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Researchers analyzed weight-loss data on 240 overweight women, ages 25 to 50, who were following one of several popular diet plans. Before beginning their programs, the women drank an average of about two cans a day of sugary drinks (about 200 calories total), including soda and juice. Dieters who replaced virtually all sweetened drinks with water lost an average 5 pounds more in a year than dieters who didn’t. Those who drank more than four cups of water a day lost an additional 2 pounds more than dieters who did not drink that much.
Why you should drink more water
The body needs water to function. Many parts of the body contain water, including the brain, blood and lean muscle. Water in the body serves to:
* regulate body temperature
* remove wastes (through urine and stool)
* carry nutrients (food) and oxygen to cells
* cushion joints and
* dissolve nutrients to make them available to the body
Water does not contain any calories. The body absorbs water through the stomach and gut. Water leaves the body through urine, sweat, and stool and at times, vomiting and diarrhea.
How much water should you drink?
Many people don’t drink enough water. Being thirsty is not a good signal for how much water you need to drink. If people drank only when they were thirsty, most would never drink anything.
Everyone has heard that we need eight glasses of water a day. Experts are now suggesting that we need more.
You may think that this is too difficult. It is at first, but your body will adjust. In the beginning you will need to urinate frequently, but after about one week you will find that holding more urine is possible without having to go to the bathroom as much.
A good test to know if you are getting enough liquid is the color of your urine. If it is dark yellow, you need more liquid. You need to make sure that your urine is clear and pale in the morning and in the evening.
Soda with caffeine, and alcoholic drinks, do not count toward your liquid intake. They actually do the opposite of hydrating your body, they cause you to lose fluids. Avoid these drinks for optimal hydration. If you plan to party at night, drink more water during the day.
It’s important to remember that thirst is not a good indication of dehydration. This can be a major problem for the elderly, as they often fail to recognize their own need for water.
How to start drinking more water:
1. Determine how much water you need. You’ve probably heard the “8 by 8” rule – drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day – but the amount of water a person needs varies depending on his or her weight and activity level. Another way to determine your specific recommended water intake is to divide your weight (in pounds) by two. The resulting number is the number of ounces of water you need each day.
2. Measure your daily intake of water. Do this for a few days. If you find that you’re drinking less than the recommended quantity, try some of the following tips.
3. Carry water with you everywhere you go in a bottle or other container. Before long, you’ll find yourself reaching for it without a second thought.
4. Keep a glass or cup of water next to you whenever you’ll be sitting down for a long time, such as when you’re at your desk at work. Drink from it regularly as you’re working.
5. Try wearing a digital watch that beeps at the beginning of each hour. Use that as a reminder to pour yourself a glass of water. Vow to drink that water before the next beep. If you drink only one small (6 ounce or 180 ml) cup per hour, you’ll have consumed 48 ounces (1.4 l) by the end of an 8-hour workday.
6. Get a water purification system. Purified water tastes very good and may help make drinking water more appealing to you. Be aware, though, that as you grow accustomed to purified water, you may find that tap water leaves a bad taste in your mouth.
7. Add lemons or limes to your water, it makes it taste better and makes you want to drink more of it. Be careful not to make it too sour, just a splash of sourness should do the trick. Some mint leaves can be added to a pitcher of water which should be allowed to sit overnight. These are cheap alternatives to the bottled flavoured water.
8. Eat water rich foods, such as fruits like watermelon, which is 92 % water by weight. Blend up some seedless fresh watermelon flesh with some ice and place a few sprigs of mint (optional) – one of the most refreshing drinks, especially for the summertime. Cranberry juice is also another option, and has a bitter taste. It is advised to patients suffering from urinary infection caused by insufficient intake of water to drink cranberry juice and watermelon if not plain water everyday. A tomato is 95 % water. An egg is about 74 % water. A piece of lean meat is about 70 %water.
9. Try having 8 glasses (1600ml) of water a day – 2 before breakfast, 2 between breakfast and lunch, 2 between lunch and dinner, and 2 after dinner. It may take a while to get used to, but it will be very good for you.