Oh Water!

by Barbara J. Kinney BSN, RN

Water makes up about 60% of your body composition. Every system in your body depends on water to function. Water flushes toxins out of vital organs, carries nutrients to your cells, and provides a moist environment for tissues in your body. Water is also a medium for various enzymatic and chemical reactions in the body, such as metabolism.

A major factor in the weight loss process is your intake of water. We tend to focus mostly on diet and exercise, but your water intake is one of the major keys that can transform your body and help you lose weight. Water improves and maintains healthy skin, hair, and nails too.

Did you know that your body gives you the same cues when you are thirsty as it does when you are hungry? Many people confuse the feeling of thirst with being hunger, leading them to overeat unnecessarily. Tip: When you feel hungry, drink a glass of water first. Before meals, drink a glass of water first. This will help you decrease the tendency of overeating related to thirst.

How much water should you drink? It is recommended that you drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water per day. Certain activities deplete your water storage and require you to modify your water intake by consuming more. Increase your water intake depending on your exercise regimen, environmental conditions, illness or health conditions, and pregnancy or breast-feeding.

So, if you aren't drinking enough water, start today. Infuse your water with fruit to give it a splash of flavor if needed. But whatever you do, drink, drink, drink!