All Entries For water
As a whole, we are made up of 70% water. Water regulates every function in our bodies. Water flushes out waste and toxins. It also transports all the necessary nutrients we need to look and feel good. It flushes out impurities in the skin; when skin cells are hydrated, they plump up to give you a good complexion. Also, muscles that are hydrated look more toned because they are made of 70% water. Not drinking enough water is similar to depriving that less-than-vibrant plant you water every few weeks. The plant will survive, but at what expense. Read More ›
Did you know a hunger cue is the same as a thirst cue? It’s true. And it’s another eye-opening tip I provided the Avagliano family. Because the signal your body sends when it wants a tall glass of water can be mistaken for the sign it sends when you need a snack, you have to react wisely to save yourself hundreds of calories. Your best bet: have a drink first, wait to see if you’re satisfied and then eat if you are still hungry.
You can avoid cue-confusion by staying hydrated in general. How much water should you be drinking every day? According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association) Complete Food and Nutrition Guide, the average adult loses about 10 cups of water daily. You’ll need to replenish at least this. If you are a smaller person, you may need less. If you’re a bigger person or you’re sweating a lot due to exercise or the weather then you’ll need more. Read More ›
A few decades ago, Americans consumed less than 10% of their daily calories in the form of drinks, but today we get 21% of our calories from beverages. For someone eating 2,000 calories a day, that's 420 calories a day in the form of drinks!
When you're trying to lose weight, you have fewer calories in your "budget" each day, which means you need to make all of them count. Those "empty" calories from sugary beverages are an easy place to cut back.
That said, one of the most common questions new SparkPeople members have is "Do drinks like coffee, tea or diet soda count toward my daily water quota?"
SparkPeople recommends eight to twelve cups of water daily, but for some people, drinking that much water can be difficult. Fruit juices, milk, teas and decaf coffee also count, as do flavored (unsweetened) waters, carbonated water, and water with fruit or herbs. So, yes, you can drink beverages other than water to meet your hydration needs, but there are a few things to consider before you start sipping.
Caffeinated beverages can actually increase your need for more water and dehydrate the body (caffeine is a diuretic) so a lot of caffeinated coffee or soda will not quench your thirst.
Artificially sweetened drinks, including diet sodas, can also count toward your quota. However, we recommend no more than four servings (32 ounces) of artificially sweetened beverages daily.
If you struggle to control your sweet tooth, you might want to avoid diet drinks. Preliminary studies suggest that high intakes of artificial sweeteners might affect appetite control (i.e. by eating more sweet foods—artificially sweetened or not—you crave more of them). Individuals who want to use artificial sweeteners should do so within the context of a sensible weight-management program that includes a balanced diet and regular exercise.
My personal opinion, particularly for people trying to lose weight, is to drink plain water whenever possible. I feel it helps to cleanse the body when weight loss and fat breakdown is occurring. I also know that it helps to keep the hands and mouth busy, to reduce the urge to snack. This is a form of behavior modification that can help break old habits (such as mindless eating) and replace them with ones (drinking water when boredom hits). Most people report feeling better when they consume at least a few glasses of plain old H2O each day. If you're going to consume caffeinated beverages or diet drinks, consume as much or more water to balance them out.
Other caloric beverages, such as juice, sports drinks, and milk, can be part of a healthy diet. SparkPeople uses the guidelines set by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which were developed by the Beverage Guidance Panel in 2006. The experts on that panel stressed that a healthy diet should NOT rely on fluids to provide calorie or nutrient needs, and that water is necessary for metabolism and normal physiological function. In fact, water is the only fluid that the body truly needs.
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Water is the best thing you can give your kids to drink during the hot summer days. But how do you get them to drink it? How do you get them to chug down plain old water at the pool when they're surrounded by other kids guzzling down sugary juice boxes? How do you get your hard-playing child to drink water instead of sugar-laden sports drinks? How do you expect them to get a bottle of water at the baseball game instead of a cold, fizzy soda?
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In general, SparkPeople recommends that people drink eight (8-ounce) cups of water each day. But you might be surprised to know that there is no scientific evidence that everyone needs eight cups of water per day. In fact, most experts aren't even sure exactly where that recommendation came from. One source of this myth might be a 1945 article from the National Research Council, part of the National Academy of Sciences, which noted that a "suitable allowance" of water for adults is 2.5 liters a day, although much of that already comes from water in the foods that you eat.
So why does SparkPeople emphasize water drinking? Here are a few reasons:
• Most people today drink way too many of their calories from other beverages like soda, juice, flavored coffees and teas, sports drinks, fruit drinks, artificially sweetened drinks, etc. Drinking eight cups of plain water a day—in place of, not in addition to—these caloric beverages can help with weight management. Plus, most of these beverages don't offer any health benefits, while water does.
• Starting a healthy lifestyle can be overwhelming. Even if you can't exercise five times a week, for example, you can probably still drink more water each day. By focusing on simpler goals like drinking water, you can begin to build momentum to reach other goals.
• When it comes to weight loss, which is a goal for most of our members, water can also help you feel fuller. Thirst is often mistaken for hunger, so drinking a cup of water at the first sign of hunger is a good way to determine whether you really need to eat.
• SparkPeople recommends a high-fiber diet. Drinking additional water can help promote regularity and prevent the cramping and discomfort that often comes when you begin eating more fiber.
• While you can get a lot of water from foods like water-rich fruits, vegetables, soups and more, following a reduced-calorie diet (for weight loss) means you're eating fewer foods in general. Eating less food means you're getting less water from food, so drinking plain water can help you meet your needs when food alone can't.
• SparkPeople recommends at least three cardio sessions per week. When you lose water through increased sweating, you need to replace it. Learn more about Drinking Water during Workouts.
• SparkPeople recommends one to three strength-training sessions each week to build lean muscle. Muscle is made up of mostly water, so the more you train, the greater your body's water needs will be.
Some people worry that they could be drinking too much water. Water intoxication results when a dehydrated person drinks too much water without any accompanying electrolytes. You usually need to drink a large volume of water in a very short period of time to be in danger of this, which is why it's not common. If you drink eight cups throughout the day, you should be fine.
So do you really need eight cups each day? Read More ›
One of the biggest changes I’ve made to my diet over the years was to increase the amount of water I drink. When I started working for SparkPeople over 7 years ago, I probably drank about 2 glasses of liquid a day (outside of exercise). I’d have a glass of orange juice for breakfast and a glass of milk for dinner, and that’s about it. Being surrounded by people who drank water throughout the day made me more conscious of how much I was having and the fact that I probably needed to be drinking a little more.
As soon as I started drinking more, I noticed a difference in my energy level and my mood. I felt better overall. I’m not saying that everyone needs to start chugging the H2O, but in my case, I think I was probably dehydrated most of the time. New research shows that not drinking enough could be affecting your mood and cognitive abilities. Read More ›
As I walked my kids to school today, I noticed that the leaves on the trees are beginning to change colors already. It reminds me that cooler temperatures and shorter days are coming and that I need to plan my strategy for exercise and healthy eating during these cooler and stormier months. There are several factors that I must take into consideration: how to get exercise when my kids, my work, the weather, and the flu season keep me from the gym. Our friends at Clorox recently shared some great tips that will help us all make healthy living a reality during the upcoming fall and winter seasons. I incorporated their tips into some of my own. Read More ›
The winners are: JEFFB62, CBONARRIGO, NANCYBRUMIT, BARBARAJ73, JANETJ, JDKJ49, PLMING, ACHIEVECHI, LOVEUNDERLINED, and APRILLSCOTT.
If you've spent any time at all on SparkPeople, you know that we like water. A lot. We drink upwards of 8 cups a day and encourage members to do the same. Water is an important of a healthy body--after all, our bodies are mostly water. (Read why we encourage people to drink up.)
So when Camelbak asked us to host a giveaway, we said yes! During long or hot runs, my Camelbak is my best friend. I can store my keys, ID, and cash in the convenient packet, and I don't have to worry about dehydration.
In addition to their super-cool water "backpacks," Camelbak has a new product: a reusable BPA-free water bottle with a built-in filter. The Groove, which costs $25, is, well, GROOVY! We love it!
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From our friends at Woman's Day
You’ve heard it before: Ditch the plastic water bottles for a reusable version. But with so many options out there it can be hard to choose. We did some research and came up with three dependable—and good looking—favorites, which are all BPA-free and contain built-in filters, which means that you can have drinkable tap water on hand anywhere you go! Read More ›
Hydration is something many of us take for granted, but it is even more important the more active we are. Water is one nutrient we cannot, nor should not forgo. While we can go for weeks without food, water is a whole different scenario. Without water, death can occur within days.
So why is hydration so important when it comes to running?
Water acts as a coolant when you are exercising. Think of the water within your body as the anti-freeze you put in your car. Sweating is the involuntary response that keeps your body from overheating. When you begin exercising your body's temperature begins to rise, this in turn triggers your brain to signal your sweat glands to increase sweat production to speed up the cooling off process.
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Club soda, seltzer, Perrier, San Pellegrino… I love it all. While most of my eight cups a day are plain old flat tap water, I do indulge in bubbly water whenever I can. It's just such a treat for my tongue.
I was thinking about buying an old-fashioned seltzer canister, but then I saw the Soda Stream on another blog. Bubbly water and better-for-you seltzers and sodas at home? I would be able to make bubbly water without feeling guilty for importing it from halfway around the world in a plastic bottle. I couldn't wait to check it out! Read More ›
I'm routinely asked why SparkPeople focuses so much on drinking water. The idea that you need to drink 8 glasses a day is a myth, right? Although the amount of water you should consume varies from person to person, there are a lot of reasons to make sure you're getting enough. If you're looking for a few, a new study confirms that water drinkers tend to have better diets. Read More ›
My mom is a bit of a germaphobe, and I've inherited some of her tendencies, like always opening the door of a public restroom with a paper towel upon exiting or touching door handles in public places in less conspicuous places (where others are least likely to have touched them). I do things like this all the time, but when it's cold and flu season, my radar for germs is on full-force. I don't know about where you live, but something is definitely going around Cincinnati!
Everywhere I've gone the past couple of weeks, I've encountered sniffling, coughing people. At the grocery store, in the gym, and even in my workplace! One of my Pilates clients, a regular whom I usually train twice a week, went missing for three weeks straight. Turns out she had the swine flu, as did each of her kids (and every kid she cares for in her at-home daycare business). That really hit home for me. Needless to say, I'm doing everything in my power to avoid germs right now. I simply do not want to get sick!
I had a recent conversation with Coach Tanya that I just had to share. I'm sure that our dailySpark readers, water connoisseurs that you are, will appreciate this one! Read More ›
For many runners, our biggest concern after injury, is becoming dehydrated, especially when temperatures start to sore and our mileage begins to creep up. While dehydration can be an issue, overhydration can be an even more dangerous issue, particularly in endurance athletes, such as marathon runners and tri-athletes.
Overhydration occurs when we drink too much water hence flooding our bloodstream with excess fluid. In doing so, we throw our electrolytes out of balance which can lead to deadly consequences if we do not recognize the warning signs early. And this issue does not just affect new runners. In an April 2005 report published in the New England Journal of Medicine, 13% of all runners who ran the Boston Marathon in 2002, had hyponatremia, or low blood sodium, due to overhydration. Read More ›
One of the roles I performed as a Clinical Dietitian was helping medical teams determine artificial nutrition needs for people when they had difficulty taking adequate food and fluids by mouth. Sometimes that nutrition and hydration support came in the form of a special IV formula and other times required a liquid formula combination delivered through a tube into the stomach or intestines. The goal was to provide adequate fluid and nutrition support following surgery or a prolonged illness so the patient could return to health as quickly as possible.
I have personally been on the other side of nutrition and hydration support decisions as well. When my sister-in-law was in intensive care on a ventilator for over five weeks, specialized IV support was vital and necessary to provide all of her nutrition and hydration needs. The need for nutrition and hydration support was straight forward because the care plan obviously intended to promote healing and restored health. The situation was different when my grandmother with Alzheimer's disease was no longer able to eat or drink sufficiently. The family conversations related to artificial nutrition and hydration were different as well. We had to take a deeper look at how we really felt about nutrition and hydration.
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