Monday, September 5, 2011

Why Water is KEY ingredient to Weight Loss

Next to air, water is the most essential element for survival.  Our body is 60-70% water so it is very important to obtain enough water daily.  Plain water is the best because caffeine-containing beverages are diuretics that remove water from your body.  Decaffeinated beverages are better; however, they contain strong oils that are irritating to the stomach lining.
Water is used for many different functions including breathing, perspiring and urinating.  Water loss in a day averages 10 cups and water accumulated through food and metabolism averages only 4 cups.  Therefore, we need to drink at least 8 cups(8oz) a day to make up for the deficit  (The “8x8” rule).
Dietary recommendations. The Institute of Medicine advises that men consume roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day and women consume 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day.
·      If you drink enough fluid so that you rarely feel thirsty and produce 1.5 liters (6.3 cups) or more of colorless or slightly yellow urine a day, your fluid intake is probably adequate.

Water & Metabolism:  When a person is dehydrated, it is common to feel sluggish/sleepy around 2pm each day.  At this time, most people either grab up caffeine or sugar... or BOTH just to get that energy surge again.  Herein lies the destructive problem:   caffeine dehydrates you even more... and sugar gives a quick 1-2 hour energy surge with a following up increased insulin release.  Insulin is the hormone that takes sugar from your blood & transports it to cells in the body for energy... but too much sugar consumed (which is common during fatigue) is actually stored IN FAT CELLS, thus the weight gain!  And to add a double whammy on that, once the sugar surge drops in 1-2 hours, you will be hungry & even more tired again, which usually leads to the ongoing domino effect of consuming MORE sugar to start the process over!    We also must consider our metabolic organs: adrenaline gland, pancreas, pituitary, etc.  When these organs are not properly hydrated, our hormones gets way out of balance... thus, high risk of weight gain!  Our stress hormone is also effected!  When we are tired & sluggish, we tend to stress out more quickly, thus promoting cortisol release... which LOVES to deposit in the mid-section!  Yes, the innertube of man-handles that just keep getting in the way of looking great in our favorite shirt!

Many ways in which our body utilizes water:
·      Quenches thirst – thirst diminishes with age so it is important that the elderly drink enough water even when not thirsty.  BIG PROBLEM: When we think we are hungry, it's usually our thirst mechanism screaming for fluid, but the signals seem to come in as "hunger."  Try drinking water first before diving into some unnecessary calories!  
·      Aids digestion-it is vital for chemical reactions in digestion and to carry nutrients in the blood.
·      Cools your body during exercise.  When you don't sweat, that means you are dehydrated!
·      Flushes out wastes – kidneys require water to dissolve uric acid and urea to be removed.  If there is not enough water, these may build up as kidney stones. It also flushes out toxins that can promote cancer. If not enough water is consumed, the toxins are easily stored in fatty tissues (thus the cellulite!).
·      Breathing –out lungs must be moist to take in oxygen and excrete carbon dioxide.  It is possible to lose a pint of liquid each day just exhaling.
·      Decreases premenstrual bloating and water retention – if you don’t drink enough water, your body may retain water to compensate.
·      KEY INGREDIENT in promoting WEIGHT LOSS – water is needed to metabolize fat adequately.  Since your body is mostly water & protein, the body won't function at it's peak when the organs are "dehydrated."  It prevents the hormone producing glands to be sluggish!
·      May relieve headaches caused by dehydration.  (Takes just 24 hrs to dehydrate yourself, but even longer to re-hydrate yourself!)
·      Promotes good skin tone.  (Helps with the wrinkles and decreases cellulite!)
·      Lubricates the joints.

Caffeine is a diuretic, promoting water loss.  It also appears to increase the excretion of calcium, a mineral needed for healthy bones.  Caffeine can be mildly addictive. Even when moderate amounts of caffeine are withdrawn for 18 to 24 hours, one may feel symptoms such as headache, fatigue, irritability, depression, and poor concentration.  It is safe to limit to 1 cup of coffee, or 85mg, a day.

Caffeine (milligrams)
Espresso coffee, brewed, 8 fluid ounces
Coffee, brewed, 8 fluid ounces
Coffee, instant, 8 fluid ounces
Coffee, brewed, decaffeinated, 8 fluid ounces
Coffee, instant, decaffeinated, 8 fluid ounces
Tea, brewed, 8 fluid ounces
Tea, herbal, brewed, 8 fluid ounces
Tea, instant, 8 fluid ounces
Tea, brewed, decaffeinated, 8 fluid ounces
Chocolate Beverages
Hot chocolate, 8 fluid ounces
Chocolate milk, 8 fluid ounces
Soft Drinks
Red Bull (8.2oz)
Mountain Dew, 12 oz
Diet Coke, 12 oz
Dr. Pepper, 12 oz
Sunkist Orange, 12 oz
Coca Cola Classic, 12 ounce can
Ginger ale, regular or diet, 12 ounce can
Root beer, regular or diet, 12 ounce can
Milk chocolate bar, 1.55 ounces
M & M milk chocolate candies, 1.69 ounces
Dark chocolate, semisweet, 1 ounce
The caffeine content of coffee and tea depends on the variety of the coffee bean or tea leaf, the particle size, the brewing method, and the length of brewing or steeping time.

How much caffeine do YOU consume in a day??___________
Food For Thought:
We are called to be good stewards, when are you finally going to start making some changes?? ______________
We are giving ONE body, ONE "engine" in life....   are you taking care of it? _________
How much water have you drank today?  How much caffeine?  And how much sugar?
            I challenge you to drink at least 90 ounces of water a day, limit the caffeine to 2 cups max, and avoid the processed sugars!  Go natural... go Paleo Diet!