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Lifestyle Author: June M. Lay, M.S. - Lifestyle Columnist - Last Updated: Sep 7, 2017 - 10:06:33 PM

Water Really Is a Nutrient!

By June M. Lay, M.S. - Lifestyle Columnist -
Jul 14, 2012 - 4:17:20 PM

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( - Yes, water really is a nutrient and the most vital one, at that! Water is even more vital than the other nutrients, which are carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals. And if I were to list the top 5 healthy things we could do for ourselves, drinking more water would make the list! And even though water doesn't contain energy giving calories, I think most of us have heard that water is so vital to our body that we can go longer without food than water. Our last article discussed "drinking up" due to the hot weather, but regardless of the weather (It's still hot outside!) let's take a few more water breaks. Why do I say this? Well, while most of us know that water is important, but I have found that too many of us acknowledge that we need to drink more. But like all the other healthy habits, drinking more water takes practice and summer is a great time to start.

Aside from being a vital nutrient, some studies have found that those of us who drink more water, may also eat less food. One study found that high volume water drinkers ate almost 200 calories less a day than non-water drinkers. 200 calories may not sound like much, but if we saved 200 a day for a year (without changing anything else), we could lose up to 20 pounds in a year's time! The study also found that high water consumers drank fewer soft drinks (we know that this saves calories, I'm not behind the Bloomberg campaign!), and in general followed healthier eating patterns. I'd like to suggest that we increase our water intake by sipping it in-between our chores, texting, computer work and meetings, and our summer drinks. Sipping water in-between our summer alcohol drinks may not only slow down our alcohol intake, but we will feel better the next day too.

Need more convincing?

Water in our blood forms the plasma that carries all nutrients to every cell in our body. It also carries the toxins and wastes to kidneys for excretion.

Water in our urine and feces carry these waste products out of our body, and one major cause of constipation is dehydration.

Water in our sweat releases heat through our skin, helping to maintain the internal body temperature.

Water plays an important role in the transmission of our nervous system's electrical impulses.

Water plays a role in the digestive process of foods, and their transformation into nutrients our body can use.

Water is involved in the production and release of energy.

Water in fluids surround our joints providing lubrication and mobility.

Practically speaking

Lack of water is a common cause of physical fatigue especially during exercise, and fatigue may kick in before our thirst mechanism.

Alcohol, high sodium foods (processed foods, canned goods are examples and even most restaurant foods), caffeine, and some medications increase our water need (check with your doctor).

Hot humid weather increases our need for water especially during exercise.

Drinking more water during and after a high fat meal may offer heart health benefits! Yes, water can help decrease the viscosity of our blood (thickness) after enjoying a high fat meal (ever hear about the higher incidence of heart attacks after high fat meals?). Going for a walk can help too!

So now that we know how important "Water, Really is a Nutrient" is to every biological function in our body, how about we start practicing drinking a bit more. I keep a small water bottle with me at all times, which helps me to drink more even when I'm at home (excuse me for a sec., as I take a sip).

Now while I usually promote good old tap cool water, many of us may have an easier time drinking flavored waters. One I just tried that is naturally infused with flavors and has no artificial sweeteners or sugars, is HINT Water ( My fav is watermelon, my summer choice!). Their campaign Drink Water, Not Sugar is right on target for our health and waistlines. So, let's drink up with our favorite flavors. They even have sparkling waters so I tried this instead of tonic water for one of my fav alcohol drinks. I saved calories, got flavor and no sugar! So, regardless, if we all try drinking up a bit more, it just might become a habit!

On a personal note I'd like to ask my readers who enjoy my tips to take a moment to go to I set this up to help save my little companion doggie. If you can, any small amount would be appreciated. I thank you.

Bottoms Up!

June M. Lay M.S


Want to get children more interested in water? Go to

Need some short term "eat -healthier" or "lose a few or more pounds" help? Contact me via reply to [email protected] for info on my new Telephonic Health & Weight Loss Coaching Program. Individual sessions available as well. My book "It's NOT a Diet, it's Creative Eating!" available at
June is Lifestyle Columnist at

Want to recommend my weekly tips to friends, relatives or anyone interested in improving their health & fitness? click here or email me at [email protected]

copyright 2012, junefit. All rights reserved.


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