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H 2 Go  01.02.2008

If I had a dollar for every time my parents told me to drink more water as a child, I'd be a rich man today. However, it was never explained why this was so important. They simply said that "it was good for me". Nowadays, everyone is well aware they should be consuming about 8 glasses a day on a regular basis, especially during the summer months. But to some, it is not the preferred choice. There are many things that you may not know regarding water that may change the way you think about it from now on.

Water is critical for our bodies to function healthily and efficiently. Our bodies are approximately 70% water. Therefore, it is not surprising that we begin to experience mild dehydration and headaches when our body water levels drop by as little as one percent. A two percent decrease then begins to hinder short-term memory, focus and concentration, leaving us feeling lethargic and fatigued. Sadly about 70 to 75% of Australians are chronically dehydrated!

These figures may seem irrelevant to some but it may explain the growing obesity problem within Australia considering that a mild change in the body water levels can alter the metabolic rate by up to 3%. Dehydration is also commonly mistaken for hunger, leading to unnecessary overeating. On a positive note for those aiming to lose weight, water is terrific as a hunger killer and stomach filler. In a study by the University of Washington, one glass of water was found to remove midnight hunger pains for over 95% of dieters.

Also, on a positive note, drinking water can increase alertness, keeping daytime fatigue at bay. It can ease headaches as well as joint and back pain. And finally, drinking at least 5 glasses of water a day is said to decrease the chances of developing certain cancers by as much as 79%!

So, the next time you find yourself hankering for a bowl of icecream, a chocolate bar or a greasy 3am sausage sandwich, think again. Are you actually hungry or are you simply not recognising mild dehydration? Why not this week, try replacing caffeine, energy drinks or sugar-ladened cans of fizz for natural water and notice the difference it makes to both your health and alertness!

Enjoy the journey

"Search your heart, open your mind, live the dream."

Cheers, Blake Beattie

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