Thursday, September 23, 2010

Water is your friend

Water is my friend! Water is my enemy! I just call it my frenemy!

I love water, I do! On average, I drink about 10-12 cups a day. Lately, I've been aiming for 16 with success. Some days it is a chore, most days very easy. Everyone has heard about the 8 glasses of water a day. So why do I drink so much?

One, because I am super active, thus require more than the norm. Two, I tend to lean on the high side of sodium intake, and need the extra water to reduce sodium retention. Three, I just love water!

I always tell others this: If you don’t change anything else about your lifestyle, but add 8+ cups of water a day, you will lose weight!!

Well, initially that is. Initial weight loss is largely due to loss of water, and you need to drink an adequate amount of water in order to avoid dehydration. So, you’re upping you water intake, from say, 2 cups to 8. The body no longer needs to hold on to that water like it is dying in a desert. The body will release any extra water it was holding (retention) and that will equal a significant weight loss on the scale. (Part of the reason those numbers are insanely high in Biggest Loser).

I also tell those questioning the benefits of water this: it helps you to feel fuller, quicker!

But listen, we can’t live off water alone, so you still need to eat! Drinking water with a meal will help you feel full sooner and therefore you will be satisfied eating less. However, drinking water alone may not have this effect. In order to feel satiated (not hungry) our body needs bulk, calories and nutrients.

Still not sold on the idea of drinking all that water? Some worry about drinking too much water, but that will likely never happen. Your body will tell you when it has had enough. Water will not cause you a bloated look. There are a number of causes of water retention, including consuming to much salt, but drinking water is none of them.

When you drink enough water, your urine will usually be pale yellow, though vitamin supplements and antibiotics can discolor it. On the other hand, you shouldn’t need to run to the bathroom too frequently. When in doubt, drink a little more.

Here are a few of my quick tips:
*If you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated, so please drink enough throughout the day to avoid that feeling.

*Drinking other liquids provides your body with a source of water, but note diuretics cause your body to expel water. Diuretics include caffeinated drinks (tea, coffee and soda) and alcohol. When drinking diuretics, drink more water to compensate

*Some prefer ice cold water, other room temperature. Drink it however you prefer to ensure you get in your allotment every day.

*Use at least a two-cup bottle or cup. This lessens the amounts of time you have to fill it up. I prefer a 3 or 4 cup bottle just because I only have to refill 3-4 times a day.

*Keep your water bottle/container with you at all times. It’s always at my desk, in my car, several have collected around my bed.

*Drinking water helps to keep your skin clear and young looking. It’s the best facial you can buy.

*For variety, I add lemon to some of my water. Or Crystal Light (or any other form of drink mixes) to no more than half my daily water. It still counts, just don’t do this with ALL your water.

*Start off small. If you never even gulped down 1 glass a day, going from 0 to 8 could be bad business for you body. Start with drinking one cup at every meal, and sipping water throughout the day. This way, you can easily manage 3-4 cups. Then add 2 cups to that intake until you have worked your way up to 8 a day.

*If you’re very active, live in a very warm area, sweat a lot, or if you are overweight or obese, you will need more than 8 cups. But 8 is a good starting point.


  1. I'm also a big water fan. Each day I try to consume a little more. I hope this isn't TMI but years ago a doctor who was treating me for a UTI told me that I shouldn't drink so much soda. What I heard was, "Drink more water". Now that's the only thing I drink, except for the occasional glass of wine!

  2. If I can knock out my one cup of coffee a day, I'd feel better. The stuff is addictive!