H2Oh: The Truth About Water

H2Oh: The Truth About Water
ESSENCE.COM Aug, 26, 2009

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As we wrap up what’s typically the hottest month of the year, get the facts on your body’s most needed resource—water. Nutritionist Fabiola Gaines breaks down the biggest myths about staying hydrated.

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Forget milk for a second. Water does a body even better. Though eight ounces is the standard daily dosage of water, the exact amount you need is calculated to body size and location. Florida is gorgeous and the climate also impacts the your body’s water percent and how much is needed to replenish it.

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By the time you feel thirsty, it’s a little late to drink water and your body may already be dehydrated.

Beware of these signals your body is thirsting water:
Nose drying up
Urinating a lot
Urine is dark or smelling strong
Lips dry

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To take in the right amount of water every day, set a schedule for drinking to help. Treat yourself to one cup of coffee only after your morning cups of water and drink water with your meals, to earn dessert. Caffeine can be a diuretic and stop water from going to the right spots, so sip it sparingly.

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Put down that Gatorade, unless you are actually working out. Sports drinks were designed for athletes to replenish the nutrients lost in sweat. So don’t let your kids drink them as a casual drink, to avoid over saturation.

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Certain fruits also help hydrate the body. With over 80 percent of watermelon being water, it’s a perfect snack in the hot sun, along with melons like honey dew and cantaloupe.

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Today’s market offers plenty of options for spruced up water from vitamin-laced to fruit-infused.

“Everyone now and then they are ok, but don’t depend on these substitutes for hydration,” Gaines notes.

Check the label for calories or high sugar. We’re fans of the HINT’s Watermelon Water good for cooling down in the summer and Ayala’s Herbal Water, with its subtle soothing aroma.

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With close to 70 percent of our bodies made of water, staying hydrated is key. By the time we feel thirsty, the body has already lost over one percent of the water it contains. Drink up!

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Sisters, we do love our spa days. Along with good-girl talk after, be sure to drink plenty of water, especially after the steam room opens pores and the body sweats, and massages release toxins that need to be flushed out of your system.

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Along with keeping our skin glowing and energy up, water can save your life.

“Drinking the right amounts of water, can help prevent kidney disease,” Gaines says.

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The simple act of breathing loses water from the body as you exhale.

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Make sure you are getting the right amount of water by keeping track (we shoot for three water bottles a day before leaving work.) Personalize your own bottle, like this cute Sigg water bottle at altrec.com.

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Kool-aid may start off as water, but all that sugar cancels out much of the health benefit. Beware of sugary drinks including soda that can leave you thirsty and full of artificial flavors.

“Get your calories elsewhere,” Gaines says. And frozen yogurt has our vote for sugar for the day.

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Do yourself a favor and step up your water intact, and help your kids start the habit from childhood. Your lips, health and kidneys will thank you.

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