Monday, September 13, 2010

Water, water everywhere

Are you drinking enough water? I know that it is more difficult to drink plain cold water when a chill hits the air, but, by the same token, warmer days make it easier – and more necessary. Some people swear by an early morning cup of hot water with lemon juice to revive and refresh, and keep the bowel functioning well. Though I must admit, I haven't seen any scientific research on that, it certainly can't do any harm.

Very few people drink enough water. We should aim for 6 - 8 glasses a day. Don't get too carried awa drinking mineral water, the minerals build up in your system. Purified or filtered water is best. If you can't stand it plain, use herbal teas or stand a jug of water on your desk with a bunch of fresh mint and a cinnamon stick in it, and sip on that. You don't have to gulp the water down; in fact sipping is more beneficial. Don't wait until you are thirsty before having a drink... by the time you are thirsty, you are already 2% dehydrated. Water is good for the skin: other drinks (tea, coffee, cold drinks, alcohol) actually USE the body's water supply to digest. Every single cell of the billions in your body contains water, and is surrounded by water - this situation is necessary for the import of nutrients to each cell and the export of waste from each cell. A body can keep going for several days without food, but it needs topping up with water all the time.

If you are exercising, remember to drink water before, during and after exercise.

Fruits and vegetables consist of 90% water, and this form of water is easy for the body to use; plus it provides a good supply of minerals and vitamins. Five to eight servings per day of fruit and vegetables produce over a litre of water as a byproduct of digestion. Eating carbohydrates also helps to store water in the body: carbohydrates (not just the starchy ones) are broken down by digestion and stored as glycogen, and each unit of glycogen is bound with nine units of water - as the glycogen is liberated for use as energy, so too is the water.

So, drink up and stay hydrated.

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