Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Hate water? You're missing key health benefits

It can help you lose weight.
It can increase mental clarity.
And, when you drink enough, it can promote energy and stamina.
Plain water is having what appears to be its moment in the spotlight. With the ongoing debate about sugary sodas in the news and Michelle Obama's recently launched Drink Up campaign, more people are talking about H20.
The first lady's timing is good: By the end of this decade, if not sooner, sales of bottled water — plain and fizzy — are expected to surpass those of carbonated soft drinks, according to the Beverage Marketing Corporation. The shift is the result of many factors, including innovations in bottling technology that have helped lower the price of water. If the estimated drinking of water from the tap is included, water consumption actually began exceeding soda consumption around 2008, according to the report.
But just because we're buying more water doesn't necessarily mean we're adequately hydrated. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and a study it conducted earlier this year, most Americans aren't meeting the recommendations for water intake.
Even people who drink water regularly, like Kelly Grey, a personal assistant in Lafayette, admit it is hard to keep up the habit week to week. “I get busy and forget,” says Grey, 37. However, when she does reach her goal — about 32 ounces from the tap chilled and sipped by the glass daily — Grey says she notices a difference in her health and appearance.
“The more water I drink, the more I realize how good it is for me,” says Grey, who likes the taste especially when it's filtered. “My skin looks plumper, the (under-eye) dark circles disappear and my stomach's flatter.”
Registered dietitian Nora Norback confirms water's status as “the nectar of the gods.”
According to Norback and numerous medical studies, including one published in 2010 by obesity researcher and University of North Carolina nutrition professor Barry Popkin, proper hydration is linked to better overall health, improved cognitive function, agility, and weight control, or, in some people, weight loss.
“Sometimes, you think you're hungry when you're really just thirsty, so if you just drink water, you might find yourself satiated,” says Norback, who works at Kaiser Permanente Richmond Medical Center. “Water is filling.”
But, and this is an important note: If you're already hydrated, drinking more water won't make much of a difference in your health. “It will make you go to the bathroom more and probably make your urine lighter than the light yellow we aim for,” Norback says.
Water, quite literally, is life: Sixty to 70 percent of our body is made of water and the majority of our blood is water, so when that volume dips, functionality is thrown off, she explains. Water protects our organs, keeps our tissues moist, prevents constipation and dissolves minerals and other nutrients to make them accessible to the body. Deprive your body even a little and you might feel dizzy or suffer from headaches and a sticky mouth.  (Continued)

Source: Jessica Yadegaran, Bay Are News Group Thunderdome