WATER - THE ELIXIR OF LIFE
It's what we're made of
Every living thing relies on water for sustenance. We begin our lives in water and our need for water is ever with us. Our bodies are between 60% to 65% water, our muscles are about 70% and fat is only 22% water. When you consider that the primary component of our bodies is water, it just makes good sense to ensure we're keeping hydrated well. Proper hydration ensures proper function of our organs as has multiple benefits both inside and outside.
Water transports nutrients to the body's cells as well as carries away waste. Water is an excellent source of oxygen for the body as well. Oxygen gained through proper hydration increases the body's ability to burn fat and to utilize stored fat. If we're not getting enough water, our body, in its wisdom, will retain whatever water it has in it. This can manifest as "water weight" and can be a source of added pounds. Such substances as sodium and starchy carbohydrates are contributors to water retention, as is the regular menstrual cycle. Interestingly enough, if a person has water retention, often drinking more water will alleviate the situation.
How much should you drink?
City water often contains chlorine and possibly other contaminants, so it is advisable to drink filtered water rather than tap water. While there are various ideas on how much water a person should drink per day, the general rule of thumb is ½ ounce per pound of body weight for a healthy person with no medical concerns. So a woman weighing 128 pounds would drink 64oz of water per day. That amounts to about an eight ounce glass every two hours - not so difficult at all. The physical activity level of an individual also determines water needs and intake. The more activity and exercise a person engages in, the higher the intake of water should be. If there are health concerns or heart problems, consult your physician before increasing the amount of water you are drinking.
And the benefits are...
The benefits of drinking water are myriad. Your bodily functions improve. Often we reach for food when in fact we're simply thirsty, so a glass of water instead of snacking can help with weight loss and healthy weight maintenance. Your skin will be clearer and less dry. The oxygen that is absorbed into the body through water aids in the burning of fat. And, it's refreshing - no after-taste, no harmful chemicals, caffine or sugars. Water - the elixir of life.