The Case to up Your Daily Intake

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Water is everywhere in life, and it is directly connected to our health. How much water is enough water has been a topic of discussion for a while, but there are scientific facts to support drinking eight eight-ounce glasses (about two liters) of water a day.

Our bodies are made of 60 percent water, which means that it’s crucial to maintain a consistent level. Different things cause our bodies to lose water throughout the day. Water is used in digestion, absorption, circulation, body temperature control through sweat and more. When the supply of water in our bodies is running low our brains will activate the thirst response, which is generated by the hypothalamus and causes a release of an anti-diuretic hormone to prevent any further water loss from the body. This means that it is really time to get something to drink, so listen to your body.

For everyone still trying to hold onto their New Year’s resolution of losing weight, water can help. Swapping out your favorite soda for water helps reduce sugar and empty calorie intake while still keeping you hydrated. Water in food is also a factor in weight loss because it fills your stomach, but is completely calorie free. “Water-rich foods are healthier, more filling and help you trim calorie intake,” said Penn State researcher Barbara Rolls, Ph.D., author of “The Volumetrics Weight-Control Plan”. These water-rich foods include vegetables, fruits, beans and more.

Our bodies can also send false signals. More often than not, when you are wanting a snack you are actually thirsty. Instead of grabbing another treat, drink a bottle of water and see if you are still hungry after. I have found this to be a great way of keeping calories in check and staying on target with how much water I drink.

There is a reason almost everyone at the gym has water with them. Water also helps keep muscles energized and helps with fighting fatigue. I don’t work well when I am low on fuel. It is the same with your muscles. When muscles don’t have enough fluids, they don’t perform as well. Drinking water is also important when working out because the water loss through sweating needs to be made up. It is recommended to drink at regular intervals while exercising.

Drinking the proper amount of water can help keep your skin clear. Water will not be the miracle elixir to make all your skin problems go away, but it can help. Being dehydrated makes your skin appear dry and more wrinkled, and drinking enough water helps fix that. Keeping yourself hydrated also creates a barrier to keep moisture in and other unwanted particles out, which can help in keeping your skin clear of acne.

There are plenty of reasons to drink water, but how do you know if you are drinking enough? Turns out, going to the bathroom can tell you how you are doing in terms of hydration. If you are drinking enough urine should flow freely, be light in color and have no odor. Look in the bowl next time to see if you are in need of some healthy fluids.

Try keeping track of how many ounces you are drinking. There are now a lot of apps that can help you track what you drink throughout the day to keep you meeting your goals. Having a water bottle with numeric labels is also helpful. That way you know the specific volumes of what you drink and stay on track.

No matter what, water is important for our health. It’s essential. We can’t live without it and our bodies need a little help staying balanced and maintaining fluid levels, and there are some noticeable benefits for doing so. Drink water for the calorie control, do it for the clear skin, drink while working out or do it just because it is good for you. No matter what, water should always be the drink of choice.

letters@chronicle.utah.edu

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