August 6, 2012
Did you know that the average person loses 10 cups of water each day just by breathing, perspiring, and using the bathroom? Yet, a recent survey conducted by the International Bottled Water Association found that most Americans drink no more than 5 cups of water a day. While additional water is absorbed from the foods we eat, the math still doesn't add up, especially when many people counteract their intake of water by consuming caffeine-filled teas, coffees, or sodas, which inhibit the reabsorption of water. It's no wonder that a Cornell University survey showed that 75 percent of Americans are chronically dehydrated!
Even mild dehydration, such as a 2 percent drop in body water, can produce problems, including memory deficits, an inability to focus, and daytime fatigue. Some subtle signs of dehydration include dry lips, dark colored urine, muscle or joint soreness, headaches, crankiness, fatigue, and constipation. Ironically, if you don't drink enough water, your body senses trouble and begins to hang on to every bit of water it can. If you fail to hydrate your body, it stores water between cells and you end up carrying excess water weight.
To make matters worse, if you are dehydrated, your body stores more fat. Why? Without water, your kidneys are forced to call on the liver to help perform their functions. This keeps the liver from being able to burn as much fat as it normally would, so the fat gets deposited - often around the belly. In addition to reducing fat deposits and ridding the body of toxins, consuming generous amounts of water is an effective way to reduce cravings. Because water is a natural appetite suppressant and helps you feel full, you may not feel hungry if you drink it regularly throughout the day.
Still not convinced? Keep in mind that water is a powerful tool for a clear, beautiful complexion. Your body prioritizes where the water goes, and since vital organs take precedence, your skin is last on the list. If you fail to drink enough water, your skin will suffer more than any other part of your body. Being well hydrated also helps reduce constipation and, because water allows for efficient elimination, has even been shown to decrease the risk of colon cancer by 45 percent. Furthermore, a 2002 study concluded that a daily intake of at least five glasses of water cut the risk of heart disease in half!