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Water: Can You Get Too Much of a Good Thing?

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Author: Jim Robertson

Go to any gym these days and you'll see something you wouldn't have seen as little as a decade ago. Giant hulking men in ripped-out tank tops are carrying around gallon milk jugs full of water. Women in designer aerobics wear have an iPod in one hand and a bottle of water in another. There is always a line at the water fountain, and the vending machine near the door has as many units of bottled water for sale as they do protein shakes and Gatorade. You can see evidence of this tidal wave of water worship in offices and malls and even movie theaters everywhere. We, as a culture, have discovered the wonders of water, and there is no end in sight.

So how much water is enough, anyhow? The folks in the white coats tell us we need eight cups per day, minimum. But that's just entry-level - if you work out or are otherwise physically active at work or with your dance lessons, you need more, because whether you admit it or not, you sweat. A few of those white coats tell us that we need to of an ounce of fresh water per pound of body weight. So if you're a 200-pound man, even if you don't sweat, you need 100 to 150 ounces - that's 12.5 to nearly 19 cups - per day. Maybe you should grab one of those gallon jugs for yourself. And if you do engage in regular physical activity, your requirement is even greater.

Like anything else that is in vogue in our culture, some folks carry things to an extreme. Diet gurus advise us to drink a lot of water to help us lose weight, and some interpret this literally - slam a few glasses of water and watch the pounds melt away. That's not true, of course - nothing about losing weight is that easy - but it does help. Weight loss happens faster and healthier when the body is in optimal health, and drinking lots of water is one of the things that makes this happen. Our digestion is better, our organs function better, our joints and muscles feel better (making it easier to hit the gym, which has a much more direct effect on weight loss than does drinking water), and that 95 percent of our brain that is water is clearer about it all. But water doesn't do anything at all to melt away the fat, any more than oil makes your car run. Gasoline does that, and in our bodies, that job belongs to food (synonymous with calories in this case). Water just greases the skids for it all to happen.

But can you drink too much water? If one were to actually do that - a hard thing to accomplish because you'd get sick long before you reached that point, and you'd have to chug gallons of the stuff in a short period of time to reach a point where you're harming yourself - there awaits what is called "water intoxication," a state where your organs can't process the fluid and they begin to shut down. Not good. But also, not a real risk, because your body will be screaming obscenities at you long before you reach that point.

So drink up. It's one of the few things around that's virtually free and almost completely devoid of a downside. The worst that can happen is that you'll never be able to venture too far from a restroom, and the upside is that you'll be healthier than ever, and you'll be looking cool in the process.

Jim Robertson is a passionate author and health & fitness guru here to help YOU lose weight and get fit! Claim your free copy of Jim's audio book about metabolism and weight loss, and you will also get the book in PDF format FREE!! To learn more, go to RIGHT NOW!!!


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