The Benefits of Just Plain Good Old Water................

Does drinking water have direct effect on our weight? Why do diet programs and diet experts suggest dieters to drink more water? You get direct answer for these questions here. If you know the amazing health benefits of drinking more water, you would crave for water. Researches prove that drinking water and weight loss are directly related.

An abstract by Dr. Brenda Davy, associate professor of human nutrition, foods and exercise at Virginia Tech, presented at last year’s obesity conference in Phoenix, Arizona, showed that people who drank two glasses of water 20 to 30 minutes before every meal lost weight more quickly initially and lost significantly more weight than those who didn’t.

In another study by Davy and her group, published last year in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, she found that people who drank water before meals ate an average of 75 fewer calories at that meal. This may not seem like much, but if you ate 75 fewer calories at lunch and dinner for the next year, you could lose about 14½ pounds!

How does water aid weight loss?
Drinking 2-3 cups of water 20-30 minutes before meals suppresses appetite to some extent and helps to control food intake. Above researches clearly show that drinking water before meals result in less calorie intake and thus aids weight loss.

Drinking water accelerates metabolic rate as water works as a fuel for metabolism. (Metabolic rate is the rate at which our body burns calories). This has been proven in many studies. This directly aids weight loss as our body starts burning more calories than before.

In addition, being even 1 percent dehydrated can cause a significant drop in metabolism, which can also interfere with weight loss. So preventing dehydration by drinking sufficient water prevents any fall in metabolic rate and thus aid weight loss. (This is why fitness experts ask you to drink water at regular intervals while doing rigorous exercises that make you sweat and dehydrated)

Drinking more water helps us to lose excess water weight. Our body contains more than 60% of water. When we take insufficient water, our body starts storing water in cells that makes us gain extra weight. This also might make our face, feet and legs to swell. Drinking plenty of water induces our body to release the excess water stored and thus helps reduce that extra weight. Sometimes we are not able to differentiate between hunger and thirst. We may mistake thirst for hunger and eat food instead of drinking water that adds to our calorie intake. Avoiding this can aid weight loss. Drinking water when we feel hungry (or thirsty) reduces calorie intake helping us to lose more weight.

Drinking more water daily cleanses our body, boosts immune system and increases base metabolic rate preventing weight gain in the long run. Thus it helps in weight maintenance.

Drink atleast 8-10 glasses of water daily and stay fit. Even if you are following best diet program or taking best diet supplements, drink plenty of water to accelerate healthy weight loss.

By Jill Weisenberger, MS, RD, CDE, LifeScript Nutrition Expert ; Published January 24, 2009

Today's waters are touted as vitamin-enriched super-drinks. So what's the truth? Can they improve your health? We separate the facts from phony pitches.

Burn calories! Have more energy! Boost memory! Water can change your life… according to their manufacturers. It's a claim that has gotten Coca-Cola – maker of Glaceau Vitaminwater – into hot, er, water. The company was sued for deceptive marketing practices about its popular line of fortified waters, though Coca-Cola has dismissed the claims as an "opportunistic PR stunt." And that's just one type of water. Others are supposedly enhanced with fiber, protein, caffeine and mood-boosting herbs. Do any work? Get the skinny below:

    Health and Mood-Boosting Waters
    Glaceau Vitaminwater
    The product: Glaceau Vitaminwater, a Coca-Cola product, is a non-carbonated beverage that comes in 15 flavors, from the exotic acai berry and guava to the everyday lemon and orange. Each flavor is designed with various amounts of vitamins and minerals and other additions, such as lutein, caffeine and guarana to meet one of many specific needs. You'll find water made to help you focus, to relax, to energize and to tune-up your immune system or keep your joints healthy. A 20-ounce bottle gives you 125 calories. Much of that is from added sugar.

    The truth: Much of the research is weak, so you're more likely to enjoy the taste of these beverages than you are to feel energized, focused or relaxed. Before consuming any food or beverage with herbs and unusual ingredients, read the labels. Some ingredients interact with medications. Others should be avoided during pregnancy. And some, such as guarana and kola, have caffeine.

    Diet Waters
    Special K2O Protein Water
    The product: This 50-calorie, 16-ounce drink is sweetened with sugar and artificial sweetener and contains 5 grams of fiber and protein. That's a little more than the protein in a half-ounce of turkey. It also comes in a powdered version – Special K2O Protein Water Mix – that you add to a 16.9-ounce bottle of water. It has the same amount of protein and fiber for 20 fewer calories.

    The truth: Many nutritionists agree that the combination of protein and fiber increases the feeling of being full, but both are readily available in a healthy diet. Lean meats, dairy, beans and nuts are good sources of protein; fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains are high in fiber. Many of these foods are also rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, which diet waters lack. So why drink what you can eat – and enjoy more – for maximum nutrition?

    Skinny Water
    The product: Skinny Water contains artificial sweeteners and two ingredients – Super CitriMax and ChromeMate – which, the manufacturer alleges, will help you drop pounds. Drinking any of these four fruit-flavored beverages 30 to 60 minutes before a meal will curb your appetite.

    The truth: Skinny Water's weight-loss effect has not been tested, but two small studies using the same active ingredients suggested some benefit. But a larger study found no difference in the weight lost by dieters taking one of the ingredients, compared to those given no diet aid.

    Crystal Light Metabolism
    The product: Each powder packet contains green tea antioxidants and 50 mg of caffeine designed to mix with water in a 16.9-ounce bottle. The drink gives you a short-term metabolic boost if you drink three full bottles daily, according to the Kraft Website. (But the packaging states that the drink is not a weight-loss product.) Three bottles gives you just 30 calories.

    The truth: A few studies have evaluated green tea extract for its purported metabolic and weight-loss effects. Results have been mixed. There have also been some reports of liver toxicity from green tea extract.

    Vitamin/Mineral-Enhanced Waters
    Propel Fitness Water
    The product: Propel, from makers of Gatorade, is a lightly flavored, non-carbonated beverage that comes in seven fruit flavors, including kiwi, strawberry and melon. Gatorade was developed for athletes needing to replace fluid and electrolytes lost in sweat, Propel is enhanced with B vitamins. Another product – Propel with Calcium – offers a way to boost your intake of this bone-building mineral. You'll get 20% Daily Value (DV) of calcium as well as some B vitamins in a 16.9-ounce bottle.

    The truth: You don't lose vitamins through sweat, so Propel doesn't function as a sports drink. And some people find that its flavor helps them stay hydrated because it encourages more fluid intake. But that could be said of any flavored beverage, with or without vitamins. Calcium is one of several nutrients that adults and children aren't getting enough of, according to the 2005 U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Propel with Calcium offers a way to boost your intake of this bone-building mineral; you'll get 20% Daily Value (DV) of calcium as well as some B vitamins in a 16.9-ounce bottle. Is it better – or equivalent – to getting calcium as part of a healthy diet? No. But calcium-enriched products can help fill the gap.

    Fiber-Enhanced Water
    Aquafina Alive Satisfy and All-Bran Fiber Drink Mix The products: Offered in peach-mango flavor, Aquafina Alive Satisfy contains 10 calories and three grams of fiber, or 10% of your DV, in 8 ounces. The 20-calorie All-Bran Fiber Drink Mix, which comes in tea and lemonade flavors, packs 10 grams of fiber when mixed into a 16.9-ounce bottle of water.

    The truth: Studies have linked high fiber intake to reduced rates of heart disease, colon cancer and diabetes. What's more, fiber fills you up so you'll eat less and lose weight. It also helps regulate bowel movements. Ideally, though, fiber should come from naturally fiber-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains, which also contain the vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals your body needs. Nutrition experts recommend a daily minimum of 21 to 25 grams of fiber for women and 30 to 38 grams for men, depending on age and calorie intake. So if your diet is low in fiber, give fiber-enhanced water a try.

    Wake-Up Waters
    Aquafina Alive Energize and Propel Invigorating Water The products: Aquafina Alive Energize is an orange-lime flavored drink with B vitamins and 92 mg of caffeine per 16.9-ounce bottle. Propel Invigorating Water is mildly caffeinated with 20 mg per 8 ounces and 20 calories or 50 mg in a full 20-ounce, 50-calorie bottle. The makers promise their drink will give active people a boost throughout the day.

    The product: This zero-calorie drink contains B vitamins and 60 mg of caffeine in an 8-ounce serving or 120 mg in a full bottle. Kraft, the manufacturer, claims that you'll get an energy boost without a calorie bump by drinking raspberry-flavored Fruit2O Energy.

    The truth: If you rely on coffee to keep you going through the day, these enhanced waters may not do the trick. A tall (12-ounce) coffee at Starbucks has 260 mg of caffeine and a venti (20-ounces) has 415 mg of caffeine. Getting more sleep is the best solution.

    Flavored Waters
    If the only enhancement you're looking for is flavor, you'll find plenty of calorie-free choices. For an inexpensive and natural option, squeeze some fresh lemon or lime into your glass or bottle, or add a cucumber slice. For some bubbly refreshment with few calories, splash a little cranberry or pomegranate juice into club soda.
    You'll find endless choices in the grocery stores:
    - Clearly Sparkling
    - Aquafina Sparkling Carbonated Water Beverage
    - Fruit2O
    - Nestle Pure Life
    - Aquafina Flavor Splash
    All are calorie-free. Just be aware that they are sweetened with sugar substitutes.

    Waters for Kids
    Crayola Color Coolerz and Minute Maid Fruit Falls for Kids The products: Colorful Crayola Color Coolerz beverages for kids are packaged in 8-ounce bottles in colors to match the flavors: strawberry, grape, berry and lemon-lime. The drinks contain zero calories, no more than 10 mg of sodium and are infused with vitamins B and C. They're sweetened with the artificial sweetener sucralose and colored with food dyes.

    Minute Maid Fruit Falls for Kids are clear drinks packaged in a transparent 6.75-fluid-ounce pouch with a straw. They contain only 3% juice; the rest is water, flavoring and artificial sweeteners. They have 5 calories per pouch and supply a full day's vitamin C and 10% DV for calcium.
    The truth: Plain water is still best for your kids, so save these for special, once-in-a-while treats.

You can easily get the vitamins found in enhanced beverages by eating healthful foods. So the drinks aren't necessary if you have a balanced diet. If you drink large amounts of water with added vitamins and minerals, you may get too much of certain nutrients, which can cause a deficiency in others or cause toxicity. For many, the best bet is plain water. It's calorie-free and a lot cheaper. Pair it with a multivitamin if necessary to fill in any nutritional gaps.

Are You Diet Soda Savvy?
Unhealthy eating packs on the pounds, but what's at the other end of your straw, not fork, might be more to blame. Find out if you're savvy about what you're drinking with this diet soda quiz.

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