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Now browsing: Hometown News > Business Columns > Gina Ostarly

Gina Ostarly
This Week | Archive


All about water
Rating: 2.37 / 5 (75 votes)  
Posted: 2011 Aug 26 - 02:53

Drink your water. Why?

Water:

. Regulates body temperature

. Makes up 83 percent of blood

. Removes waste

. Composes 75 percent of brain

. Helps carry nutrients and oxygen to cells

. Moistens oxygen for breathing

. Helps convert food to energy

. Protects and cushions vital organs

. Helps the body absorb nutrients

. Accounts for 22 percent of bones

. Cushions joints

. Makes up 75 percent of muscles

. Makes up 90 percent of lungs

. Your body is roughly 60 percent water

But be aware, what you don't know can hurt you. Know your numbers! All recycled plastic has a number, including bottled water. Below, plastics not to choose and those that are safer:

To avoid:

. No. 3 polyvinyl chloride commonly contains di-2-ehtylhexyl phthalate, an endocrine disrupter and probable human carcinogen, as a softener.

. No. 6 polystyrene may leach styrene, a possible endocrine disrupter and human carcinogen, into water and food.

. No. 7 Polycarbonate contains the hormone disrupter bisphenol-A, which can leach out as bottles age, are heated or exposed to acidic solutions. Unfortunately, No. 7 is used in most baby bottles, 5-gallon water jugs and in many reusable sports bottles.

To use:

. No. 1 polyethylene terephthalate, the most common and easily recycled plastic for bottled water and soft drinks, has also been considered safest. However, one 2003 Italian study found that the amount of DEHP in bottled spring water increased after 9 months of storage in a PET bottle.

. No. 2 high density polyethylene

. No. 4 low density polyethylene

. No. 5 Polypropylene

Your best bet is reusable bottles, such as Betras USA sports bottles, Brita Fill & Go water filtration bottles or Arrow canteens.

Tips for using:

Sniff and taste: If there's a hint of plastic in your water, don't drink it.

Keep bottled water away from heat, which promotes leaching of chemicals.

Use bottled water quickly, as chemicals may migrate from plastic during storage. Ask retailers how long water has been on their shelves, and don't buy if it's been months.

Do not reuse bottles intended for single use. Reused water bottles also make good breeding grounds for bacteria.

Choose rigid, reusable containers or, for hot/acidic liquids, thermoses with stainless steel or ceramic interiors.

How much water should you drink? How much water do you need a day?

The answer is different for each person. Too little is bad for your health. Too much sentences you to needless bathroom time! And unless your half-bath at home looks as good as the one I recently redecorated, that's a waste!

Water consumption is like a bikini: one size does not fit all. But knowing more about your body's need for fluids will help you estimate how much water to drink each day.

Water makes up about 60 percent of your body weight. That's why some people think they lose weight on a crash diet. Most of the loss is just water.

Water flushes toxins out of vital organs, carries nutrients to your cells and provides a moist environment for ear, nose and throat tissues. And the level of water in our bodies is important. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired. Think of water in your body like oil in your car. Too little of either is bad.

You lose water every day through breathing, bathroom time and sweating.

You've undoubtedly heard of the eight by eight approach, which means drinking eight, 8-ounces glasses of water a day. That's easy to remember and accurate for many people, since the average adult loses about 10 cups of water per day. The other two cups can be replaced with food.

Wanna check yourself? This is a little gross, but it works. If you are producing about six cups of colorless or slightly yellow urine a day, your fluid intake is probably good.

There are reasons to drink more water, of course. Exercise, hot weather, pregnancy and being ill are all cause to increase your water intake. It's just common sense. If you sweat more, drink more.

You don't need to rely on liquids for all your water needs. On average, food provides about 20 percent of total water intake.

Many fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon and tomatoes, are 90 percent to 100 percent water by weight. And summer is the best time to get good fruits and vegetables in Florida. They are abundant and cheap.

Water is the healthiest and cheapest ways to replace your fluids. However, all beverages, such as milk and juice also are composed mostly of water. Even beer, wine and caffeine beverages such as coffee, tea or soda can contribute, but don't rely on them.

And do not go tell your significant other that "Gina said I need to drink more beer to maintain a healthy level of water in my system."

Remember to drink water before you're thirsty, since that's your body's way of saying you are already dehydrated.

Further, be aware that as you get older, your body is less able to sense dehydration and send your brain signals of thirst. Excessive thirst and increased urination can be signs of a more serious medical condition. Talk to your doctor if you experience either.

If you're the type who wants to know exactly how much water they need, here's a link to a fun calculator that can give you an answer: http://nutrition.about.com/library/blwatercalculator.htm.

Gina Ostarly, a seasoned fitness professional, has been changing lives in the Treasure Coast area for more than a decade. Her passion for fitness drives her to educate and share the knowledge needed to adapt and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Contact her with your health and fitness questions at GinaOstarly@aol.com.




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