It’s Hot Out! Drink More Water In the Summer Heat
For the last couple of days, the weather in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area has been experiencing a heat wave just like so many other areas of the country.
When it is hot outside, I make sure that I have plenty of water in the water bottle that I carry with me.
Why? Because water is healthy for me.
You might not feel that this is a good enough reason to drink water. Maybe this will seem like a better reason for you.
Water makes up about two thirds of our body. Without water we would not be able to survive.
Every day our body loses water in normal processing, in chemical reactions, when we go to the bathroom (both urination and defecation), sweating, and small amounts each time we exhale.
Water is important for temperature regulation, lubricating your joints, protecting our spinal cord and other sensitive tissue, and as I stated earlier, removing waste from the body.
It is important for us to drink water or eat foods that our bodies can convert to water, every day.
When the weather is extremely hot our bodies lose water faster than it normally does. When we are exercising we lose water faster too.
If you're exercising when the weather is hot, it is even more important to make sure water is part of your daily routine. This means drinking water even when you don’t feel thirsty.
In naturopathic school we learned that our thirst sensors may not be sensitive enough to let us know that we want something to drink at the moment that we need more water. Instead the sensors are designed to give us signals that we are thirsty when our levels of water begin to affect our body’s normal processing.
Hydration comes from drinking water or something that adds water content to your body.
Fluids that contain caffeine can act as a diuretic and cause your body to lose water content instead of gain water, especially if you are drinking more than 40 ounces per day.
Sodas (regular or diet), coffee or teas that have caffeine should not be considered hydrating, especially during the hot weather.
According to the Institute of Medicine women need about nine cups of fluid and for men it is about 13 cups of fluid daily.
During the summer months enjoy the weather and stay hydrated by drinking water every day, thirsty or not.
"Nutrition for Everyone: Basics: Water | DNPAO | CDC." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 June 2012.
"Water in diet: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia." National Library of Medicine - National Institutes of Health. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 June 2012.
"Water: How much should you drink every day? ." Mayo Clinic. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 June 2012.
Reviewed June 21, 2012
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith
Drinking Water for Wrinkled Skin
Drinking water is an important part of maintaining your health, but as you get older, your body loses its ability to retain as much moisture. This can lead to dehydration, which will make your wrinkles more noticeable. Dry skin is less able to repair itself and generate new cells, which can cause the signs of aging to worsen. Hydrating your body both inside and out can improve the look of wrinkles.
Your skin undergoes many changes as you age. Its production of collagen slows down, which causes your complexion to lose its bounce and firmness. Less collagen results in a loss of elastin and hyaluronic acid, and these help your skin to ward off damage and retain moisture, respectively. Environmental and lifestyle factors, such as sun exposure and smoking, also start to catch up with you as you get older, and all of these can cause wrinkles and fine lines to crop up.
Effects of Moisture Loss
When your skin loses moisture, it can become cracked or flaky and may need topical products to help treat it. Dry skin looks unhealthy and saps your cells of moisture, causing them to shrivel up and making your wrinkles more prominent. Water helps maintain the health and function of your body and skin, and an adequate daily intake will keep your cells working properly, as well as help your skin look smoother and suppler.
Adequate Water Intake
The National Institutes of Health states that experts recommend you consume eight 8-ounce cups of water per day. You may need more if you exercise or sweat frequently, or if you live in a dry climate or take certain kinds of medication. Talk to your doctor if you are unsure about your daily water intake.
While drinking water can improve the look of your skin, additional steps should be taken to help lessen your wrinkles. Aging Skin Net recommends eating a balanced diet that contains fruits, vegetables, whole grains and protein to maintain the health of your skin. The website also advises applying sunscreen daily and avoiding excessive sun exposure, which can increase the rate at which your skin ages.
The American College of Sports Medicine states that as you get older, your body is less able to sense when you are thirsty and in need of water, and dehydration can become a concern. Conversely, if you experience excessive thirst and frequent urination, you should discuss your symptoms with a doctor, in case you have a more serious medical condition.
For a long time, drinking water has been thought to help with weight loss.
In fact, 30–59% of US adults who try to lose weight increase their water intake.
Many studies show that drinking more water may benefit weight loss and maintenance.
This article explains how drinking water can help you lose weight.
Drinking Water Can Make You Burn More Calories
Most of the studies listed below looked at the effect of drinking one, 0.5 liter (17 oz) serving of water.
Drinking water increases the amount of calories you burn, which is known as resting energy expenditure.
In adults, resting energy expenditure has been shown to increase by 24–30% within 10 minutes of drinking water. This lasts at least 60 minutes.
Supporting this, one study of overweight and obese children found a 25% increase in resting energy expenditure after drinking cold water.
A study of overweight women examined the effects of increasing water intake to over 1 liter (34 oz) per day. They found that over a 12-month period, this resulted in an extra 2 kg (4.4 lbs) of weight loss.
Since these women didn’t make any lifestyle changes except to drink more water, these results are very impressive.
Additionally, both of these studies indicate that drinking 0.5 liters (17 oz) of water results in an extra 23 calories burned. On a yearly basis, that sums up to roughly 17,000 calories — or over 2 kg (4.4 lbs) of fat.
Several other studies have monitored overweight people who drank 1-1.5 liters (34–50 oz) of water daily for a few weeks. They found a significant reduction in weight, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference and body fat.
These results may be even more impressive when the water is cold. When you drink cold water, your body uses extra calories to warm the water up to body temperature.
Bottom Line: Drinking 0.5 liters (17 oz) of water may increase the amount of calories burned for at least an hour. Some studies show that this can lead to modest weight loss.
Drinking Water Before Meals Can Reduce Appetite
Some people claim that drinking water before a meal reduces appetite.
There actually seems to be some truth behind this, but almost exclusively in middle-aged and older adults.
Studies of older adults have shown that drinking water before each meal may increase weight loss by 2 kg (4.4 lbs) over a 12-week period.
In one study, middle-aged overweight and obese participants who drank water before each meal lost 44% more weight, compared to a group that did not drink more water.
Another study also showed that drinking water before breakfast reduced the amount of calories consumed during the meal by 13%.
Although this may be very beneficial for middle-aged and older people, studies of younger individuals have not shown the same impressive reduction in calorie intake.
Bottom Line: Drinking water before meals may reduce appetite in middle-aged and older individuals. This decreases calorie intake, leading to weight loss.
Drinking More Water is Linked to Reduced Calorie Intake and a Lower Risk of Weight Gain
Since water is naturally calorie-free, it is generally linked with reduced calorie intake.
This is mainly because you then drink water instead of other beverages, which are often high in calories and sugar.
Observational studies have shown that people who drink mostly water have up to a 9% (or 200 calories) lower calorie intake, on average.
Drinking water may also help prevent long-term weight gain. In general, the average person gains about 1.45 kg (3.2 lbs) every 4 years.
This amount may be reduced by:
A recent, school-based study aimed to reduce obesity rates by encouraging children to drink water. They installed water fountains in 17 schools and provided classroom lessons about water consumption for 2nd and 3rd graders.
After one school year, the risk of obesity had been reduced by a whopping 31% in the schools where water intake was increased.
Bottom Line: Drinking more water may lead to decreased calorie intake and reduce the risk of long-term weight gain and obesity, especially in children.
How Much Water Should You Drink?
Many health authorities recommend drinking eight, 8-oz glasses of water (about 2 liters) per day.
However, this number is completely random. As with so many things, water requirements depend entirely on the individual.
For example, people who sweat a lot or exercise regularly may need more water than those who are not very active.
Older people and breast-feeding mothers also need to monitor their water intake more closely.
Keep in mind that you also get water from many foods and beverages, such as coffee, tea, meat, fish, milk, and especially fruits and vegetables.
As a good rule of thumb, you should always drink water when you’re thirsty, and drink enough to quench your thirst.
If you find you have a headache, are in a bad mood, are constantly hungry or have trouble concentrating, then you may suffer from mild dehydration. Drinking more water may help fix this.
Based on the studies, drinking 1-2 liters of water per day should be sufficient to help with weight loss.
Here’s how much water you should drink, in different measurements:
Also, it is not recommended to drink too much water either, as it may cause water toxicity. This has even caused death in extreme cases, such as during water drinking contests.
By Adda Bjarnadottir, MS |
Fighting Gout With Skim Milk and Water
There's a new reason to drink plenty of water and skim milk: Both may help to prevent painful gout attacks, new studies show.
"With gout, we spend a lot of time telling patients what they can't do -- to avoid beer and red meat, for example," says University of Auckland rheumatologist Nicola Dalbeth, MD, who headed the milk study.
"It's useful to have something we can tell them they can do" to help control their disease, she tells WebMD.
The studies were presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology.
Gout, a type of arthritis that occurs most frequently in overweight, middle-aged men, is caused by the buildup of uric acid and needle-like crystals in the joints.
While there is certainly a genetic link to the disease, there is no question that lifestyle is a key contributing factor.
One recently identified trigger for the painful attacks is dehydration. So researchers set out to determine if drinking water could be an antidote.
Using ads on Google, the researchers recruited 535 people who said they had a gout attack within the past year. Participants' medical records were used to confirm the diagnosis.
Within two days of an attack, participants logged onto a special web site and answered questions about what they ate and drank in the 24 hours preceding the attack. Then, they were asked to log in another time, when they were gout-free, and answer the same questions.
Reducing Risk of Gout's Return
Results showed the more water they drank, the lower their risk of recurrent gout attacks. "For example, having five to eight glasses of water in the past 24 hours was associated with a 40% lower risk of having a gout attack, compared with drinking none or one glass of water in the past day," says Tuhina Neogi, MD, PhD, assistant professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine.
Neogi stresses that people with gout shouldn't substitute water for other treatments their doctors prescribe.
"But this suggests that dehydration may indeed be an important trigger for gout attacks, and that drinking water may be a simple intervention to help reduce the risk of recurrent attacks," she tells WebMD.
So she and colleagues decided to study the effects of skim milk on blood uric acid concentrations, which, when elevated, raise the risk of gout.
The researchers collected blood and urine samples from 16 volunteers immediately before they drank soy or skim milk and then hourly over a three-hour period.
Results showed that after they drank soy milk, levels of uric acid rose 10% over a three-hour period. Drinking skim milk led to a 10% drop in uric acid levels. In comparison, Zyloprim, a standard medication used to treat gout, results in a 20% to 30% drop in uric acid, Dalbeth tells WebMD.
She credits a substance in skim milk called orotic acid that promotes uric acid removal by the kidneys.
By Charlene Laino
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD
WebMD News Archive
Oct. 19, 2009 (Philadelphia)
10 Benefits of Using a Water Filter
1. Water filters provide better tasting and better smelling drinking water by removing chlorine and bacterial contaminants.
2. Point-of-use water filters remove lead from drinking water immediately prior to consumption, thus preventing this harmful substance from entering the body.
3. The purchase of a counter top filter results in a source of clean, healthy water that costs much less than bottled water.
4. Water filters greatly reduce the risk of rectal cancer, colon cancer, and bladder cancer by removing chlorine and chlorine byproducts from drinking water.
5. A solid block carbon water filter can selectively remove dangerous contaminants from drinking water while retaining healthy mineral deposits that balance the pH of drinking water.
6. Drinking clean, filtered water protects the body from disease and leads to overall greater health.
7. A water filter provides clean, healthy water for cooking, as well as drinking, at the convenience of tap water.
8. Water filters reduce the risk of gastrointestinal disease by more than 33 percent by removing cryptosporidium and giardia from drinking water.
9. Drinking pure water is especially important for children. Water filters provide the healthiest water for children’s developing immune systems.
10. Water filters offer the last line of defense between the body and the over 2100 known toxins that may be present in drinking water.
Blue Thumb Facts. 1992. Total Health, 14 (5), 28.
Zanecosky, Althea. 2004. Water works. Scholastic Choices, 20 (1).
20 Ways to Boost Circulation
Nothing slows you down quite like poor blood circulation does. If you aren’t getting enough oxygen to your cells, in an effective and efficient way, then you’ll most likely feel sluggish, look worn and tired, and perhaps even be covering a more serious problem – one that could indicate cardiovascular disease. To boost your energy levels, tone your body, and feel a whole lot like a kid again, get your life force energy flow on with these 20 natural circulation-boosting tips.
Ingest Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper contains the chemical compound capsaicin, which may help to reduce cholesterol and clear arteries and blood vessels. Dash the ground pepper over sautéed dishes as well as into teas, soups, and juices. To target a more specific area of the body where you experience poor circulation, mix ground cayenne pepper with enough water so that it forms a paste. Spread the paste thinly on a cheese cloth and wrap the cloth around the troubled area. In case of a burning sensation, add some olive oil to the paste to relieve the intensity.
Dry Brush Daily
Dry skin brushing invigorates the skin, increasing blood supply to the areas brushed and bringing them oxygen and increased circulation. This ritual also warms you up on a cold winter morning!
To dry brush most effectively, brush in upward, circular motions toward your heart. Move the brush in a clockwise manner and go over each area of skin twice. Focus on the neck, behind the knees, under the arms, and general groin area for greatest results. Also focus on your lower butt and thighs to reduce cellulite.
Take Hot-Cold C0ntrast Showers
Contrast showers are showers that alternate between hot and cold water. When cold water is running, the lymph vessels contract, and when hot water is running, they dilate. This creates a pump effect that contributes to increased lymph drainage and blood flow in the veins.
Get Regular Massages
Massage therapy helps to release contracted muscles, which in turn pushes blood towards the heart and relieves strain. Schedule a regular massage, at least once a month, to enjoyably increase your blood circulation. What better excuse than for health reasons?
A healthy diet, one that includes high alkaline foods – plenty of fruits and vegetables – will increase oxygen supply to your blood and improve overall blood circulation. This almost goes without saying.
Ginkgo Biloba is used in Germany to treat varicose veins and is widely known for its ability to improve memory by increasing blood flow to the brain. The herb strengthens blood vessels and is anti-inflammatory.
Rebounding encourages collateral circulation, which is the formation of branch blood vessels that distribute blood to the heart. It does this by increasing the capillary count in the muscles and reducing the distance between capillaries and target cells. That’s something to jump for!
Stay hydrated and your blood will flow better. The levels of oxygen in the bloodstream are greater when the body is well hydrated.
Increase Dietary Fiber Intake
A high-fiber diet contributes to a healthy circulatory system. High-fiber foods promote the production of propionic acid in the intestines. This acid reduces bile in the intestines and stops cholesterol build-up. Lower cholesterol levels reduce plaque in the arteries and lead to better circulation.
Raise Your Intake of Garlic
Garlic is widely known to reduce cholesterol levels, cleanse the blood, tone the heart, improve the circulatory system, and prevent heart disease.
Use an Infrared Sauna
The infrared sauna is a powerful tool. Infrared rays penetrate the skin a few inches deep, heating the body from the inside out, while ambient temperature stays relatively cool. A sauna session dilates your arteries, gets your heart to beat faster, and burns calories.
Eat Foods With Vitamin C
Low levels of vitamin C are associated with the narrowing of the arteries supplying blood to the legs. Without an adequate supply of vitamin C, atherosclerosis can develop and plaque can accumulate in the blood. Vitamin C also helps to keep arteries flexible.
Add Lemon To Your Diet
Lemons contain citrate, which naturally improves circulation. Oranges and grapefruit also contain citrate and have the same effect. Upon waking, squeeze lemon juice into water or tea to reap the benefits first thing in the morning.
Use Heat Therapies
Heat treatments increase the flexibility of tissues, remove toxins from cells, and enhance blood flow. Hot packs, hot water bottles, and heating pads are popular and effective ways to treat an area of the body with poor circulation.
When the body and mind are relaxed, so are the capillaries and muscles. This allows for easier blood flow and overall proper circulation. Blood pressure also decreases. Practice yoga or take a moment everyday to do breathing practices, meditate, or to take a quiet walk.
Stretching allows for more muscle blood flow, which can prevent from injury and keep your body flexible. Join a yoga class with a friend or spend a few minutes each morning stretching.
Eat Foods With Vitamin E
Vitamin E widens blood vessels to allow for the easy transit of blood through them. It prevents clotting and helps in the creation of red blood cells.
Take Omega-3s For Heart Health
Omega-3 fatty acids lower fibrin in the blood. Fibrin contributes to the formation of blood clots, and studies prove that omega-3 fatty acids can prevent this from happening.
Embrace Dark Chocolate
Chocolate contains antioxidants called flavonoids, which boost circulation. In a 2003 Harvard study featured in the Journey of Hypertension, there was significant vasodilation among adults after four days of consuming chocolate.
Get Shut Eye
This tip can’t be stressed enough – it’s panacea for just about every ailment! Adequate sleep reduces tension in the body, allows the muscles to relax, and promotes detoxification and lymph drainage. All of these lead to better circulation.
by Aylin Erman
GREAT TIPS FOR MAINTAINING HEALTHY NAILS
When nails lose the moisture they need they naturally become weak and frail causing easily damaged nails.
To avoid this, particularly in winter, it’s important to stay well hydrated and the best way to do so is to drink more water.
Doctors recommend drink at least eight glasses of water or more to stay properly hydrated throughout the day.
Give your nails some breathing room and time by taking a break from nail polish and your regular manicures.
Some nail polishes contain chemicals like acetone and formaldehyde that can erode your nails natural protein layer that helps to protect your nails.
Applying polish too often can also cause nail discoloration, leaving behind an awful yellow tinge on your nails.
Avoid any nail polish removers with acetone or formaldehyde as they are too harsh for nails and can cause nails to dry out, leaving them brittle and prone to breakage.
Instead, opt for acetate formula removers to clean off your polish and leave behind beautifully hydrated and fresh nails.
Switching up this simple step in your beauty routine can save your nails for healthier, stronger nails in the long run.
Acrylic nails can weaken your real nails.
Although they look pretty, it’s best to refrain from getting them.
You can look just as fabulous with your natural nails.
Buy some gorgeous nail polish, and learn to steady your hand so you can create designs.
It won’t be long until you’ll forget all about your obsession with acrylic nails.
Drink More Water for Healthy Teeth
The summer is approaching…the 90 degree days outside will be here before you know it and you need a way to keep your kids and yourself hydrated. Soft drinks, juices and sports drinks are often convenient – but should be consumed in moderation because drinking too much could damage your teeth. Most of these drinks are loaded with sugar. A study printed in the journal General Dentistry in 2012, suggests that the acid in sports drinks could damage your tooth enamel (the outer protective layer of the tooth). Water is a better solution for healthy teeth.
Another study in the March/April 2013 issue of General Dentistry says the acid in carbonated diet soda also causes significant damage to your teeth if you drink too much. So it is not just the sugar that you need to think about.
The obvious healthy choice at the pool or beach is water. The best choice is to fill a reusable/refillable water bottle from your filtered sink or your water filtration unit. Not only will you and your kids be benefiting from drinking something healthy, you will be keeping more plastic out of the landfill.
If you do reach for a soft drink, sports drink or sugary lemonade, there are a couple things that can help protect your teeth. When you are done with the drink, you can rinse with some water or reach for some sugar-free gum and don’t forget about regular brushing and flossing – which can help rescue your teeth when you do indulge in something other than water.
Dr. BriAnna Schraw – Smiles by Design
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