The Fountain of Youth
For thousands of years, people of all countries have been seeking a mythical fountain of youth. If I told you that there is something that will give you beautiful glowing skin, diminish those fine lines and wrinkles, increase your energy level, and help your overall health, I bet you would listen and be interested. All the time, this fountain of youth has been right here in our everyday life. Yes – Water is the fountain of youth!
I am sure you have heard it many times – “Drink more water, it’s good for you!” If, up to now, you have never taken this seriously, please start now! You do not need fancy and expensive mineral waters or bottled waters, as good clear clean water is what your body needs. Although water contain no nutrients, it is essential to life and for the growth and maintenance of our bodies. So, forget soft drinks, coffees, teas, sport drinks, elixirs, or cappuccinos, as drinking water is the key to being healthier and living longer.
Did You Know:
Your blood is 83% water, muscles are 75% water, your brain is 74% water, and your bone are 22% water. Also 2/3 of our body weight is water. All of this water is needed by our bodies, and a 1% loss of our body weight due to fluid loss can cause dehydration which can lead to serious medical complications.
As we are constantly losing water from our body by sweating or urinating, we need to put the liquid back in your system. When you drink enough water to maintain good health, you are providing enough liquid to keep your internal organs and systems running smoothly. If you do not drink water, you will begin to feel tired and weak. Many people blame their loss of energy on everything except dehydration.
Your lungs expel between 2 and 4 cups of water each day through normal breathing. If you make half a dozen trips to the bathroom during the day, that is another 6 cups of water. If you perspire, you expel about 2 cups of water (which does not include exercise-induced perspiration).
Think about what happens when you forget to water your plants. The plants begin to droop and then become dry and brittle. Watering the plant may bring it back, but it will likely have some damaged leaves. Water works the same with people. The body uses water for every basic process from transporting nutrients throughout the body to maintaining body temperature. Water is vital in order for our bodies to keep functioning, as it lubricates your eyes and joints, flushes out toxins and waste, and keeps our skin healthy and beautiful. Our bodies can last weeks, even months without food but only a number of days without water.
Water, besides oxygen is the second most important element to survival. Plus 25% of oxygen comes from water. Water is the fuel of our body and our organs. Just like a car can not drive without gas or oil, our body can not function without water. Perspiration is the bodies natural mechanism to control body temperature. To sweat properly you need plenty of water. Water reduces body temperature making exercising safer and more effective.
Beauty: Water is the best beauty treatment. By drinking water, you add moisture your skin from within (or the inside out). As our skin is composed of approximately 20% water, it will wrinkle faster without adequate moisture. Just like the plant, when skin loses moisture, it gets dry. Dry skin shows wrinkles more and causes skin to sag faster than it would normally. Skin that is becoming saggy, either due to aging or weight loss, will plump up nicely when the skin cells are hydrated. Hydrated skin looks younger as it is plumper. Also, spritzing your face with some water is great for a little pick me up.
Losing Weight: Water is quite possibly the single most important catalyst in losing weight and keeping it off! Water also works as an appetite suppressant. Water suppresses the appetite naturally and helps the body metabolize stored fat. When your drink all the water your body needs, you will quickly notice a decrease in your appetite. If you are serious about losing weight, drinking water is an absolute must! Drink a glass of cold water when you start to feel hungry, as people often confuse mild feeling of thirst with mild hunger. Researchers report that water helps to lose weight by boosting your metabolism rate, thus paving way for quick weight loss. Try drinking a glass of water 15 minutes before each meal.
Fluid Retention: Drinking enough water is the best treatment for fluid retention. The best way to overcome the problem of water retention is to give your body what it needs – plenty of water. Only then will stored water be released. Lack of hydration in the body can cause backaches, as the muscles in the body do not perform properly unless the body has sufficient water intake. One of the most common causes of headaches is lack of proper hydration. In most cases, simply drinking a couple of cups of water and relaxing for 20 minutes will stop the pain.
Digestive System: Drinking even the minimum amount requirements of water during the day will help keep your colon healthy and reduce the risk of colon cancer, because water helps the digestive system operate the way it is meant to operate. One study found that women who drank more than 5 glasses of water a day had a risk of colon cancer 45% less than those that drank less than two.
Important: Many people are dehydrated without even knowing it. You are probably asking, “How do I tell if I am dehydrated?” The easiest way is to check out the color of your urine. Your urine should be a pale color (clear to light yellow). If it is any darker than the color of straw, you are probably not drinking enough water daily. NOTE: Bright yellow urine could also occur if you are taking vitamins that contain riboflavin.
If you feel thirsty, you are probably dehydrated. Other symptoms of dehydration include headaches, loss of concentration, tiredness, and dry eyes and skin. You need to continually drink water throughout the day, rather than when you body cries out for liquid. If you are thirsty, you have allowed yourself to become dehydrated. Do not wait until you are thirsty to drink water – drink it during the day! Dehydration also gives you false hunger feelings so it is very common to misread what is thirst and what is hunger.
Dangers of too much water – Overhydration can be hazardous, even lethal: There are dangers from drinking too much water. According to the article, “Hydration for summer exercise”, July 2008 issue of Harvard Men’s Health Watch, drinking 3 or 4 quarts of water in a few hours can lead to water intoxication and hyponatremia (low blood sodium levels), brain swelling, and even death. This happen because too much water dilutes the sodium and other electrolytes found in the body to a point where normal body function (particularly brain functions) are adversely affect.
Diabetes: If you feel like your thirst in unquenchable, this could be a sign of diabetes, as many people do not realize that insatiable thirst is part of the diabetes profile. The thirst could be a clue that further testing is needed, and you should consult your doctor.
How much water to drink daily:
Now that I have hopefully convinced you of the benefits of drinking water for your skin and health, how much should your drink a day? The Mayo Clinic suggests using “8×8” as a guideline (see guideline below):
8 glasses (8 ounces each) = a minimum of 64 ounces of fluid (water) daily
You may need even more as exercising, hot weather, offices with exposure to central heating, air conditioning, and electrical equipment all cause your body to lose water. So remember, increased water output requires increased water input. You can count milk, juice, and other healthy beverages as part of your daily fluid total, but make sure that most of your daily fluid input is pure, clear water.
The overweight person needs more water than a thin one. The new rule for drinking water is to divide your weight by 2 equals the amount in ounces of water that your body needs per day (see example below). The more overweight you are, the more water your body needs daily.
160 pounds divided by 2 = 80 ounces
The water you drink should preferably be cold, as cold water is absorbed into the system more quickly than warm water. Some evidence suggests that drinking cold water can actually help burn calories.
How to increase daily water intake:
Drinking enough water during the day is very easy to do. Just make a few little changes in your habits, such as keeping a full bottle of water with you at all times, and also substituted water for soda, coffee, or juice. Alcoholic beverages and caffeinated drinks such as coffee, tea, and cola don’t count in your fluid intake as they have a diuretic effect that may deplete your body’s water supply. The sugars, coloring, and artificial flavoring in soda dramatically adds calories and helps you gain weight.
Make a conscious effort to always have water with your at all times – in the car, at your desk, in your purse, etc.
Sip your water to allow your body to absorb it slowly. Gulping water will only make your feel bloated. Your water consumption should be spread out throughout the day. It is not healthy to drink too much water at one time.
For sleeping comfort, it is probably a good idea to stop drinking water 3 hours before bedtime. I think you know why!
Do you think water is yucky?
Drinking other fluids will certainly help hydrate your body, the the extra calories, sugar, and additives are not needed. Try a slice of lemon or lime in the glass. You can also use flavored waters, but just make sure you read the labels first.
REMEMBER – Water is the Fountain of Youth no mater how old you are!