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    Join Date
    Oct 18, 2003
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    Default The Importance of Water

    We want to give credit to Noble for putting this information together for us. He quotes his sources in the article. Thanks, Noble!!!
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    Most low-carbers commonly use one of two formulas:
    - Half your weight in ounces (If you weigh 200lbs, drink 100oz)
    - 64oz + 8oz for every 25lbs you want to lose.
    As you will see if you do the keyword search at the Center's site, water helps us keep regular, well-hydrated, suppress hunger, etc. It is pretty difficult to drink TOO much water. And there are many benefits from drinking large amounts of water:

    Why drink at least two quarts a day?

    Because that's roughly how much water we lose normally through perspiration, waste removal and other functions. Add sultry weather or enough exercise to break a sweat and the amount of water needed to stay healthily hydrated - not to mention avoid fatigue, light-headedness, nausea, and even heat stroke - quickly climbs.

    Additionally, water keeps your energy up, weight down, muscles strong, joints supple, digestive system smooth -- your whole system in physical balance.

    Water:

    1) regulates body temperature
    2) makes up 83% of blood
    3) removes waste
    4) composes 75% of brain
    5) helps carry nutrients and oxygen to cells
    6) moistens oxygen for breathing
    7) helps convert food to energy
    protects and cushions vital organs
    9) helps body absorb nutrients
    10) accounts for 22% of bones
    11) cushions joints
    12) makes up 75% of muscles

    It really depends on the person and their activity level as well as the weather. I find the more I drink the less I actually retain with my activity level and climate. Additionally because of diureteic effects of caffeine drinks you should have one 8-ounce glass of water for each 8-ounce glass/cup of these you drink to minimize the effects.

    On the other hand however, there is a thing as too much water. If you drink in excess of 8 liters without getting the proper other nutrients your body will actually start depleting itself of those nutrients.

    Also,

    Are you Hungry? Many of us mix up food pangs with water cravings!

    By Malcolm Stewart, PhD

    As a clinical and health psychologist, I work with many people who want to lose weight for personal or medical reasons. It's not uncommon to hear complaints of intense hunger between regular eating times, no matter how satisfying their meals. For some people, it's puzzling, irritating hunger that makes them want to pick at food constantly. Others describe sharp cravings that demand immediate satisfaction.

    Regardless, the effect is the same: Despite increasing their physical activity (perhaps the key weight loss technique), they can't lose unwanted pounds.

    But a little-known fact both helps explain these food pangs - and provides a means to deal with them: Sometimes thirst masquerades as hunger. So you may think your body is asking for food when what it's actually asking for is water.

    Your body needs water - a lot of water, every day - more than anything else except oxygen. WE can live without food for a week or more if necessary, but not without water. If your body has just 2 percent less than it requires, you'll feel fatigued. A 10 percent shortfall can produce significant health risks. A week without water can be fatal.

    Adults need six to eight 8-ounce glasses (about 1-2 quarts) every day, more if you're large or physically active and even more if you drink much coffee, tea or cola, because the caffeine in these is a mild diuretic.

    Why do we sometimes feel hungry when in fact we're thirsty? For one thing, many of us seem to have learned to interpret some signs of thirst as signs of hunger. For another, the body may seek food as a source of water because about 37 percent of our daily water intake comes from food. Fruits and vegetables are typically 70 to 95 percent water. Cooked meat is 50 to 60 percent. Even bread is made up of about 35 percent water.

    So your body may signal that it's hungry in order to get more water through food. And because water is so important, the body gives off strong messages when it needs more, which is why thirst masquerading as hunger can be so compelling. Which would be fine if food didn't contain calories as well as water.

    Being able to understand that sometimes "I'm hungry" really means "I'm thirsty" can help you react more healthfully, starting with drinking eight glasses daily. This takes a conscious effort for most of us, but it's easier if you make a habit of drinking water every time you do a particular activity - for instance, each time you go into the kitchen or whenever you're about to make a phone call. You can also up your intake by using a larger glass or drinking a refill. Some people find "sipper bottles" convenient.

    Now apply this to dealing with hunger between meals (which can be translated as "reach for water, not the ice cream"). If you feel hungry when it's not meal time, first have a large glass of water, then get busy doing something - keep at it for at least 20 minutes before you consider eating anything.

    After drinking one glass, you may immediately want another. This is your body saying, "Yes! That was want I really wanted - give me more!" If you still feel hungry after 20 minutes, try having another glass of water, then get busy again.

    People often feel like they're "bad" or "weak" if they feel hungry at times they think they shouldn't be. However, once you are aware that thirst can masquerade as hunger, you realize that hunger pangs often are a legitimate request by the body - but for water rather than food.

    This isn't a cure - all for curbing hunger, but I've learned from my practice that it can go along way toward beating between meal eating. And that can mean weight-loss success.


    and


    An excerpt from Oprah's book, "Make the Connection", by Bob Greene:

    Water is essential to life. Without it, we would survive maybe two or three days. That makes it our most important nutrient. Water surrounds and is a part of each and every cell in your body, and it's needed or involved in virtually all body functions. About 60 percent of your body weight is water.

    We lose a lot of water each day through basic body functions. By exercising, you lose even more water depending on the type, length, and intensity of exercise and the climate you work out in. Your body must continually regulate the amount of water that it holds. You become dehydrated when your body's water supply cannot meet its demands. This can cause a variety of complications, including heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Although less life threatening, dehydration also affects the body's ability to digest food and metabolize fat. Needless to say, having enough water is essential for your body to function at its optimum.

    As far as weight loss and weight maintenance are concerned, drinking enough water is extremely important. There are at least six basic reasons why replacing water on a daily basis is important for controlling your weight.

    1) Digestion and metabolism - These are two functions we are particularly concerned with when it comes to controlling our weight. If you aren't getting enough water, you risk impairing these two functions to a certain degree. Enough water ensures that both digestion and metabolism are working at their full capacity.

    2) Water's filling effect - by drinking six to eight glasses of water, you can help curb your appetite. Water can fill you up so that you don't overeat.

    3) The thirst-hunger response - When you are dehydrated, your body may signal you to eat when what it really requires is water. It does the same thing for a variety of nutritional needs. For example, your body may need sodium, so it signals you to eat foods containing salt. But all you really need is the salt without all the additional calories in food. I call this phenomenon artificial hunger. By meeting all of your nutritional needs, including your need for water, you can control artificial hunger.

    4) Better workouts - You can exercise more effectively and at higher levels when you are getting enough water.

    5) Muscle requires more water - Muscle is comprised of about 70 percent water, whereas fat is made up of less than 25 percent water. One of the many benefits of exercise is that you maintain and even add muscle weight, which in turn burns fat. As you gain muscle, you require more water and need to replace more of it daily. So water becomes more important the more active you are. Think of it as a cycle: The more muscle you maintain, the more water is held by the body and the more calories are burned by that additional muscle. So the more muscle you have, the more water you must have available.

    6) Glycogen storage - Glycogen is a form of carbohydrate stored in your muscles. It can be used as energy when you exercise. The more fit you become, the more glycogen is stored in your muscles. Every gram of glycogen holds about 2.5 to 3 grams of water. So, the more fit you are, the more water your body will hold, and the more water you need each day. Being more fit also allows you to burn calories at a higher rate.

    In addition to those six reasons, as you begin to lose fat, your body increases its percentage of water. So the amount of water you need to drink each day increases. This is especially so the more active you become. Your body is signaled to hold more water. It will usually let you know it needs more water by making you thirsty, but not always.


    and


    WATER

    Water is often called the forgotten nutrient since many people take it for granted, but water is essential to life. We can live with less than enough food for weeks, months, even years, but take away our water and we last just a few days.

    Water makes up about 60 percent of the average adult's weight. It is the medium the human body uses for nearly every activity it performs and has many functions, including:

    - Carrying nutrients in the body
    - Cleansing the body's waste products
    - Acting as a solvent, dissolving minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and other substances
    - Being involved in the chemical reactions in the body
    - Lubricating joints
    - Acting as a shock absorber for many organs
    - Helping to regulate body temperature

    Since water is so important, its balance is delicately monitored by a number of mechanisms. Our brain signals us to drink when the sodium concentrations in the blood become too high or when blood volume drops too low. Unfortunately, by the time this thirst mechanism kicks in, we are already in the beginning stages of water deficit. That's why nutritionists recommend drinking before you are thirsty.

    This is particularly important for the elderly population because as we age we become less sensitive to our thirst mechanism. At the same time, our percentage of body fluid drops, so it's easier to become dehydrated faster.

    Young children are also at a higher risk for dehydration, but for another reason: Their thirst mechanism is not yet fully developed, nor are they always able to recognize when they are thirsty.

    Water needs vary with each individual, but in general, nutritionists still abide by the old rule of eight glasses --- 64 ounces --- or more of fluid a day. Water is your best bet, but it is certainly not the only way to get fluids. Fruit juice, seltzer, milk, lemonade, and soft drinks can also quench thirst. Alcohol and caffeinated beverages like tea and coffee do not count because they are actually diuretics, meaning they cause you to lose fluid rather than retain it. Food like soup, cucumbers, watermelon, lettuce, tomatoes, and oranges are high in water and good way to supplement your liquid intake.

    How much water do you need?

    The old standard suggestion of 6 to 8 8-ounce glasses of water a day is still good. But people who exercise may need more like 2 or 3 quarts, especially when it's hot and humid outside (and during illness).

    Get in the habit of carrying a water bottle. It's easy to measure, handy to cart around especially during workouts, and saves waiting in line at the water fountain --- where it never seems polite to guzzle what you really need when others are waiting.

    Drink cool water when you're hot. Cool water empties out of the stomach and enters the system faster. Drink warmer water (room temperature or warm uncaffeinated tea or broth) when exercising outside in the cold.

    Drink before you're thirsty. People who drink to satisfy thirst replace only about half of what they need. An intelligent, buy the book, "hydration schedule" for a workout looks something like this:

    - 17 ounces of water 2 hours before your workout
    - 8 ounces or more 15 minutes before your workout
    - 4 to 8 ounces every 10 to 20 minutes during your workout
    - another 8 ounces after your workout

    and from another site (http://members.tripod.com/~rrandolph/water.html)

    Incredible as it may seem, water is quite possibly the single most important catalyst in losing weight and keeping it off. Although most of us take it for granted, water may be the only true "magic potion" for permanent weight loss.

    Water suppresses the appetite naturally and helps the body metabolize stored fat. Studies have shown that a decrease in water intake will cause fat deposits to increase, while an increase in water intake can actually reduce fat deposits.

    Here's why: The kidneys can't function properly without enough water. When they don't work to capacity, some of their load is dumped onto the liver. One of the liver's primary functions is to metabolize stored fat into usable energy for the body. But, if the liver has to do some of the kidney's work, it can't operate at full throttle. As a result, it metabolizes less fat, more fat remains stored in the body and weight loss stops.


    Drinking enough water is the best treatment for fluid retention. When the body gets less water; it perceives this as a threat to survival and begins to hold on to every drop. Water is stored in extracellular spaces (outside the cells). This shows up as swollen feet, legs and hands.

    Diuretics offer a temporary solution at best. They force out stored water along with some essential nutrients. Again, the body perceives a threat and will replace the lost water at the first opportunity. Thus, the condition quickly returns.

    The best way to overcome the problem of water retention is to give your body what it needs --- plenty of water. Only then will stored water be released.

    If you have a constant problem with water retention, excess salt may be to blame. Your body will tolerate sodium only in a certain concentration. The more salt you eat, the more water your system retains to dilute it. But getting rid of unneeded salt is easy --- just drink more water. As it is forced through the kidneys, it takes away excess sodium.

    The overweight person needs more water than the thin one. Larger people have larger metabolic loads. Since we know that water is the key to fat metabolism, it follows that the overweight person needs more water.

    Water helps to maintain proper muscle tone by giving muscles their natural ability to contract and by preventing dehydration. It also helps to prevent the sagging skin that usually follows weight loss --- shrinking cells are buoyed by water, which plumps the skin and leaves it clear, healthy and resilient. Water helps rid the body of waste. During weight loss, the body has a lot more waste to get rid of--all that metabolized fat must be shed. Again, adequate water helps flush out the waste.
    Water can help relieve constipation. When the body gets too little water, it siphons what it needs from internal sources. The colon is one primary source. Result? Constipation. But, when a person drinks enough water, normal bowel function usually returns.

    So far, we've discovered some remarkable truths about water and weight loss:

    The body will not function properly without enough water and can't metabolize stored fat efficiently.
    Retained water shows up as excess weight. To get rid of excess water you must drink more water. Drinking water is essential to weight loss.
    How much water is enough? On the average, a person should drink eight 8-ounce glasses every day. That's about 2 quarts. However, the overweight person needs one additional glass for every 25 pounds of excess weight. The amount you drink also should be increased if you exercise briskly or if the weather is hot and dry.

    Water should preferably be cold --- it's absorbed into the system more quickly than warm water. And some evidence suggests that drinking cold water can actually help burn calories.

    To utilize water most efficiently during weight loss, follow this schedule:

    Morning: 1 quart consumed over a 30-minute period.
    Noon: 1 quart consumed over a 30-minute period.
    Evening: 1 quart consumed between five and six o'clock.

    When the body gets the water it needs to function optimally, its fluids are perfectly balanced. When this happens, you have reached the "breakthrough point".

    Endocrine-gland function improves.
    Fluid retention is alleviated as stored water is lost.
    More fat is used as fuel because the liver is free to metabolize stored fat.
    Natural thirst returns
    There is a loss of hunger almost overnight.
    If you stop drinking enough water, your body fluids will be thrown out of balance again, and you may experience fluid retention, unexplained weight gain and loss of thirst. To remedy the situation you'll have to go back and force another "breakthrough".
    Last edited by Georgiana; October 19th, 2009 at 01:00 AM.
    ~ Elleth

    40/f 5'5" Start 10/18/2003 - 180/133.0/125

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