Drink to your health and lose weight as well

FROM FAMILY FEATURES Published: February 2, 2012
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Getting fit and losing weight are two of the most common goals people set for themselves each year. Between gym memberships, the latest diet trends and miracle-promising supplements, billions of dollars get spent each year on achieving fitness goals.

But what if one of the simplest things you could do for yourself wasn’t found in a costly diet book or in an expensive pill?

Healthy Hydration and H2O

Believe it or not, being properly hydrated is one of the best things you can do for your body. That means being in balance — the water your body loses from perspiration, breathing and other body processes is replaced by the water you consume.

Based on clinical trials on adults, published in the journal Nutrition Reviews in 2005, scientists have identified that dehydration has an impact on physical and mental performance. Even mild dehydration — a loss of 1 to 2 percent of body weight — can impact your mental and physical performance.

In addition to being thirsty, mild dehydration can cause headaches, decrease your alertness, concentration and memory, and reduce your endurance.

So making sure you stay healthfully hydrated is an important part of taking good care of your body. And water is the key.

Easy Ways to Stay Hydrated

Good hydration is at the heart of a healthy lifestyle. Here are some tips for getting water into your daily routine:

1. Choose water instead of caloric, sweetened beverages, especially during mealtime.

2. For an easy and inexpensive thirst-quencher, carry bottled water throughout the day.

3. Give your water variety by adding slices of lemon, lime, cucumber or watermelon.

4. Choose flavored sparkling water as another zero- calorie option.

5. Drink a cup of water before and after workouts, and more if it’s hot or your workout is long and strenuous. Sip water throughout the workout for steady rehydration.

Drink in the Facts

—38 out of 50 states have obesity rates higher than 25 percent. According to “F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2011,” a report funded by Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 20 years ago no state had an obesity rate above 15 percent.

—The average person gets more than 20 percent of their total caloric intake each day from beverages. Research suggests this number should be closer to 10 percent. To achieve that goal, pay attention to the calories per serving in all your beverages.