Water - It Does A Body Good

Although most people do not think of water as a nutrient, it is the most important of all nutrients.  Water is involved in all bodily processes, including circulation, digestion, absorption, excretion, and the maintenance of proper body temperature.  It’s possible to live for several days without food, but without water a person would die in as little as two or three days.

Both good health and proper weight control are dependent on adequate water intake.  Under normal circumstances, this would amount to between 2 ½ and 3 quarts of water per day.  This amount can be obtained from fluids other than water, such as juices, milk, tea, coffee, and soft drinks as well as from fruits and vegetables.  In fact, food accounts for some 30% of the water intake in human diets.  But pure water should be the primary source of fluid for the body.

While adequate water intake is essential for good health, and in fact for life, it is also necessary for proper weight control for a number of reasons.  Some of these reasons include:

  • Water aids in flushing out waste products and metabolized fat.
  • Water tends to suppress appetite.
  • Water actually helps metabolize stored fat.  This is due to the water-kidney-liver function cycle.  In simplified terms, it goes like this: Without proper hydration, the kidneys are unable to function optimally.  When this occurs, the liver takes over some of the load of the kidneys.  One of the liver’s functions is to metabolize stored fat, turning it into usable energy for the body.  If the liver is called on to assist the kidneys, it cannot operate at full capacity, therefore it metabolizes less fat.  In other words, an increase in water intake reduces body fat while a decrease in water consumption actually increases body fat.
  • Drinking adequate water also rids the body of excess fluid.  This might seem contradictory until you understand that when the body is deprived of water, it perceives survival-threatening state of emergency and defense mechanisms are activated to store water, especially in extra-cellular spaces.  If you want to get rid of excess fluid, drink a lot of water!

Now that we’ve established the importance of water, here are some tips to help you make sure your water intake is adequate.

First, set a goal of drinking at least eight 8 ounce glasses of water each day.  Second, spread your water consumption out over the course of the day.  Third, measure your water intake (if we guess, we usually guess low.  A ‘sippy’ bottle is a good aid).  Fourth, try drinking a glass of water before every meal.  And fifth, if you simply don’t like the taste of water, try drinking it with ice and/or with a small bit of lemon.