Column: Water anyone?

Published 3:27 pm Tuesday, February 8, 2005

By Staff
Water, Water, Water! A beverage that all of us need and not enough of us drink.
One of the best excuses that I hear from people is that they do not like the taste. Water usually doesn't have a taste. It is just something cold that is good for your body.
A few months ago I received a question concerning this topic of the dreadful water issue and I want to share it again because it is very important! The person asked: What is the big hype about water? I know it is suppose to be good for you, but what are all the benefits? If I drink a lot of water I seem to have to use the bathroom more often. Is it true that water can help so I am not so hungry? How much should I have and how can I tell if I am dehydrated?
Water is the largest component of the body making up 60% of our weight. All systems in our body depend on water.
Water is the regulator of our body temperature, waste disposal, joint lubricant, and cell shaper. It is vital to the thousands of biochemical processes constantly taking place in the body. The average adult loses about 10 cups of water on an average day.
Good Reasons To Drink Water:
1. Water does curb your appetite and can give you the feeling of fullness.
2. Water can help you workout more effectively and efficiently.
3. Water helps to metabolize stored fat.
4. Water helps to rid the body of waste.
5. Water can relieve constipation.
6. Water is important because it is not stored up – you use it everyday.
7. Water helps maintain proper muscle tone.
8. Water does not feed the tendency of bloating; it actually has the opposite effect. If you tend to have swollen feet, ankles, or hands, you may just need to drink a little more water because your body may be holding on to water fearing a shortage.
The Bathroom Issue:
By drinking a lot of water you may have to use the bathroom more often than if you were to drink pop. TRUE! Although, your body will adjust! Build up to the eight glasses a day! Some say a person should drink half of their body weight in water. Taking a bathroom break every 2-4 hours is a good sign that you are drinking enough water!
The Thirst Issue:
Are you really hungry or are you just thirsty? Our body has a thirst mechanism that may or may not work. Some of us do feel thirsty, but by this time we are already slightly dehydrated. Prevent becoming dehydrated by drinking water before you become thirsty. The body's thirst mechanism does not work as well while exercising and with older people.
Effects Of Not Drinking Water:
1. Dehydration. This is a serious problem that happens with lack of water. Signs of mild dehydration may include: headache, fatigue, loss of concentration, irritability, lightheadedness, and dark colored urine with a strong odor.
2. Dehydration can also slow down the body's metabolism.
3. A two-percent drop of body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory trouble with basic math problems and difficulty focusing.
4. Dehydration also can lead to problems with kidney stones. Take it from me, they hurt!
5. The kidneys need water to help them function. When there is lack of water the kidneys need help and rely on the liver. This is bad because the liver metabolizes your fat. If the liver is helping the kidneys, it is not working as efficiently at metabolizing the fat!
Keep Water In Sight:
Set yourself up for success. The night before work or activities fill up water bottles and put them in the fridge to grab in the morning. It is convenient and will save you the money you were spending on pop. At work keep the water at your desk so it is easily accessible.
With the issue about it not tasting good, like I said before it should not taste! Although sometimes city and well waters do have a slight "flavor". So if that flavor isn't what you want try adding lemon, lime, or cherry flavoring!
When eating out drink water! Order seltzers, sparking water, or club soda in place of alcoholic drinks. If you have to have coffee, pop, or tea, choose the decaffeinated varieties.
Eat your fruits and vegetables. On average at least five servings equals 2 cups of water!
References: Journal of American Dietetic Association and Environmental Nutrition.
Thought of the Week: It is second nature to take a bath, brush our teeth, and wash our hair to clean the outside of our body. Why isn't it second nature to do this inside of our body by drinking water!
Look for next weeks article when we look at activities for retirees.