Quick! I need a drink!
No, not that kind. I mean a drink of water. H2O. We all need a drink of water. According to all the experts we’re supposed to be drinking a minimum of 8 glasses (2.4 litres) of water a day. And when we’re active, even more.
Why do we need all this water? Our bodies are made up of at least 60 – 70% water. It’s part of our blood and tissue and bones. It helps transport nutrients, keeps all our systems working, including digestive and nervous systems, and we’d die without it.
Other benefits of water
One important benefit of water when watching your weight is that when you are drinking you are not eating! At least you shouldn’t be. For WLS patients it’s a major rule not to drink when eating or for at least an hour after eating. It washes the food out of your stomach too quickly and you never feel full. If you’re not a WLS patient it still holds true that you shouldn’t drink while eating. If the mix in your stomach is too liquidy the gastric juices can’t do their job as well and break down the food the ways it should be. Waiting and drinking water between meals – again, at least an hour after – helps wash everything through your system and keeps things moving.
Being hydrated before eating is also very important. If you drink before meals, say between 30 minutes and an hour, that water is effectively recycled into your stomach in the mucosal lining and protects the stomach wall as digestion takes place. And it helps regulate the process of creating hydrochloric acid being released into the gut for digestion.
The other thing to keep in mind is that when we are well hydrated we have more energy. Just think about how you feel on a really hot summer day when you’ve been sweating a lot and really thirsty. You feel tired and dragged out and low on energy. Water helps keep you energized and actually helps to keep your metabolism high. High metabolism is a BIG boost to keeping weight down or off.
But seriously, how many of us really stick to this creed of 8 glasses a day? This has been a sticking point for me most of my life. In my other life, before I was thinking about what was healthy, I might get in 8 glasses of liquid a day but it usually wasn’t water. Soda, or diet soda, juice, Crystal Lite, coffee, but seldom water.
Anything else besides water?
Definitely not soda , it has tons of sugar – very bad on so many levels (please watch the video I posted about sugar and your metabolism). So most of us on “diets”, or watching our sugar intake, might choose diet soda instead. The problem with diet sodas or Crystal Lite is the artificial sweeteners. Studies now show that artificial sweeteners make us prone to eat more. The sweet taste fools our bodies into thinking that a load of calories are coming down the pike and when they don’t appear it starts demanding those calories. So we eat more often and then we overeat. For WLS patients artificial sweeteners are especially bad because they play havoc with our digestive system and can produce major ahem, gas problems.
More on Aspartame…
Coffee is a diuretic and excites our adrenal glands. Juice is natural but is high in sugar without the fiber of the whole fruit to balance that out. I’d rather have the fruit myself.
Making water more appealing
So it comes down to water. The most natural and healthy way to keep our bodies hydrated. But wait, I don’t like the taste of water except when I’m really thirsty. And water gives me a stomach ache sometimes. Really, you say? Yup, I think it’s genetic, my sister has the same problem.
So what do I do? It took me awhile to come up with a solution that works for me. I find that if I put a little lemon or lime or cucumber in my water that it tastes better. Not only does it taste better but cucumber is a natural diuretic and it helps soothe the digestive tract. When you want to lose weight you don’t want to be retaining fluids. A pitcher of cool water with cucumber slices is so refreshing and it soothes my tummy rather than upsetting it.
I also use the flavored stevia liquids and add a couple drops of those to my water, like valencia orange or my favorite, root beer. The other solution for me is hot herbal tea in the winter and cold herbal tea in the summer. I choose the kinds that don’t need to be sweetened like Good Earth Spice or Pomegranate, or my favorite, Licorice Spice.
Ahhhhh, give me a drink…
Any other ideas out there?