Drinking Water For Beauty & Health

Nature has given us an obvious lesson: Dry out a grape, you get a raisin. Dry out a plum, and you get a prune.

On the other hand, if you want to keep roses from wilting prematurely, put them in a vase with water. And, when you’re ironing out wrinkles from a shirt, moisten it with steam.

In 1513, Juan Ponce de León, a Spanish conquistador and explorer, sailed halfway across the globe in search for the fountain of youth. His quest was reported as unsuccessful. But we, on the other hand, can make it appear in an instant - just by turning on the kitchen tap.

Water not only keeps the outer skin lubricated, it helps our insides to flow smoothly. Seventy-five percent of Americans, by default, fall short of getting the daily amount of water needed for optimum health, according to a CBS report.

Mary Grace Webb, who is the assistant director of Clinical Nutrition at NewYork-Presbyterian Queens hospital, states that, “People just think that when they start to get a little weak or they have a headache, they need to eat something, but most often they need to drink.”

(To the editor: NewYork-Presbyterian Queens hospital is not a typo. The hospital name, "NewYork", is spelled without the space on their website.)

A person can lose 1 to 2 percent of body weight in water alone without ever feeling thirsty. Anything

over that means that the body cannot perform at its peak. A well-watered body has what it needs to stay healthy and young looking. Water keeps our skin cells hydrated by plumping them up and making them look less wrinkled. Also, it flushes out toxins and impurities out of the system, reducing acne and other breakouts.

You've probably heard the recommendation for getting in eight, 8-ounce glasses of water per day. However, according to The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, women should aim for 2.7 total liters (or 91 ounces) of water each day. This covers food, water, and other beverages.

While an estimated 20 percent of water comes from food, the remainder should come from liquids. Fluid intake should come mostly from unsweetened beverages. Limit sweetened drinks to a minimum.

Ways of Filling up Your Body Tank

If drowning yourself with quarts of water a day seem extreme, do not dry-dock just yet.

1. Make a pit stop. Whenever you pass a water fountain, take a drink.

2. Take it slow. Sipping will prevent bloating.

3. Keep it close. Keep a bottle of water with you while on the go. Take one with you when you are at the gym, in your car, outdoors, or at your desk.

4. Use a measuring bottle or pitcher. Fill it up and try to empty it by the end of the day.

5. Sip before you snack. People will often misinterpret hunger for thirst. Have a drink first; as it may just take care of your hunger pangs.

6. Punching up the flavor. It water is too plain for you, squeeze in fresh fruits like pineapples, berries, limes, or lemons. You can toss in frozen juice cubes for added flavor. For carbonation, add sparkling water to ¼ cup of juice.

7. Substitute. All water does not have to come from the tap. Beverages like juice, milk, decaffeinated tea or coffee, can count toward the daily intake. This is also applicable to foods that have water content in them, such as certain fruits, vegetables, and soups. Beverages that contain caffeine or alcohol will cause the body to lose more water than it takes in.

As we age, our sensitivity to thirst slows down. This gives us more more of a reason to drink water throughout the day. If you are ill, live in a hot climate, or you spend a lot of time inside a heated building, it is crucial to keep your water levels up.

As women, we store less water than men. This is due to women biologically having less muscle (which holds more water) and more fat (which does not).

Val lives in New York. As a health advocate, she shares tips and steps on maximizing nutrition, weight and fitness goals to help others embrace a healthier lifestyle. She blogs at Halfmile Fitness.

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