Quick Update on the Benefits of Drinking Water

Posted on April 30, 2008. Filed under: Take Care of Yourself | Tags: , , |

Today is about Taking Care of Yourself

I wrote a post about ten reasons why drinking water is good for you based on my experience with drinking more water. I want to update you about a recent article in the NY Times (my favorite source for scientific and health information) which reported results of a review of clinical studies on the benefits of drinking water.

They found there were few benefits except:

  1. Drinking water helps the kidneys to clear sodium, which can reduce the risk of dveloping high blood pressure, and
  2. Drinking water could help control weight gain by decreasing your appetite.

So is water the magic elixir that will solve all of your health problems? No. But the studies do show some benefits for weight loss and reducing risk of developing hypertension. In addition, my own experience tells me that it helps my skin, my digestion, and improves my exercise tolerance. Relying on clinical studies for evidence of the benefits of water assumes that the studies have been done. I think clinical studies on skin texture are not likley to get funded, nor likely to be done by researchers interested in finding cures to more critical health conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure.

So all of this is to say that while drinking plenty of water may not be the panacea cure for serious medical conditions, but It does help you to maintain good health and well being–and we all need more of that.


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Ten Reasons Why Drinking Water Is Good for You

Posted on January 8, 2008. Filed under: Take Care of Yourself | Tags: , |

Tuesday is about Taking Care of Yourself

Photo by norasunwater2.jpg
I resolved not to make any New Year’s resolutions, but instead am doing small changes over the year to take care of myself and make things easier for myself. My first “promise to self” was to drink more water. I have been able to do this by making three changes:(1) drink one glass of water before each meal, and then one more with each meal; (2) drink a glass of water in every meeting or conference call at work; (3) drink a glass each evening when I take my vitamins. These small changes quickly add up to 6-8 glasses of water per day.

Now that I have been doing this for a couple of weeks, I can say there are definite benefits to drinking all of this water. Based on my own personal experience, here is my list of the Ten Reasons Why Drinking Water Is Good for You:

  1. It helps you lose weight. Maybe it’s because I drink a glass of water before each meal, plus while I am eating, but I’ve noticed that I definitely get full faster and am taking in less food without feeling deprived. This has been an easy way to kick up my weight loss efforts.
  2. It’s easier to be hydrated for exercise. Since I am always drinking water, I start my runs already hydrated and don’t have to take in as much water to stay on top of my hydration. When I am well hydrated, I run better–my times are better, I don’t feel sluggish and it takes longer for me to feel tired. I did not expect simply drinking water would be so beneficial to my running.
  3. Your skin texture improves. I’ve read that your skin gets plumped up and dewy because you are hydrated. I don’t know about that, but I am definitely breaking out less and generally having fewer skin problems since I started drinking more water.
  4. Drinking water helps maintain digestive health. I have definitely noticed that water helps with digestion, and (this is probably an overshare) helps to keep you “regular”….with your “evacuation” processes by making things easier and more frequent. If you don’t know what I mean, then email me and I can send a more graphic description if you’d like.
  5. Drinking water helps flush out toxins. Although most people refer to the benefits of drinking water to flush out toxins that come from our food and the environment, the best proof I have is how water helps to prevent hangovers and minimizes the effects of alcohol. This is probably more of a hydration effect than a toxin-flush effect. I noticed before that whenever I had a glass of wine the night before a run, I used to feel pretty sluggish and drained during my run. Now that I am taking in extra water, I can have a glass of wine and still feel fine for my run the next day. Being able to drink more alcohol is definitely not one of the benefits I expected from drinking water….but I’ll take it!
  6. Speaking of exercise, I definitely get more exercise as a result of drinking water. This is because of all of the bathroom breaks I need to take during the day. I have to go about 5-6 times while I am at work, and the bathroom is at the end of the hall. If I wore a pedometer, I bet this would add a couple of thousand steps to my daily tally.
  7. Taking in more fluid helps reduce fluid retention. Like many women, I retain fluid and get some swelling around the time I menstruate. However, I’ve noticed that I am now less swollen since I began drinking water.
  8. You have more energy. I don’t know why, I just know that I feel more alert and have fewer days when I hit the afternoon slump since I started drinking more water.
  9. You save money. Bottled water is definitely cheaper than most other drinks, and tap water is free! Most people in the US have access to good, clean, safe tap water. In my opinion the water in New York City is some of the best in the country. If you want to learn about the quality of your local tap water, the Environmental Protection Agency monitors and publicly reports the quality of tap water throughout the US.
  10. You know the location of every bathroom. Have I mentioned how much you go to the bathroom drinking all of this water? Let me just say that a benefit to the popularity of Starbuck’s is you are never very far from a bathroom. If you are stuck, with no Starbuck’s in sight, a good back up is a nice hotel. Most of them have bathrooms somewhere in the lobby.

So this is the list of benefits of drinking water that I have observed in the past few weeks. I think there are worth making the effort to drink more water (aside from the excess bathroom breaks) and would encourage you to drink up!



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Don’t Make Resolutions

Posted on January 2, 2008. Filed under: Stop the Drama | Tags: , , , |

Photo by Darwin Bell

water.jpgYesterday was New Year’s Day, but I have no resolutions. I’m just trying to stick to the current program—small improvements that will hopefully add up to big results.

Rather than waiting for the New Year to roll around to make a bunch of big resolutions that are hard to keep, treat each Monday as a fresh start to make a single small change–or recommit to an existing change. I find this is easier to manage, and allows me to take on improvements in small bites. It also gives me frequent, weekly, reminders of the small changes, and to keep at them until they become habits. This is an approach used in weightwatchers. They basically recommend checking in each week to monitor your weight loss, and to think about your food goals on a weekly basis. Small weekly goals are how I started running. First by walking regularly, then, when that was a habit, I added a minute of running until I worked my way up to a 30 minute run.

My next change? To drink water before every meal. That’s it. I remembered after lunch today. Forgot at dinner. But I will keep working at it.

Happy New Week!


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    Musings on how a disorganized woman with a full time job, three kids and a real need to relax is trying to make life simple.

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