Toast to your good health with a tall glass of water

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Did you know that the healthiest liquid you can drink is water?

On average, an individual should drink about three quarts of water per day. Drink an additional eight ounces of water for every 25 pounds you carry around over your ideal athletic weight if you are participating in a fat-loss program.

If you live in a hot climate or are exercising briskly your water intake should also be increased. Now, donít freak out if initially your new water consumption will have you running to the restroom more frequently ó your body will adjust.

Allow me the opportunity to introduce you to the importance of water.

Good/clean healthy water is as important as a closet full of stilettos (in girl-speak).

Water makes up approximately 60 percent of the adult human body by weight. Were you aware that you can only survive a few days without water?

Consuming an adequate amount of water will benefit the body in the following ways:

• Endocrinegland function improves

• Fluid retention is alleviated

• Liver functions improve, increasing the percentage of fat used for energy purposes. (We love that donít we?)

• Natural thirst returns.

• Appetite decreases significantly (Duh.)

• Metabolic functions improve.

• Nutrients are distributed throughout the body.

• Body-temperature regulation improves.

• Blood volume is maintained.

The importance of proper hydration cannot be stressed enough. The body cannot adapt to dehydration, which impairs every physiological function.

I realize that a few of you are impaired as it is, however, the side effects are not drinking enough water are downright frightening. Check it out:

• Decreased blood volume.

• Decreased performance.

• Decreased blood pressure.

• Decreased sweat rate (while some of you ladies might not think itís Ďcoolí to sweat ó your backside will thank you ó as that is how you will acquire that lean physique you are after.)

• Increased core temperature.

• Increased heart rate.

• Sodium retention (Yuck.)

• Decreased cardiac output.

• Decreased blood flow to the skin (which makes you look older and more wrinkly than you really are.)

• Increased perceived exertion.

• Increased use of muscle glycogen.

Natalie Dreger is a certified fitness professional and can be reached at nataliedreger.com.

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