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Stay Hydrated

Learn a simple method of knowing if you are getting enough liquid.

So how much water do we actually need? Enough to replace the fluids you lose each day is determined by your size, your activity level, and the climate. A simple method of determining if you are getting enough (adequately hydrated) is the color of your urine (provided you are not mega-dosing on vitamins or taking certain medications). It should be lightly yellow. Dark yellow could indicate you need more water.

PositiveTip: Eating foods with a high water content (fruits and vegetables) adds to your total liquid intake, and can reduce how much you drink.

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Water Availability Encourages Weight Loss

Forty percent of public school children are overweight or obese.

New York City schools may have discovered a remarkably simple, yet effective way of combating overweight--by increasing access to water at lunchtime! The availability of water seemed to lower chocolate milk consumption and sugar-sweetened beverages. This economical intervention significantly lowered the likelihood of boys being overweight by 0.9 percentage points and girls by 0.6, compared to schools without water availability at lunch.

PositiveTip: It could be argued that no fluids during meals is best, but certainly water is preferable to calorie-laden beverages.

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Restriction of Sweetened Drinks Leads to Weight Loss

Curtailing the consumption of sugary drinks contributes to weight loss.

A randomized trial conducted in Boston has found that obese adolescents lost weight when they drank water or non-caloric beverages instead of sugary drinks or 100% fruit juice. The non-caloric beverages were delivered to the kids homes for one year. Two year differences were negilible, suggesting that many returned to sugary drinks.

PositiveTip: Calories from sugar-laden drinks make a difference for adolescents (and probably adults, too).

Diet Drinks Cause Belly Bulge

Diet sodas are eagerly consumed by many weight conscious men and women who think they are “healthy alternatives” to sugar saturated sodas. "They may be free of calories but not of consequences," says Helen P. Hazuda, Ph.D., professor in the University of Texas School of Medicine in San Antonio, Texas.

Her proof comes from the San Antonio Longitudinal Study of Aging. It shows that diet soft drink consumption is associated with increased waist circumference in humans. The 474 participants, ages 65-74 were tracked for 10 years. The height, weight, waist circumference and diet soda intake were recorded.

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US Teen Beverage Consumption

Teens may drink healthy beverages, but they still have too many sugary ones.

Almost three-quarters of 11,429 U.S. teens who responded to a national survey, reported drinking at least one glass of water each day during the previous week. Forty-two percent drank a daily glass of milk and 30% drank some kind of 100% fruit juice. However, 24.3% of teens reported drinking at least one sugar-sweetened soda every day, 16.1% used sports drinks daily, and 16.9% consumed another type of sugar-sweetened drink every day. Diet sodas were not as popular, with only 7% drinking them each day.

PositiveTip: Parents, schools and teens should limit intake of sugar-sweetened drinks and encourage water instead!

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Mild Dehydration Can Negatively Affect Your Mind

Small amounts of dehydration negatively influence cognitive performance!

More than 50 Tufts University male and female students from athletic teams volunteered to examine the effects of mild dehydration on cognitive performance. Each was assigned to complete team practices either with or without water replacement. Following cognitive tests, those in the "dehydration group" demonstrated higher negative mood ratings and confusion than the hydrated group. Those who had water replacement showed better vigilance and attention than the other group, as well. The amount of mild dehydration (1-2%) experienced by these subjects was similar to what many people experience in their busy, daily lives when they skip drinking sufficient water.

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Prevent the Consequences of Dehydration

Replace fluids to prevent the consequences of dehydration during and after exercise.

Those who exercise vigorously need to follow a fluid replacement plan to prevent excessive dehydration (>2% body weight loss) to prevent early fatigue, cardiovascular stress, increased risk of heat illness and diminished performance. 

PositiveTip: Replace fluids often and early during and after exercise--especially if you are in hot environments.

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Hyponatremia

If it is deep yellow, you probably need to drink more water!

Hyponatremia is a condition where the sodium levels in our body are too low, allowing water to cause our cells to swell. This can result in coma or even death! There are different causes for hyponatremia, one of them is drinking too much water. We hear many messages about the importance of drinking water, but some people have taken it too far. Certainly, if you don’t drink enough water it could kill you--and if you drink too much water it could kill you.