How mindful are you about your water intake? Are you in the habit of sipping water all day long, or is it an afterthought when your coffee cup is finally empty? I used to drink iced tea all day long. I was listening to my body’s cues for water and answering them with sugar. So I also carried an extra 40 lbs of weight and found myself slipping into a coma afternoon.
Once I got in the habit of staying hydrated all day long with just pure water, I realized how much more energy and mental alertness I had. Is thirst an adequate gauge for how much water you should be drinking? Perhaps not. I learned some very interesting things about this from a seminar hosted by herbalist Stephen Horne (www.treelite.com) called Healing with Herbs and Water.
- 66% of water loss is from inside cells.
- 26% is from lymphatic fluid.
- Only 8% from blood.
- THIRST is regulated by blood levels of water!
So if you’re not feeling your best, you may be dehydrated and not be aware of it. For example, are you diving into sweets or reaching for pop or sugary blended coffees to get you through the day?
- The brain is the most hydrated organ in the body, being 85% water.
- When dehydrated, the brain has to get more energy from food, which causes SUGAR CRAVINGS.
When you’re trying to lose weight, or keep the scale from creeping up, you will need to be well hydrated. Here’s why:
- Breakdown of fat (hydrolysis) is dependent on water and lipase (enzyme the body produces to break down fat)
- High insulin levels decrease lipase output. So even if you’re working out, if you’re eating sugar and processed foods that spike your blood sugar - you’re going to have a hard time burning fat. SUGAR=HIGHER INSULIN LEVELS=BODY STORES FAT
- Hydration may also increase leptin, a hormone that DECREASES HUNGER.
I like the sounds of that...feel less hungry and burn more fat. Pass the water, please!
- Start your day with a big glass of water and a little pinch of sea salt. BEFORE you drink any diuretics like coffee or black tea. Why the sea salt? Your blood and lymph are salty, so high quality sea salt will help you to replenish that. If you have low blood pressure, which I do, it really helps me with getting going in the morning. Think also about how much salt you lose when you’re perspiring during a workout or on a hot day. I have had numerous testimonials about how this habit has helped people with their energy. Of course if you have high blood pressure this tip is not for you. Try a bit of fresh lemon or parsley instead.
- Figure out how much daily water you will need based on your body weight. Generally ½ oz per pound. I like to convert that to litres. So a 150 lb person would need 75 oz per day. In metric this would be 2.2 L. Take into consideration your activity level and how much coffee or tea you’re drinking as you may need more than that. DO listen to your body and don’t force it down.
For a special treat, here is a link with tons of options for flavouring your water....
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The information shared in this newsletter is for educational purposes, to share research and anecdotes only. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health professional to determine what is right for you.