Water & The Body

Water & The Body

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    Hydration is important to muscle health, especially while exercising. A person who is exercising needs plenty of water before and after the activity and should drink during prolonged workouts. Too little water can lead to muscle cramps, heat exhaustion, or dehydration. Too much water, however, is dangerous because the salt level in the body can decrease, causing nausea and even seizures.

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    A , Integrative Medicine, answered
    Staying optimally hydrated is critical to get nutrients to your cells and wash away toxins. The next time you find yourself tired during the day, drink a glass of cold water and see how dramatically your energy picks up almost instantly. Over half of our body is made of water. So, it's not surprising that even mild dehydration can cause fatigue and poor concentration. A body even a half-quart low on water can make you noticeably tired.
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    Remaining hydrated during the hot summer months is very important. One of your body's best reminders to drink fluids is when you sweat.

    However, as you head to the pool or beach, remember swimmers sweat, too. Like any athletic activity, when you swim, your body temperature rises and your body sweats to keep from overheating. You may not notice because you are in the water, but you can become dehydrated.

    Swimmers, from competitive athletes to families splashing around, need to drink fluids before, during and after swimming, even if you don't feel thirsty. Have some water every 15 minutes, if possible.

    No matter what your activity or sport -- running, biking or swimming -- avoid dehydration by consuming the fluids you need.
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    A studyfrom the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Research shows that, in fact, people who drink an average of 6½ cups (52 ounces) of water each day consume 200 fewer calories a day. Let’s analyze this a little more. 200 less calories is about 73,000 fewer calories in a year and it takes 3,500 calories to create 1 pound of fat. This means you’re losing about 20 extra pounds of fat a year. The study also revealed that these people drank less sugary drinks and were less likely to reach for junk food for snacking.

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    One of the benefits of drinking community fluoridated water is receiving the recommended level of fluoride for preventing tooth decay. Fluoride prevents tooth decay by 30-50%.
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    A , Naturopathic Medicine, answered
    Low fluid consumption in general and low water consumption in particular make it difficult for the body to eliminate toxins. As a result, low water consumption increases the risk of cancer. Drinking enough water is another basic habit for good health, as you've probably heard 1,000 times. It's true: you need to drink at least six to eight glasses of water (48 to 64 ounces) each day. That means having a glass of water every two waking hours. Don't wait until you're thirsty; schedule regular water breaks throughout the day instead.

    Water is essential for life. The average amount of water in your body is about 10 gallons. We need to drink at least 48 ounces of water per day to replace the water that is lost through urination, sweat, and breathing. If we don't, we are likely to become dehydrated.

    Even mild dehydration results in impaired physiological and performance responses. Many nutrients dissolve in water so that they can be absorbed more easily in your digestive tract. Similarly, many metabolic processes need to take place in water. Water is a component of blood and thus is important for transporting chemicals and nutrients to cells and tissues. Each of your cells is constantly bathed in a watery fluid. Water also carries waste materials from cells to the kidneys so they can be filtered out and eliminated. Water absorbs and transports heat. For example, heat produced by muscle cells during exercise is carried by water in the blood to the surface, helping your body maintain the right temperature balance. The skin cells also release water as perspiration, which helps keep you cool.

    Several factors are thought to increase the likelihood of chronic, mild dehydration: a faulty thirst "alarm" in the brain; dissatisfaction with the taste of water; regular exercise that increases the amount of water lost through sweat; living in a hot, dry climate; and consumption of the natural diuretics caffeine and alcohol. Diuretics are substances that draw water out of your cells and increase the rate of urination. Surprisingly, if you drink two cups of water and two cups of coffee, cola, or beer, you may end up with a net water intake of zero! Be aware of your "water budget." If you drink coffee or other dehydrating beverages, compensate by drinking an additional glass of water.
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    A , Internal Medicine, answered
    While your tap water may be potable, that doesn't mean it's pure or healthy. A lot of people can get low-grade infections from bacteria in local water supply-and that can lead to such symptoms as feeling bloated, itchy eyes, stomach cramping, and fatigue. And you'd have no idea what even caused the problems.

    You don't need to blow your 401(k) on bottled water, but it's a smart idea to use a water filter for any drinking water you use out of the faucet.
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    A , Fitness, answered
    Water, or overall fluid consumption, should be consistent with your lifestyle. Adequate fluid intake may improve metabolic functions, liver function, endocrine gland function, and overall fluid status. Fluids may also help manage your appetite.
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    A , Nutrition & Dietetics, answered
    Does drinking water cause bloating?
    Drinking a lot of water does not directly cause bloating, but it can exacerbate bloating if you are eating too much salt, or not eating enough potassium. Watch me explain exactly how water is related to bloating.
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    Staying hydrated can be a challenge, especially during hot summer days.

    Here are five easy ways to increase your fluid intake:
    • Carry a reusable water bottle. After you've emptied it, you'll be more likely to fill it back up if it's easily accessible.
    • Eat fruit or popsicles. You don't have to just drink your water -- you get fluids from what you eat as well. Fruits, like watermelon and cantaloupe, have high water content, as well as frozen treats like 100% fruit juice pops.
    • Give your water a twist. Adding flavor to your water can make it easier to drink more. Drop in slices of lemon, lime, cucumber or strawberries. Herbal ice teas are a great way to spice up water, too.
    • Sip throughout the day. Little things add up and fluid intake is no exception. Rather than downing a full beverage in one sitting, take drinks regularly throughout the day.
    • Plan ahead. If you are headed for a workout outside or an outing at the pool, make sure to pack plenty of fluids for the trip. When in the heat, you lose fluids more quickly.
    Headaches, dizziness and drowsiness are all signs of dehydration. Keeping up your fluid intake will keep you feeling healthy and alert.
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