That can of cola with your “healthy” salad lunch might be something that you look forward to, if you’re counting calories then you might even replace it with a diet cola, the fact is, a huge chunk of worldwide population is omitting the requisite water intake because of more appealing alternatives. Big brands in the soft-drink industry aren’t helping things either; they tend to dominate ad space, in print, television, even on the internet.
Overzealous marketing managers have been given a free hand in converting the presence of a soft drink into a sale. That doesn’t mean that your favorite cola or orange drink is something that must be avoided at all costs. The occasion soda won’t cause much harm, but as with all other things, the consumption needs to be moderated. People need to return to consuming water. They need to understand what the benefits of regular water consumption are. Here are some water facts that should shed some light on why increase in water consumption is a necessity.
It helps maintain fluid balance in your body
Over 60% of your body is made up of water. You’ve seen films with people dying of thirst while lost in a desert, while the mental image might be an extreme it is one that is very valid. Bodily fluids aid in absorption of nutrients, circulation of blood, saliva creation, digestion and even regulation of body temperature. With so many functions that keep individuals healthy, it is a wonder that so many people undermine the importance of water. When your body is going low on water, the posterior pituitary gland communicates directly with the kidneys to decide how much water needs to be excreted. When the body is low in fluids, the brain tends to trigger the thirst mechanism, which calls for an increased intake of water. If thirst is quenched by other fluids then the chances of dehydration increase, in fact, the consumption of diuretics increases the frequency at which one would need to urinate, thus harming the body in the long run.
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- It helps you control calories
Water is the magic cure for obesity, according to a few self-taught dieters, but there is an actual scientific reason behind increasingly large numbers of people choosing it over a calorie-laden drink. Water is not a miracle drug that will burn your calories away; however, the importance of water as a substitute to your can of cola cannot be belittled. By replacing your soft-drink with water, your calorie intake is automatically lower. There are other benefits as well; most sugary drinks when consumed excessively can cause diabetes, they can also cause an electrolyte imbalance, affecting the way your body functions. There are some studies that even state that consumption of these drinks might be more harmful than originally thought because of the increased use of additives. Calorie counting can also be aided by eating water-rich food. As these foods seem to feel heavier than other types of food, yet retain a lower calorie value, they might help in ensuring that you adhere to your diet. These foods also tend to look larger, and the increased volume requires more effort in the chewing and digestive process, which ensures you consume less while still feeling full. Foods rich in water are fruits, vegetables, beans, oatmeal and broth-based soups.
- Water Helps Energize Muscles
If your intake of water is insufficient, then the effects of low intake are obvious in your body. When individual cells are unable to maintain the balance between electrolytes and body fluids they shrivel. This can result in muscle fatigue. Athletes prone to exerting great strain on their muscular systems always ensure that their water intake is adequate for the workout they have planned. When water intake is inadequate, it can lead to cramp and more serious muscular injury like muscle-tears. Performance can also go down as a result of inadequate fluid intake. As far as water facts go while exercising, most fitness trainers would recommend consuming at least a half-liter of water or other supplementary fluid at least two hours before the exercise regime to ensure optimum performance. While exercising, regular intake of fluids will help prevent cramp and other muscular injuries while also aiding in a better recovery time.
Also read: Warm Water is the healthy way to go!
- It’s great for your skin
Your skin contains plenty of water, and functions as a protective barrier to prevent excess fluid loss. But don’t expect over-hydration to erase wrinkles or fine lines, says Atlanta dermatologist Kenneth Ellner, MD.
The skin has a lot of water and protects your body from most external irritants and diseases. It also serves as a barrier in some situations, preventing excessive fluid loss. Dehydration makes your skin look dry and wrinkled; the only way to resolve this and look healthy is to supplement your body with the required quantity of water. This cannot harm you as when the water levels get too high, your kidneys will help excrete the excess water with ease, bringing balance to the body.
- It’s helpful with toxins too
Your kidneys are vital to ensure your survival. If your water intake is low or non-existent then you are contributing to slowly poisoning your body. In warmer climates, this can also lead to formation of kidney stones, which can be extremely painful. Long term damage could mean the end of your ability to rid your body of toxins. If your water intake is high, then your urine will be light in color and odor, which is healthy for the body.
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- Your bowel function gets better
Water serves an important function in proper bowel movement. When interspersed with a good fibrous diet, bowel movements are regulated, and consistency is never an issue. If the water intake is not proper, then it can lead to constipation.
Water is essential for your bodily functions, replacing that can of cola is the first step towards attaining better health. By increasing your water intake, you are aiding your body in its fight for survival, a cause you should take very seriously.