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Water

Nov 16, 2007
You've heard it from your personal trainer, you've heard it from your mother, and every summer during a heat wave, you probably heard it repeatedly from various media outlets: you need to drink more water. As much fun as it is to debunk myths, this particular maxim is all too true.

Your body is composed of over 70% water, and it constantly needs to refill its supply. "But," you say to yourself, "I drink enough water to keep from getting too thirsty. Isn't that enough?" Not necessarily. If you are serious about your fitness goals, you should be conscious of how much water you drink for a number of reasons.

For those looking to lose fat, proper water intake can actually help you metabolize fat better. If you are chronically dehydrated, you body will actually work to keep fat into to draw on its moisture. When there's plenty of water to go around inside your body, your fats cells are more likely to be burned off, because your body doesn't have any more use for them.

This might seem counter-intuitive, but not drinking enough water can actually lead to water retention. When you body senses that too water is coming in, it works to store and conserve every last millimeter that it can. When your body gets in this state drinking some water immediately saved as much as possible in your body. To break your system of this, you should down as much water as possible, causing your body to evacuate all excess water.

Dehydration is also a major culprit in causing your internal organs to not work at they peak level. The kidneys and liver in particular need a great deal of water to function properly. Burning off fat is one of the liver's main jobs, and if the kidneys aren't doing what they are supposed to do, the liver has to do some of their work for them. So when either of these organs are not properly performing, it makes is significantly more difficult to lose fat.

When you drink water, it's important that you actually drink water, not just any fluid. Coffee is a diuretic, meaning it actually steals water from the body, and soft drinks should be avoided whenever possible.

The high sugar content of most soft drinks means your body has to work extra hard to process it, which might actually take water out of your body. In fact, you actually have to down a few glasses of water to replace the fluid lost from drinking a single can of soda. Soft drinks can even interfere with your digestive system, making digestion more difficult and less efficient.

So exactly how much water should you drink? Generally, men should consume about three liters a day and women should consumer 2.2 liters a day. On days you exercise, you should drink a couple of cups more than this. If you happen to live in a particularly hot part of the country (like Southern California) or are fighting a cold, you should up your intake even more.
About the Author
Chris McCombs is a personal trainer with specialty in Irvine weight loss and muscle toning. His website www.socalworkout.com contains valuable tips on fitness and "how to" exercise style videos.
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