Oh! …. The hot days of summer!

When you hear "summer," does your mind flash you a picture show? Do you see yourself sitting by the pool sipping some goodie drink; walking in the mountains or along the shore or any where in-between; paying a visit to Disney World or Disney Land …. Do you "experience" whatever is your bliss?

Summers don't last long, so we have to make the best of them. Sitting by the pool or the ocean sipping an alcoholic cooler definitely puts a smile on my face and I allow myself that pleasure once in a while to reward myself and enjoy the moment.

Yet, the very best summer time drink is – drum roll please – just WATER, plain H2O, plain and simple! Water is the thirst quencher par excellence and your body thanks you for it by flooding you with the feeling of well being.

Did you know that your body is about 60-70% water and is your most basic nutrient? Yep, your body runs on water. All bodily functions require water; in fact your body depends on water for survival. Your metabolism doesn't run without water, your cells need water; your digestion couldn't function properly without water. Your body needs water to regulate its temperature, to remove free radicals and waste and even lubricate your joints.

Summertime puts a lot of stress on your body with its heat, exercise, work and family stress, outdoor events, etc., so drinking lots of water is essential to stay hydrated for your overall wellness and to replenish the water you lose via sweat, sun, exercise, etc.

Just how much is "lots of water?" The gold standard that has been promoted by various medical sources is 6-8 glasses of 8 oz of water. That's ½ a gallon! Before you say "no way" think of it as a guideline and adapt to your body size and level of activity. It's been suggested that you measure out ½ gallon in the morning and sip, sip, sip all day. If you want to be very precise, you can go to this website www.livestrong.com/recommended-water-intake and calculate how much you need.

Now that you had your mind refreshed about the necessity of drinking water, not limited to the summer only but to all times, here are some things you may not realize that drinking water may help you with.

Weight loss and fitness effects of drinking water

Aside from being an uncontested health benefit, drinking lots of water and drinking it at the right times can help you lose weight. It has been suggested that 2 glasses of water before breakfast, lunch and dinner cut down on your appetite causing you to eat less. In other words, that's how you can tame your hunger monster. Also your drinking water during the day helps you to stay fuller, not craving comfort foods (we know what they do to us). Scientific evidence shows that drinking water helps losing weight by increasing the rate at which calories are burned, meaning it increases metabolism.
A word of caution here: Sugary soda drinks do not help you here; they defeat your goals for weight loss. So, don't even think about them.

Water helps hydrate your skin, thus keeping your skin looking great

When your skin gets dehydrated your skin begins to look old and wrinkled. Summer sun can and will dry out your skin, but by drinking lots of water and eating foods high in water content, you can avoid looking like a prune. "You can look significantly younger just by keeping your skin hydrated," says Howard Murad, M.D., associate clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, and author of The Water Secret: The Cellular Breakthrough to Look and Feel 10 Years Younger. "Water naturally plumps skin, fills in fine lines and wrinkles, and boosts a lackluster complexion."

Water keeps you "regular"

Earlier I alluded to your digestion needing water. That really goes for your GI tract from beginning to end, but when normal bowel function is not maintained due to insufficient liquid, constipation is the result. Adequate hydration keeps your digestive function flowing along. Imagine being on the trip of your dreams and being constipated; that can quickly spoil your fun.

Remember this:
• Think of water as your basic nutrient and drink lots of it, especially during the summer;
• Your body loses fluids through skin evaporation, digestion, metabolism, stress;
• Any daily fluid loss has to be replaced or increased by intake;
• You are what you eat, drink and metabolize;
• When you drink water, make sure it's contaminant-free.

Enjoy your summer, do whatever you find joy in and stay hydrated.

© 2013 Britt Mittemeijer

WebMed.org; FamilyDoctor.org; Dr. Howard Murad, MD, Ladies' Home Journal

Author's Bio: 

Britt Mittemeijer’s first and foremost interest is in helping others to a healthy and green lifestyle. She believes strongly that clean, contaminant-free drinking water is a prerequisite for healthy nutrition. Water as a basic nutrient is often overlooked . Her concern is to guide her audience to make effective choices in their needs for safe water at an affordable price. She maintains a blog at www.BottledWaterCostsTooMuch.com and has a website at www.multipureusa.com/brittmit