New Castle News

Healthy Living: Lori Brothers

May 8, 2014

Lori Brothers: When it comes to water, drink up for good health

NEW CASTLE — Are you thirsty?

Do you even know if you’re thirsty?

I’ve heard that often we can be thirsty and not realize it, thus urging us to eat instead. That could deliver an impact in the amount of calorie in-take in the day.

Water has zero calories, so if you realize when you were thirsty and get a cool glass of water, or a nice herbal tea (hot or iced), you could create a positive health wave.

That other stuff you’re eating, instead of rehydrating you as the body may be asking, can really add pounds.

Studies have shown that people drinking water before meals ate an average of 75 fewer calories at each meal.

Even if you only drink water before dinner every day, you’d consume 27,000 fewer calories over the course of a year — that’s almost an eight-pound weight loss, according to WebMD.

The old rule of trying to drink eight glasses of water per day got thrown out in 2004. Research showed that it wasn’t necessary to drink all of that water, unless you were working out or otherwise exerting your body. Anyone with a medical condition requiring attention to fluid control is another exception.

That’s a relief for most people who never truly complied with the old rule anyway. The blasted “should” of the old “8 glasses” rule created a dark looming cloud of negativity hovering over our shriveling, dehydrated bodies.

Water lowers stress, boosts energy, nourishes skin and helps digestion. The new rule is to let your thirst guide you. The exact amount of water required depends on your general health, size, level of activity, and weather. It’s important to pay attention.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), water helps your body by:

•Keeping its temperature normal.

•Lubricating and cushioning your joints.

•Protecting your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues.

•Getting rid of wastes through urination, perspiration and bowel movements.

Drinking water and other beverages should make up about 80 percent of our water intake. The other 20 percent of our hydration can come from an intake of food with naturally high water content, according to the American Dietetic Association.

Examples of water volume in food include, lettuce, 95 percent water (11⁄2 cup); watermelon (11⁄2 cup), 92 percent; Broccoli or grapefruit (11⁄2 cup), 91 percent; Milk (1 cup), 89 percent; Carrot (11⁄2 cup), 87 percent; yogurt (1 cup), 85 percent.

Remember, all fruits and vegetables are great sources of water as well as nutrition and fiber. So if you don’t like drinking water, eat more fruits and veggies.

Tips for getting more daily water intake include: Drink small amounts throughout the day, replace one serving of another beverage with water instead, keep a glass of water on your desk at work, keep a glass of water at your bed side, carry an insulated sports bottle with you.

Looking for a clue for dehydration?  Check the toilet bowl.

WebMD says that if your urine is clear or very light yellow and has little odor, you’re well hydrated. The darker and more aromatic your urine, the more dehydrated you are.

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Healthy Living: Lori Brothers
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