Saturday, July 16, 2011

Water's Weight






I know, I know. This is a blog about food and recipes. So why am I writing about water? While food is wonderful- it tastes great, can be fun to cook and eat- we often forget to focus on getting enough fluids. We’re too busy thinking about calories, fat and carbs.

But what about water?

It has zero calories. No fat, no caffeine, no salt. And it can be found almost anywhere- nature, restaurants, the grocery store, your home. Sounds like the perfect thing for someone keeping their body’s health in mind, right?

Water makes up anywhere from 60-75% of our total body composition. And it serves a ton of purposes for our health. Water is in our bones, our muscles, our blood- everything! It makes up most of our body weight- shouldn’t we consider it important? And, since this is a nutrition blog, I think I should mention that water is in not just beverages, but many fruits and vegetables, as well. Watermelon, tomatoes, lettuce and celery are over 90% water.

As a nutrient, water is essential for our survival. The human body cannot more than a few days without water. Among the list of functions water serves in our bodies, it not only prevents dehydration, but also regulates our body temperature, carries nutrients and oxygen in the blood to our organs, provides moisture to skin, prevents constipation, cushions joints, helps strengthen our muscles, and can make you feel full when taken with a meal.

To make sure you’re getting enough water, most people go by the “8 x 8” rule. This basically means that you should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. The easiest way to remember to do this is to keep a reusable water bottle on you at work, home, the car, and the gym.

Keeping water on you at all times will serve a double function- not only will it keep you hydrated, but water can also aid in weight loss or control. One of the best pieces of advice I ever received as I became a personal trainer was to drink water before, during, and after meals. This suppresses the appetite and makes you feel full, causing you to eat less. And the best part is- this is a diet tip that is not only FREE, but it Works!

When it comes to drinking diet sodas and flavored waters – avoid the sugary drinks (soda and juice). The best way to do this is to read the nutritional labels. The only time I would recommend drinking a sports drink is when you have been working out for an extended period of time at an intense level (more than 60 minutes with heart rate at or above your Target Heart Rate). Sports drinks with sodium are useful in replenishing sodium lost in the body’s sweat.
As with eating a meal, remember to drink water before, during and after the workout! This will help you to avoid dehydration, cramping and in extreme cases, heat stroke. When you drink water with a meal, you feel fuller and will end up eating less.

The best advice I can give to friends and clients is to make the majority of your beverages water, or water based. This includes tap and bottled water, seltzer water and tea (iced or hot.) I like to add fruit or a lemon wedge to my water or teas to enhance the flavor without adding any unnecessary sugars or calories. Avoiding sodas, even diet ones, will aid in weight management and help keep your calorie count low.



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Hi! I 'm Karlene Murphy. A lover of food (especially if it's gluten and dairy free!), getting outdoors, lifting weights, travel, writing, and snuggling with my two puppies. My addictions include chocolate, coffee, cookies, and sharing my love of being HAPPY and HEALTHY! My passion is educating others - whether at my full time job as a high school Psychology teacher, or with YOU my readers. I have been in the fitness wold for almost 10 years, and currently am an Online Fitness Coach, Fitness Instructor, Pilates and Yoga and Aerial Yoga Instructor in Southern New Hampshire. Contact Me if you need help with designing your own fitness and nutrition program.

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