Fountain of youth comes in a glass: Water provides benefits for appearance, health
Pamela Greene is the fitness programmer for the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation's Fitness Department. Visit http://fortjacksonmwr.com/fitness for more information on the Fitness Department.

FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Drinking water is a primetime star for health and fitness success. Every person knows he or she needs to drink more water but - agh! Some just cannot get over the taste. But this precious nutrient deserves another try.

Water provides so much for the body. Drinking water makes the cells and internal organs come alive. It is the single most important nutrient for our bodies. It is involved in every function of our bodies, as well. Men are made up of about 65 percent water and women about 55 percent. That's a lot of water.

Each day, we lose roughly 2 quarts a day through things like perspiration, urination and breathing. Without enough water, the body's vital organs cannot function to their fullest potential. This means that the little bit of water in the body has designated itself to trying to keep those areas operational. As a result, fat burning for weight loss has to wait.

OK, I hope I am convincing you to get that water in. If not, another discovery is its "fountain of youth" appeal. Yep, that's right - good old water is an anti-aging serum.

Drinking it makes the skin smoother, more radiant, clearer and cleaner. All of these things make skin look younger. We all know what aging skin looks like; dull and spotty, with no glow at all. Save some of the money spent on countless facial products and invest in drinking more water. I was surprised how much my body responded to water when I embraced greater health through better eating habits and elite exercising. Who knew the skin would react like a plant that is watered regularly'

I told you water was primetime, right' Well, this is the lubricant the brain, heart, lungs, liver and kidneys all depend upon for optimum function; water, not Coke or Pepsi. Joint-pain symptoms and arthritis both refer to worn out cartilage.

Cartilage is made up of 80 percent water, so when a person does not water him or herself, his or her joints pay the price. Creaking, cracking and popping can be somewhat remedied with just a simple glass of water. Water is even in the disks of the spine. Lots of aches and pains can be eased up with a little water.

Water is also a key ingredient to weight loss. Try drinking water before meals and see if it helps reduce the amount of food eaten. It really works as an effective appetite suppressant; I promise. Tea, coffee, sodas and juices should not be included as part of one's daily fluid intake. Coffee and tea have caffeine in them, which causes a diuretic effect and makes people lose water. Sodas and juices are too sweet - because the body must dilute them, they cause more dehydration.

Let's face it; so many new products created today not only are high in sugar and fats, but they contain very little water. That said, the chances of getting some water from food intake are slim. Foods today need to be stored for longer periods and foods with high water content tend to spoil much faster.

Think of items found around the perimeter of the grocery store. These are the items that are constantly being replenished. A can sits on the shelf indefinitely. Go for eight glasses, 8 ounces each day. For weight loss, shoot for 1 ounce of water for every 2 pounds of body weight.

Next time thirst hits, reach for a glass of water. Take the next step, and develop the habit.

Page last updated Thu August 26th, 2010 at 09:47