Drinking plenty of fluids is essential to fitness and athletic performance. It can even help you lose weight. Not staying hydrated, on the other hand, can hinder your performance and negatively impact your health.
Water means the difference between good health and disease. Consider some of the benefits of good hydration. It:
*Cuts the Risk of Disease
Research studies show that good hydration cuts the risk of breast cancer by 79%, reduces the risk of colon cancer by 45% and slashes the risk of bladder cancer by 50%.
* Look Younger
Adequate hydration makes it possible for water to move through all the membranes of your body so that the largest organ in the body, the skin, is adequately hydrated. Skin texture softens. The natural aging process is slowed. Wrinkles vanish. Bagging skin tightens. Why bother to go through the pain of a face lift when giving your body water is a safe, natural and effective alternative with no complications?
* Mental clarity gets a welcome boost
A drop of just 2% in body water causes short term memory problems and significant difficulties with concentration. Good hydration helps you become mentally alert throughout the day.
* A Healthier Smile
Why drink caffeinated beverages when there’s a perfect, healthier, alternative available? Some people rationalize drinking diet soft drinks because the beverages have no calories. That’s true but they still can damage your teeth and offer no nutritional value. We’d never put the automotive equivalent of diet soft drinks in our cars, but we do it to our bodies all the time.
As far as artificial sweeteners in soft drinks and other beverages go, recent research suggests that modest consumption of artificial sweeteners is a better alternative to high fructose corn syrup and other sugars. Although, we are not fans of diet soft drinks—it is better to drink water—we would rather see you drink a diet than a regular soft drink that’s loaded with sugar (a typical can has about 150 calories, all from sugar).
If you drink coffee, don’t overdo the cream and sugar. Again, goes back to making healthier choices. Consider a healthier alternative such a green or black teas, which have antioxidant properties.
* Our digestive system sends nutrients to each cell
A digestive system without sufficient fluid is constipated. Fluid is essential for nutrients to pass through the delicate membranes of the intestines. If the body is adequately hydrated sufficient fluid is present in the digestive track to distribute nutrients throughout the body.
* Hydration and Weight Loss
Proper hydration regulates appetite. A lot of times people think they’re hungry when they’re really just thirsty. If you’re trying to lose weight, have a glass of water before eating, and you’ll have that satiety that keeps you from overeating.
* Ability to handle stress is enhanced.
Our bodies, including our brains, need water to function properly. If you’re just a bit dehydrated, your body’s levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, increase. Plus, stress causes a loss of fluids because it pushes up the heart rate and causes us to breathe heavier, and we’re likelier to forget to drink and eat well if we’re beset by it.
Breaking the stress-dehydration cycle means recognizing when you are dehydrated. If you’re thirsty, that’s a sign, as is urine that is dark and has a pungent smell. Check the toilet bowl.
* Pain from aching joints is reduced.
A little known fact is that adequate hydration has been shown to relieve back and joint pain for as many as 80% of sufferers.
* Overall flexibility is restored.
“The fascia layer is supposed to glide across the muscular layer,” explains Frederick, “but when the fascia tissue is dehydrated it sort of sticks. At times, you can even feel a crunchiness under your fingers and hear a cracking or popping sound.”
If this sounds like the orchestra you live with, then all you may need to put your body in tune is more water. “It’s the single biggest factor to increasing flexibility from something you can take into your system,” says Frederick. “Forget foods, forget supplements; water is it.”
*Slows the Aging Process
The reason for poor hydration as we age is the gradual decline of the thirst mechanism in the brain. When we are young and get thirsty there is no stopping us when we are thirsty. A different story emerges as we age. The thirst signal becomes distorted because we ignore it and because we drink dehydrating drinks such as coffee or alcohol. Good hydration lowers the surface tension of the water that is ingested and reduces the cluster size of its molecules. Wetting capacity is increased, making water more readily available for transport to each and every cell of the body.
Are You Dehydrated?
How do you know if you’re properly hydrated? Take a look at your urine. Generally speaking, the clearer the urine, the better hydrated you are. If it is a clear-pale lemonade color, you are hydrated. If it is darker lemonade to apple juice color, you are dehydrated. And if it is dark and cloudy, you are severely dehydrated and should notify medical staff immediately.
As simple minded as it may sound, water is the secret to good health.
How Much Water to Drink?
Most experts agree that we should be drinking at least one ounce of water for every 2 pounds of body weight every day. That means…
- A woman weighting 150 pounds usually benefits by drinking at least 75 ounces, or nine and a half full glasses of water a day.
- A man weighting 200 pounds usually benefits by drinking at least 100 ounces, or twelve and a half full glasses of water a day.
- And on days which are very hot, or we are exercising strenuously, we will often require more water.
Here is a video Link that I like makes some good points