9 Jan 2011

You Don’t Need Eight Glasses of Water a day,water
You need more. I’m mean, I know. I also know you’ve been told to drink more water before, and likely you’ve ignored it altogether. After all, if you’re reading this then you’re still alive, despite not following that advice, but if you are not drinking enough water each day, your health is not thriving, but merely surviving.
Water makes up roughly 60% of your body’s total weight. Every system and function in your body depends on water to carry nutrients into cells and flush toxins out of them. When not enough water is present in your body, you fall into a state of dehydration, and none of your systems function how they are supposed to. Your body can be in a state of dehydration before you even feel that you are thirsty. Other outward signs of dehydration can include fatigue, headache and mental fogginess, yet before these signs of significant dehydration show up, you’ve already hampered all of the essential functions within your body.
The ability of your liver and kidneys to detoxify your body and eliminate toxins and waste depend on adequate water levels in your body. The ability of muscles to contract and relax so you can physically move properly or even sit up straight without discomfort depend on your muscle cells having adequate water levels. Even metabolism and fat eliminatio depend on adequate water intake each day. It may not sound like much, but being dehydrated causes a 2% decrease in calorie-burning metabolism.
If ensuring healthy proper bodily functions hasn’t convinced you to drink enough water each day, let me appeal to your vanity. Do you know what fruit a raisin used to be before it lost all its water? You’re correct if your answer was a grape. The raisin looks all shriveled up and wrinkled, compared to the fresh, vibrant and healthy-looking grape. Now, have a long hard look in the mirror and tell yourself whether your skin looks more like the vibrant, lively grape, or the dried up old raisin. Before wrinkles set it, your skin relies on water to flush toxins and inflammation, reducing redness and related blemishes. Water helps new cells grow to replace old dead cells that can make your skin appear old and gray. If wrinkles develop, water minimizes their appearance and slows their progression into larger, deeper wrinkles. Water literally plumps up your skin and fills in the cracks. Adequate daily water intake also works from the inside out to boost the effects of your external skincare efforts, from daily cleansing and moisturizing to exfoliation and nourishing facials.
So how much water is enough? Recommendations may vary, but mine are as follows. For every 50 pounds of body weight, drink one litre of water daily. Someone weighing 150 pounds would drink three litres. If you exercise, add half a litre, or more if you are more active or more sweaty than most. For any caffeinated or alcoholic beverages, add the same amount of plain water to compensate for the diuretic effect caused by the caffeine. So your grande from Starbucks is another half litre down the hatch. Will you be making more trips to the restroom? Yes. Your output should be almost clear, or about the colour of a light white wine. If you take a B-vitamin complex or multivitamin supplement, the Vitamin B2 will make your output bright yellow. Moreso, this is a sign that you did in fact absorb the vitamin, processed it and eliminated it, not just pass it through, but I’ll talk more about that in a future article. Do juices count towards your daily total? Opinions vary, but I say sure, if it’s 100% juice with nothing added. What doesn’t count? Soda, energy drinks, and most bottled drinks have added sugar that can negate any positive effects of the water intake on your body’s health. This is a no-no category.
Do you want an inexpensive way to improve your health, have more energy and better, younger looking skin? Then grab yourself a glass and start drinking yourself more beautiful!

Contributed by: Dr. Matthew Bortolussi

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