, legs, and hands.

What do I do if I’m retaining water?: Ironically, the best way to overcome water retention is by drinking more water! Giving your body more water will take it out of survival mode, so that it will release the stored water and enable the liver and kidneys to do their jobs. Natural diuretics are also helpful, such as B6 to force out stored water and give your body additional nutrients.

What could be the problem if I’m experiencing chronic water retention?: Typically, salt is the culprit. Many restaurants prepare food with an overload of salt, which requires excess water to flush out of your system. A way to avoid this problem is to use sea salt at home, and to ask for restaurants to hold heavy sauces or spices when preparing your food.

How does water help keep my skin healthy?: Our cells can shrink during weight-loss and aging, so it is important to give our bodies enough water to plump up fat cells and keep skin healthy and firm. In addition, muscles need water in order to contract properly and stay hydrated, so an increase in water will help keep muscles toned and defined.

When will I know that I am properly hydrated?: Signs include increased thirst, loss of hunger and cravings, more energy, and regular bowel movements.

Extra tips: Try putting rubber bands around your water bottle to remind you of how many glasses you need to reach 68+ ounces of water. For example, I put 3 bands around my 33-ounce bottle to make sure i get in over 100 ounces of water a day. Try drinking cold water because it is absorbed much more quickly than warm water.

Research from Donald S. Robertson, M.D.,  M.Sc.

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