Sunday, April 26, 2009

Water, Water Everywhere

"I believe that water is the only drink for a wise man."- Henry David Thoreau

I think water is one of the most underrated options when it comes to beverages. I mean, everyone knows water is essential and is a healthy option, but it's versatility, taste, pureness, and freshness also make it one of the most outstanding drinks all around. I'd rather have a cold glass of water over a soda any day...and maybe that's just me, but if you start to really appreciate water for what it's worth, you might find yourself desiring water over another empty-calorie beverage more often.

Water is extremely versatile. If you ever find yourself getting bored with it in its plain form, it's super easy to jazz it up. Because of its pure, simple, pristine taste, it will take on the flavor of pretty much whatever is blended into it. Try adding a spritz of lemon or lime, or a hint of hot pepper for an extra kick. If you're yearning for a more intense flavor, heat it up and make some tea. Try combining boiling water with a large amount of mint leaves, and then chilling it in the refrigerator. The minty fresh taste beats any artificially flavored tea in a bottle.

An ice cold glass of water is all I want to refresh me after an intense work-out or a heated tennis match. And in fact, many nutritionists concur that sugary sports drinks aren't that beneficial or necessary unless your work out is similar to that of a marathon-runner's. They actually may be more harmful than helpful if you're goal in working out is to lose weight. Water, containing ZERO calories, is more efficient in hydrating the body, and it doesn't include a crap load of unnecessary added sugar. If you think you're really lacking some electrolytes, grab a banana instead of reaching for a Gatorade.

Water makes up around 60% of your body weight, and is essential for proper function of every single system in the body. Drinking water is one of the best ways to flush toxins out of your system.

Other added bonuses that come from drinking water (yes, water's benefits seem almost endless): Drinking water can help you lose weight. The previous statement is something that more than 59% of Americans are trying to achieve, so I think this aspect of water speaks for itself...But if you're interested in the logic behind this, here it goes- The liver is responsible for the metabolism of fat by converting stored fat to energy. However, the liver also helps with the kidney's duties. The kidneys rely on a lot of water in order to properly function, and if they are lacking water, the liver has the added responsibility of picking up their slack. This makes it so the liver can't metabolize fat as swiftly or efficiently, therefore causing your body to store up excess fat. If you are adequately replenishing yourself with water, the liver and the kidneys are able to do their job more effectively. Additionally, water can help to curb hunger, making it so you don't snack when you're not truly hungry. Try downing a glass of water the next time you feel like reaching for a mid-afternoon snack.

Water is also often a great cure for headaches and fatigue. Many times these symptoms are a result of dehydration. Muscle spasms can also result from a lack of water. A simple glass of water can often quickly relieve these symptoms.

Lastly, water helps to keep your skin looking its best. By hydrating yourself you are also hydrating your skin, keeping it radiant and beautiful.

I don't know many other drinks that are this versatile and have this many health benefits. Not to mention, who doesn't like water?? It will please almost any picky palate. This is why water is at the top of my list of favorite beverages, and hopefully I've convinced you to move its ranking up there too and see its complete, true value.

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