dreamstime_11711124Water is quite possibly the single most important component in maintaining good health throughout your life.  Most people don’t realize that the body is predominantly made up of water, with a healthy woman being between 50-60% water, and a healthy man being between 60 -70%.  Water is responsible for cellular life, chemical and metabolic reactions, transporting nutrients to cells, body temperature regulation, and elimination of waste.  Even healthy skin requires good hydration.

As it relates to losing weight, water is extremely important.  First, water suppresses the appetite naturally by creating a feeling of fullness.  Secondly, being properly hydrated prevents the body from sending a false “hunger signal” to the brain.  The body does not recognize the difference between dehydration and starvation. When dehydrated, the brain tells the stomach that it needs food.

In addition to preventing overeating, proper hydration also helps the body to metabolize stored fat.  Studies have shown that a decrease in water intake will cause fat deposits to increase and that an increase in water intake can actually reduce fat deposits and help the body get rid of waste more efficiently.  When changing one’s eating and exercise habits the body has more waste to get rid of, making sufficient water intake even more important.

Finally, water helps to keep your metabolism at a normal, healthy level.  If you were stranded in a desert without water, your body’s metabolism would slow down as a survival mechanism.  Slowing down your metabolism slows down fat utilization.  For all of these reasons, getting enough daily intake of pure water is important.

The power of water can be harnessed in two ways: by selecting water-rich foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, and by drinking at least eight, 8-oz glasses of water each day.  Of course, if you are not physically active and exercising enough, and/or eating the wrong balance and amounts of food, water alone is not going to make you healthy.