The Essentials of Proper Hydration - Oxygen Magazine

The Essentials of Proper Hydration

Don’t underestimate the importance of drinking enough H2O. Here’s why you need to stay hydrated.
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Nearly two-thirds of the human body is water, and water is essential to proper bodily function. It helps transport nutrients into cells and waste products out of cells. It’s necessary for all digestive, absorption, circulatory and excretory functions, as well as for assimilating water-soluble vitamins. Water also helps maintain proper body temperature.

And believe it or not, it even helps with fat loss. Think about it: If you’re dehydrated your body won’t function properly, and even mild dehydration can slow your metabolism by impairing your cells’ ability to metabolize glucose. This means the blood sugar delivered to cells that’s supposed to be used as energy won’t get used, and guess what happens next? It gets stored as fat.

Water also transports nutrients to and from cells, delivering blood sugar and vitamins when they’re needed for energy and cell repair, and shuttling away metabolic wastes to keep cells healthy and toxin-free. Clearly it’s in your best interest to drink plenty of water throughout the day, every day.

How to Stay Hydrated

Some people are confused about how much water to drink, especially when they first start a diet or training program. A typical person loses about two quarts of water daily just from breathing, urinating and sweating; add to that perspiration from the intense exercise you’ll get in the Oxygen 90-Day Challenge and you’ll be in need of some serious H20 intake.

The standard recommendation is to drink at least a half-gallon to one gallon a day of straight-up water. Around workouts, have one to two glasses beforehand, sip water frequently throughout your session and have at least one to two glasses afterward.

Besides plain water, decaffeinated teas and coffees are fine as long as they’re not loaded with sugar and creamer. But watch out for caffeinated products since caffeine dehydrates your cells. If you need the energy boost that caffeine provides, drink plenty of water afterward to counteract the effects.

Aside from beverages, fresh fruits and vegetables contain lots of water. Celery, leafy greens, mushrooms, squash, watermelon — all are great sources of water as well as fiber — give you a double dose of fat fighting!

Functions of Water in the Body

  • Improves endocrine and liver function
  • Cushions bones, organs and joints
  • Regulates body temperature
  • Decreases appetite
  • Flushes cells of toxins and wastes
  • Metabolizes food
  • Transports nutrients
  • Decreases bloating
  • Helps you feel full

Hungry or Thirsty?

Did you know that thirst is often confused for hunger? Next time you feel like you’re starving, have a few glasses of water and wait 20 minutes. If the hunger goes away, you’ll know you were simply thirsty. If you’re still hungry, opt for a healthy snack that’s rich in nutrients.

A Few Fun Facts About Water

  • Water is the most common substance on earth.
  • Pure water has a neutral pH of 7, which is neither acidic nor basic.
  • Your brain is 70 percent water.
  • By the time you feel thirsty, you’ve lost 1 percent of your total water.
  • 6,800 gallons of water is required to grow a day’s food for a family of four.
  • It takes 20 gallons of water to create one pint of beer.
  • A jellyfish is 95 percent water; so is a cucumber.
  • A person can live only one week without water but can live a month without food.

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