No, unfortunately, I don’t live on a beach, I would so live on an island if my hubby didn’t think he’d feel ‘claustrophobic’ (I know, I know) on an island. No matter how many times I tell him the island is bigger than the little circle he normally lives in. Oh well.
Where was I? Oh, right. Water. I know you’ve seen the recommendations to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. The question is, how many of you can actually do it? some times you have to drink whether you feel thirsty or not, especially if it’s not something you’re in the habit of doing. You HAVE to drink water. It’s time for your daily physiology lesson. I know, it’s Monday, but your body doesn’t care what day it is, does it?
In case you missed some of those really cool commercials a few years back, the human body is made up of approximately 75-80% water as babies, and declines throughout life, to between 50 and 65%. Now that you know that, it shouldn’t surprise you that need to replenish it. A lot. Every day. In fact, water is so important to life, the human body can go nearly a week, maybe even a bit more without food and still survive. Water, that’s a completely different story. After only three days of no water consumption, organ systems begin to shut down. Sheesh, I know, sorry to be Debbie Downer here, I just want you to know how incredibly important it is in the grand scheme, including your weight loss goals and your new lifestyle changes. Your mom and your doctor had good reason to make you drink more water.
Fred, if you’re reading this, I mean you too. I don’t care how smart you think you are, you still have to drink water. And no. Soda does NOT count. I’ll get to that in a moment. The human body is a truly amazing adaptable machine. Do you change the oil in your car on a regular basis? Of course, you do. Now if you’re doing that, I like to think you’re at least taking as good of care of your body as you are your rusting hulk of metal sitting in that parking space. Why do you change the oil? To keep everything running smoothly, right? Because if you don’t the gooey trolls will come and gum up everything and your car won’t go anymore. Or if it does, it sounds really bad.
That’s what water does for your body, it keeps everything running smoothly. Our brains are nearly 85% water. Blood, 95% water. NINETY FIVE PERCENT! So….if you have only had a single glass of water in a day or two, do you think that might make your blood get all kind of sticky and hard to move? Yeah, you’re right if you’re thinking syrup. It won’t get to the molasses stage til later.
Not only does it help your brain work better and your blood move better, it helps your body rid itself of toxins (both liquid and, ahem, solid form), it keeps things moving smoothly (wink wink), it will help suppress your appetite, especially when consumed before a meal. Water will help your skin stay hydrated and prevent you from becoming bloated. Well, let me explain the whole bloated thing because it’s really a twofer. By keeping things ‘moving smoothly’, it helps prevent the dread stomach bloat. You know what I’m talking about too. Don’t pretend you don’t. It’s what you had after eating all of those heavy, fat-laden foods over the holidays and not enough fiber. The ‘other’ bloat I was referring to was in your fingers, maybe even your face, and you may find yourself the proud new owner of cankles. Water is a very precious thing to your body and it will do whatever it must to hang onto what it has, particularly when it senses it is not receiving enough to sustain itself, resulting in swollen fingers/cankles/face. What I want you to do the next time you are a bit puffy and think you’re ‘retaining water’, drink more water, that is the problem. You definitely shouldn’t cut down on it. Ever.
Soda, tea, coffee. Yes, I love them too. And after reading this I hope you will really, seriously consider if not cutting out, really truly cutting them back. I’ll start with soda. Any soda, any kind, is bad for you, for so many more reasons than you already know, but choose not to pay attention to. There, I said it. Yes, you already know about all the extra added calories you add to your day just by drinking a 12 oz coke, 144 calories, or 196 calories for a 16oz bottle. I just did a little math, one 12 oz can a day during the work week is an additional 720 calories, and you didn’t even eat anything. Oh and the sugar equivalent of the contents of the 12 oz coke is ten teaspoons. Yes, you just read that correctly, TEN teaspoons. At any point in your life would you just sit at the table and eat 10 teaspoons of sugar? Ok, maybe when you were about 7, but now? Yeah, I thought not. Don’t get me wrong, I do have an occasional soda, but it’s just that: occasional.
Here’s the other part of what soda does to your body: it alters your blood chemistry. What? I know, I know, bear with me, I promise I’m not going too deep on the science terminology. Just know that when you drink soda, diet, regular or otherwise, it prevents your body from absorbing many minerals from your diet, including calcium. In fact, it’s even been known to leach it from your bones. Well, the soda doesn’t leach it from your bones, your body’s trying to balance the effects of the phosphoric acid and it pulls calcium from the bones, or something like that. Wanna go have a soda now? Me neither.
And don’t think you’re being any better if you’re drinking sweet tea. That has historically been a southern thing, but it seems to have spread recently and I don’t know why. I can’t stand it. I like my tea au naturale, well with some ice, but no sugar. I love my iced tea, as well as my coffee, sadly, they are both (as is sugary soda) diuretics, meaning they cause your body to throw off more fluid, which is not good.
Ok, I know this has been long and I so appreciate you sticking with me thru the whole physio class today. I hope you have learned something and really take into consideration next time you choose a drink, something that will do your body good. I do have a suggestion, or two, for you. First of all, cut down immediately, and work toward completely eliminating soda from your diet. And next, add more water. One way I like to suggest for ppl to add water, for each glass of tea or coffee, drink at least that much water before drinking more tea or coffee. If you are drinking caffeine free herbal tea, that is as good as water in my book. As far as I know, it’s not a diuretic and you can even find some that are naturally sweet just because of what they’re made of.
Ok my friends, I really hope you begin to add more water to your life and make the other drinks an occasional thing.
So, my next question, feedback, what’s working for you?