We all know that we should be drinking at least eight, eight-ounce glasses of pure water everyday. It’s been said for years by health care professionals and nutritionists everywhere that this is key for optimal health. But did you know that drinking adequate water could actually help you lose weight and keep it off?
According to a recently released study presented at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society by study lead author Brenda Davy, PhD, associate professor of Nutrition at Virginia Tech., water can not only help you to lose more weight than those who don’t indulge, it can also help you keep off that weight for up to one year.
In a study of 48 overweight men and women it was revealed that those who consumed up to two eight-ounce glasses of water before each meal lost an average of 4.5 pounds more in just three months than those in the study not drinking the water before meals.
Each of the participants in the group was following a 1,200 calorie per day diet for women and 1,500 calorie per day diet for men.
With dieting it’s quite common for diet participants to lose weight initially but then gain it back after a few months or a year. In this same study, data showed that after one year’s time the participants not only lost more weight but continued to lose weight. The group drinking the water before meals lost another 1.5 pounds (average) after one year and their counterparts in the study actually gained an average of two pounds.
The lead researchers attributed the weight loss to the water intake filling you up before meals thereby decreasing the amount of foods you eat during a meal.
Cheers! Drinking Water for Health
No matter what the reason for the weight loss in this study, drinking water is an excellent – not to mention vital part of obtaining optimal health. Water is one of the major missing links in many typical Western diets.
How much water do you drink a day? Are you drinking water that is pure and free from chemicals and additives? Although you may think the water straight from your tap or your bottle of spring water is pure, think again.
It’s vital to get enough water each and every day, but before you start guzzling, let’s explore a bit more about water and learn precisely what water you should be drinking.
It’s no secret that our bodies are made up of about 70% water with our muscles actually containing an even higher 75% water. In fact, lean tissues contain more water than fatty tissues.
Pure water contains many important minerals our bodies need to maintain vital functions to stay healthy on a daily and long term basis. And this isn’t the new and very popular vitamin water I’m talking about here. It’s pure water.
Are You Drinking Pure Water or Contaminated Water?
Today we’ve all but completely lost the concept of what pure water is. Depending on where you live the water coming out of your tap may or may not be pure; and some places may be more or less polluted than others.
But chances are unless you’re drinking from a natural, unpolluted spring, the water from your kitchen sink is no longer pure. With the common addition of fluoride and chlorine to water (both controversial practices) as well as chemical pollutants now found in most public water supplies, the water we once coveted has become bad tasting and in many cases not so great for your health.
In an Associated Press investigation into drinking water it was found that a surprisingly long list of pharmaceuticals can be found in 41 million Americans drinking water or tap water. The investigation focused on 24 major cities across the nations and the results were much the same nationwide.
The AP also found that water suppliers were not likely to reveal or discuss these results with the public citing that they didn’t know how to interpret the results.
According to the AP investigation, water treatment facilities don’t test for pharmaceuticals and the water treatment equipment is not able to remove (or made to remove) these potentially dangerous pharmaceuticals. Ingesting even low levels of pharmaceuticals as well as other chemicals on a long term basis hasn’t been studied, but common sense tells me that it can’t be good for our health.
In this investigation the AP found traces of almost every type of pharmaceutical out there. From heart medications and asthma drugs to anti-seizure and anti-depressants these medications (or traces of them) were found in different amounts across the nation.
How to Drink Pure, Healthy Water
Although you may at first be alarmed at these findings there’s no need. Alarm, outrage, and panic won’t get you healthier, help you lose weight, or change the drinking water situation in our nation.
Instead arm yourself with the facts and take the steps needed to be sure you and your loved ones are drinking healthy water. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Step 1: Evaluate What You Drink
First evaluate your own drinking water. If you use publicly treated water contact your local water treatment plant and inquire if they test for pharmaceuticals or not. Some places do test for a few and others don’t test at all. Ask for the results. If you don’t get anywhere, contact your local Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and see what they know about drinking water in your town.
If you use well water, check your system. Make sure it’s in top condition. Then do a check of the neighboring grounds. Are there pesticides used? Do your neighbors use septic tanks?
No matter what answers you may (or may not) get it may be a good bet to assume that there is residue of unwanted chemicals in your drinking water and take the following steps.
Step 2: Know Which Water NOT to Drink
Once you know more about your own tap water you may want to choose bottled water to drink. STOP! Many of the bottled waters that so many of us unknowingly reach for is simply re-bottled tap water. This water is not only filling up landfills with unnecessary wastes, it’s also water that probably contains many of the chemicals you’re trying to avoid.
Also, it’s vital to remember that the new wave of ‘nutrition waters’ and ‘vitamin waters’ aren’t the type of pure water your body needs. These ‘waters’ are usually loaded with sugars, food dyes, and other unwanted additives you should avoid – especially if you’re trying to keep hydrated or lose weight. I would call those ‘fake’ water, not real water! These waters should not be considered in your eight, eight ounce glasses of water per day.
Step 3: Choose a Filter System
One of the most cost efficient and effective ways to get great tasting, healthy water is by investing in a water filter system. The range of choices in water filters is huge.
You can select a simple carbon filter system and use a pitcher to filter your water or attach one directly to the kitchen faucet. This can be an effective way to remove some of the pharmaceuticals and help it to taste better.
There are also filter systems for your entire home that will filter the water that goes into your sinks, showers, and anywhere else you need to be filtered.
To understand better what your specific water filtration needs are it’s a good idea to have your water tested. Contact a reliable, certified lab for water testing. Ask them how to collect the sample, what they routinely test for, and then specify what you’d like your water to be tested for in addition to their standard tests.
Drinking water is vital to our health. With the world’s quickly diminishing supply of pure water it’s essential to take steps now to be assured that you and your family can continue to drink one of the world’s greatest natural sources of vitality – pure, unpolluted water.
Dr. Axe's Action Steps
- Consider how much water you and your loved ones drink each day. Is it close or more than the recommended sixty four ounces? Another good way to measure how much water you should be drinking is to take your body weight, divide that number by 2 and drink that many ounces of water each day.
- Eliminate or cut down on sodas, juices, alcoholic beverages, coffees, teas, and replace these with pure water.
- Research and learn about your local drinking water and what’s in it.
- Check out the Environmental Protection Agency’s website and learn more about water at http://water.epa.gov/drink/.
- Invest in a filter for your tap water and shower head.