Archive for the tag - water

Review: Gallon Of Water Per Day For A Month!

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Well, this makes me thirsty…

A month ago, I came across an article describing a woman who drank a gallon of water per day. She lost weight, decrease her waistline by an inch and experienced remarkable improvements to her skin. The bags under her eyes disappeared and she looked ten years younger.

I was skeptical, but sometimes you need to try things for yourself.

And so I did.

As promised, I’ve been drinking a gallon of water per day for the past month. As many of you reminded me, too much water can be dangerous. But with Mayo Clinic recommendations of 13 cups of water for men (with more if you exercise) and nine for women, the 16 cups in a gallon of water should fall within the margin of safety. Of course, it’s always wise to check with your doctor.

Each morning, I filled up a gallon jug of water. Throughout the day, I used the jug to monitor my progress. Of course, eating in a restaurant made the science less exact – so, in some instances, I had to use my judgement and estimate. Nonetheless, I completed the challenge for the full month.

So, what’s the verdict?

First, I was surprised how easy it is to drink a gallon of water per day. It sounds and looks like a lot, but I’m pretty sure I drink almost a gallon on a daily basis even without the challenge. Truthfully, it probably only amounted to an extra few cups. And the only change that I noticed was having to get up once or twice during the night to pee.

All in all, I don’t look or feel any different.

Perhaps the woman in the article was severely dehydrated when she started the challenge. If that’s the case, it’s likely that the challenge did provide some pretty substantial benefits. But if you’re already fairly well hydrated like myself, you might not notice any changes.

Having said all of that, I really do like the idea of having a gallon jug of water to better track my hydration. Sometimes, sipping water isn’t a priority and the jug is a good reminder to drink up. For that reason, I may continue with the challenge when I’m home or when it makes sense.

Did you try the gallon of water per day challenge? Let me know how it went in the comments below!

Challenge: Drink One Gallon Of Water Per Day For A Month!

WS_FEMAIL_WATER_2.jpgEarlier this morning, I came across an article about a woman who drank a gallon of water per day for an entire month. Not only did she lose weight and an inch from her waistline, but she transformed the way she looked and felt. Blotches disappeared, and her skin became more radiant and less wrinkled. She found it easier to concentrate. By week four, she says she looked ten years younger.

All from a gallon of water per day.

To be honest, the article and the accompany picture sets off my bullshit-ometer. In the before and after photo, for example, you can see a shift from overhead lighting to front facing, more flattering lighting. And perhaps other variables (like diet or exercise) may have been involved.

If it seems too good to be true, it often is. And the dramatic claims made by the woman in this article seem (forgive the pun) hard to swallow. And even if she experienced these benefits for herself, it doesn’t necessarily mean that all of us will enjoy the same results.

Of course, water does have many amazing benefits. And the truth is, according to the Mayo Clinic, men should aim for 13 cups of water a day. That’s a mere three cups shy of a gallon. Even with a goal of 13 cups per day, most of us fall short of the mark.

So let’s take this woman up on her challenge. I invite you to join me in this experiment. For the next 30 days, let’s commit to one gallon of water per day. To make this easy, I’ve purchased a gallon water jug from the market. Each day, I’ll refill it with water. By the time I go to bed, I’ll make sure the jug is empty. If you work during the day, you can do half a jug at home and half a jug at work. And in a month’s time, I’ll update you on my experience.

If you’re up for the challenge, let me know in the comments below!

P.S. For scientifically-based tips to increase energy and improve your appearance through the foods you eat, download Davey Wavey’s Insanely Easy Guide to Eating Smarter!

Is Alkaline/Ionized Water Better?

8-glasses-of-waterWith billion spent on bottled water in the United States in 2012, you’d never guess that we have (for the most part) safe and clean drinking water. The latest water trend to make waves (pun intended) is alkaline or ionized water. Let’s dive a bit deeper.

Alkaline water has a higher pH than regular tap water. It can be purchased in bottles or created through a process called electrolysis. Some of the home installation systems run upwards of $6,000. Proponents of alkaline water say it helps neutralize acid in the blood, boosts your metabolism, slows down aging and helps your body absorb nutrients more efficiently.

But what are the experts saying?

According to the Mayo Clinic, researchers haven’t verified the claims on alkaline water. Some studies suggest that alkaline water may slow bone loss, but more research is needed to determine if this benefit influences overall mineral density and if this it persists long term. Their verdict is to stick with plain water.

Even if alkaline water isn’t the fountain of youth, the reality is that most of us could benefit greatly from proper hydration. Though most people aim for 8 cups of water a day, current water guidelines are 13 cups per day for men and 9 cups per day for women. If you exercise, you’ll need even more. By staying hydrated, with alkaline water or not, you’ll boost your metabolism, curb hunger and enjoy clearer skin.

And, at the end of the day, water is usually a better option than juices, sports beverages and soft drinks. In that sense, it’s hard to knock alkaline; it’s healthy. It’s just probably not any healthier than the plain alternative.

Study: Drink Water Only When Thirsty!

tumblr_lyjbxs1KGq1qeucjro5_250In years past, we’ve been advised to drink water before we’re thirsty during exercise. By the time you’re thirsty, they said, you’re already dehydrated. And that still may be true. But researchers are finding that our bodies are actually well equipped to deal with some dehydration during physical activity. Moreover, they’ve found that more water may not be a good thing.

During physical activity, our bodies sweat to release excess heat. It’s like a built-in air conditioning system. However, when we don’t replace the fluids lost by sweat, dehydration occurs. As a result, your body may not have enough fluids to carry out its normal functions.

But a slew of recent studies are showing that some dehydration does not necessarily have a negative impact on performance or on overall health. In fact, it may be a good thing.

Case in point, a study by researchers at the Sports Science Institute of South Africa. They broke exercisers into three groups. The first group drank by thirst, the second group hydrated at moderate rate and the third group hydrated at a heavy rate. After completing three, 2-hour workouts, researchers found that there was no difference in body temperature or finishing times among the groups. The did find, however, that some individuals in the heavily hydrated group experienced stomach pains and couldn’t complete the workout.

In another study of marathon runners in France, researchers found that the fastest runners (who completed the course in under three hours) had lost 3.1% of their body weight through sweat and/or urine. They were faster – and significantly more dehydrated than – their slower counterparts.

In yet another study, researchers from University of Sherbrooke in Quebec analyzed various clinical trials. They discovered that mild hydration is perfectly safe – and that it can actually provide a boost to performance. After examining different groups of cyclists, those who only drank when they were thirsty had the best times.

But why? Researchers speculate that drinking too much water can dilute the concentration of sodium and other electrolytes in the blood. This is especially pronounced during longer periods of physical exercise.

The important thing to remember is that when it comes to hydration during exercise, listen to your body. If you’re thirsty, drink.

 

How Much Water Should You Drink?

tumblr_m28bi2R0JD1qj4hmpo1_500As I’ve mentioned before, drinking enough water is absolutely essential. Aside from keeping your body functioning properly, water can boost your metabolism, clear up your skin and even help curb hunger. And that’s just for starters.

So just how much water should you drink each day? It depends. The answer is dependent on a number of factors including gender, activity level, environment, health conditions and whether or not you’re pregnant or nursing.

While most of us have heard that we need to drink eight glasses of water a day, the reality is a bit different. According to the Mayo Clinic, men should aim for about 13 cups of water per day (3 liters) and women should drink 9 cups (2.2 liters). It’s a bit more than what we’ve been taught in the past.

If you exercise, you’ll need to consume more liquid – and possibly a sports drink (or something with sodium) to replenish electrolytes. The amount that you’ll need depends on the intensity and duration of the exercise performed.

Moreover, the environment plays a big factor. If it’s hot or humid, it’s important to replace liquids lost from sweating. Higher altitudes will also cause increased urination; additional liquid consumption is advised.

And, of course, many illnesses and health conditions require additional liquids. As does pregnancy or nursing.

But if you’re looking for a simple tip to help get your daily water intake, pick yourself up two, 1-liter water bottles (or three, 1-liter bottles if you’re a guy). On the bottles, mark a water goal for each hour or two. As your day progresses, make sure you’ve kept up to the goal. You can keep the bottles in a refrigerator or even just nearby on your desk. By the end of the day, you’ll have consumed the full amount.

It’s a really easy tip to help build a healthy water habit!

5 More Fitness Myths Busted!

It takes a lot more than protein to create a body like this.

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times: There’s so much misinformation when it comes to health, nutrition and fitness. Today, let’s bust a few of the most common and most pervasive myths.

Myth #1: Soda is bad for you – so drink fruit juice instead

It’s true that soda is bad for you, but fruit juice isn’t much better. Sure, it may have some additional vitamins. But even fruit juice is loaded with sugar and calories. As a response to sugar, the body releases insulin – which triggers increased fat storage. Instead of drinking soda, drink water. The only time when drinking sugary beverages make sense is immediately following a workout when the body is craving carbs – and it needs them quickly. Simple sugars get absorbed the fastest.

Myth #2: A fat-free diet is good for you!

Definitely not. Your body needs fat. Essential fats help facilitate many of your body’s functions, and help promote a healthy heart and joints, among other things. If you cut out all the fat from your diet, you’d become very, very sick. Instead, focus on consuming the healthier fats – like those found in fish and plants.

Myth #3: A high-protein diet will make your muscles grow

Not true. A high-protein diet does help support muscle growth; muscles need protein to grow. But muscles will only grow if they are forced to do so – and it takes exercise (and increasingly heavier amounts of resistance) to make that happen.

Myth #4: Drinking lots of water makes you gain weight

Actually, drinking lots of water helps boost your metabolism and burn calories. In fact, numerous studies have shown that the opposite of this myth is true – that if you don’t drink enough water, you’re more likely to gain body fat. When the body is dehydrated, it is under stress – and the body’s reaction to stress is retaining fat. If you aren’t getting enough water, you’re selling yourself – and your results – short.

Myth #5: Brown eggs are more nutritious than white eggs

Actually, the color of the egg has nothing to do with the nutritional content. The breed of the hen determines the egg’s color. This myth likely resulted from the nutritional differences between white and wheat bread – but it has no scientific foundation.

There you have it! Five more health, fitness and nutrition myths finally busted! Stay tuned for more. 🙂

And on a related side note, another fitness myth is that you need to use fancy equipment to make big fitness gains. Not true. In fact, I created my brand-new Jock Workout to be an equipment-free workout that you can do at home (or at the gym) without anything else to buy. Check it out today – and watch the free preview. Use discount code “blog” before June 7th to save 25% during checkout. Enjoy!

Yes, Drinking Cold Water Does Burn Calories. But…

I'll drink to that!

Yesterday, I wrote about a popular myth involving the importance of drinking hot water with your mealstotally untrue. But it seems that I have opened a Pandora’s box. My inbox was flooded with questions about the exact opposite: Cold water.

There is a common belief that drinking cold water is beneficial because the body must work to heat the water to its internal temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (37 Celsius). Inquiring minds want to know if this true – or if it’s yet another popular misconception.

Turns out, it is true. Sorta.

The body does use calories to heat cold water, but the body is very efficient. Let’s take an example wherein one cup of water is 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 Celsius). You drink it, and your internal temperature is a normal 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (37 Celsius). The body will spend about 8 calories to increase the water temperature. That’s it. It’s the caloric equivalent of 1/6th an Oreo cookie.

In case it’s of interest to you, the formula is pretty simple: It takes 1 calorie to raise 1 gram of water 1 degree Celsius. But, since we’re converting calories to the kilo-calories that we see on nutritional labels, we must divide the result by 1,000 to get your answer.

Even though ice water doesn’t burn a significant number of calories, proper hydration does provide a number of great benefits. So don’t let this information deter you – drink up!

Need tips to stay hydrated? Check out my top six.

Drinking Cold Water Makes Fat Solidify?

I recently discovered an email that has been circulating for a number of few years. Based on Eastern dietary habits of drinking warm tea with meals, it warns readers not to drink cold water while eating:

It is nice to have a cup of cold drink after a meal. However, the cold water will solidify the oily stuff that you have just consumed. It will slow down the digestion. Once this “sludge” reacted with the acid, it will break down and be absorbed by the intestine faster than the solid food. It will line the intestine. Very soon, this will turn into fats and lead to cancer. It is best to drink hot soup or warm water after a meal.

A cardiologist says if everyone who gets this mail sends it to 10 people, you can be sure that we’ll save at least one life.

The email went viral, and the rest is history – but is it true?

Absolutely not. For one, the reaction of cold water with food in the stomach doesn’t result  in solidification. The human body is very warm – and any temperature differences are quickly nullified. Moreover, by the time our food has entered into the intestine, it’s not solid thanks to the efficiency of our digestion process.

The email goes on to claim that oils turn into fats – though, in actuality, oils are fats. And they neither stick to the intestine nor cause cancer. However, higher levels of body fat and obesity do increase the risk of cancer, though this isn’t mitigated (in any way, shape or form) by drinking warm water or tea.

Though this email has spread like wildfire, it’s 100% untrue.

6 BEST Tips to Stay Hydrated!

You’ve probably heard that the average person needs to drink 8 to 10 cups of water per day to make up what the body uses and loses. But for active folks who exercise, that number can easily double.

Drinking upwards of 20 cups a day is a challenge, so here are a few tips to help you get yours:

  1. Make it smart. Knowing why your body needs water – and realizing all the amazing benefits it provides – can serve as motivation to help you drink up. Decreased risk of cancer, clearer skin and increased productivity are a few of the reasons to stay hydrated. Water also aids in fat loss – it curbs appetite, replaces sugary drinks and boosts your metabolism. Knowing this can keep you motivated.
  2. Make it mindless. If you’re going to consume 64 – 200 fluid ounces of water (8 – 20 cups), then drinking it will need to be super convenient. Have you ever noticed how if you leave a bag of chips open while watching TV, you somehow manage to mindlessly eat the entire bag? Take advantage of mindless consumption by leaving a pitcher or water bottle in your workspace or at home. You’ll take a sip here, and a sip there – and before you know it, it’s all gone! I’m actually putting this point to practice right now with a quart-size water bottle. Try it – I swear it works!
  3. Make it fun. If you like pretty things (who doesn’t?!), put your water in a special container. You can buy a nalgene (those unbreakable plastic bottles) or a fancy chrome mug. Presentation counts, and so perhaps water will be more appetizing in a pretty container.
  4. Make it flavorful. Drinking large quantities of water can get a bit monotonous, so you might benefit from switching things up. I don’t recommend adding sugary powders to water as you’ll dramatically increase the number of empty calories you are consuming. I also avoid sugar-free drink mixes; I’m personally weary of artificial sweeteners in bulk. But… adding a slice of citrus fruit can make a noticeable and welcomed difference. If you need more flavor, squeeze half of a lemon, lime, grapefruit or orange into your glass or pitcher.
  5. Make it a pre-meal tradition. Drink a tall glass of water 15-30 minutes before you eat. Thirst is often misinterpreted by the mind as hunger. You feel hungry, but your body is thirsty. So, drink water before each meal. Not only will you be increasing your hydration, but you’ll probably drop a few pounds in the process.
  6. Make it the first thing you do in the morning. We all have a morning routine. We wake up, brush our teeth, take a shower and so on. Once your feet hit the floor, walk to the kitchen and start your day right: With water. It will help replace lost fluids during sleep (when we wake up, our bodies have often gone without food or drink for more than 8 hours). I prefer room temperature water in the morning, but do what works for you!

I hope these tips help you honor your body and your life with proper hydration. If you have any additional tips, please share them in the comments below!