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Stop Retaining Water... By Drinking More Water!

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While the human body can store energy as glycogen, fat, and tissue, it cannot "store" water - the body uses its own water but expects us to provide a continuous supply of fresh new water regularly to function. Water is critical in moving nutrients into and out of a cell, an action known as the "ion pump". When you take in the improper balance of sodium and potassium or do not drink adequate water, your body will increase a hormone and try to "retain" water by keeping your kidneys from filtering it. Ironically, one of the best ways to stop retaining water is to drink more water!

How Much Water Should You Drink?

While humans can survive without food for several weeks (documented cases have shown lengths of up to two months), we can only survive a few days without water. Thirst is a signal that your body needs to be re-hydrated, but by the time you are thirsty it's already too late. Just a fraction of a percentage drop of your body's water supply can result into huge performance decreases. Even slight dehydration can be critical. In the recent sports season, a few deaths resulted from dehydration.

Water Bottle Problems

Contrary to popular belief, "chugging" a gallon of water is not going to provide your body with the water it needs. When too much water floods your system at once, your body will pass most of it on to your bladder, and only absorb a slight amount. Weight in the stomach is a signal for digestive processes to begin, and a number of biological chemicals enter your stomach and change the pH balance. This can result in indigestion and stomach pain.

The best way to take water is to steadily sip it throughout the day. You should also eat plenty of fruits and vegetables - most of the produce you eat is filled with water, and the body can process this water very efficiently. So - how much water? We've been told to drink "eight cups a day," which is a good starting point, but does every adult require this same amount of water when people come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes and have different metabolisms, exercise habits and lifestyles?

Actually there is a simple way to compute water intake and it works incredibly well. Recommended by nutritionist Will Brink, the method simply asks a person to drink enough water to have two or three very light colored to clear urinations per day. If you have dark yellow urinations, then either you are not drinking enough water, are not eating healthily or have some type of infection or other illness. For a normal, healthy adult, two or three light to clear urinations are a great "ruler" for proper body hydration. If you do not have these, then increase your water intake until it happens.

The type of water to drink is also the subject of much debate. Filtered tap water is better because of the prevalence of harmful agents often found in today's "raw" tap water. Keep in mind that if you drink too much non-filtered water, you may put your health at risk from exposure to chemicals and toxins found in tap or bottled water. These foreign contaminants then requires your body to filter them out. When you look at a water filter before you toss it out, that is exactly what your body's filter - the kidneys - would have had to process as well. There are many ways to filter water but reverse osmosis water filtration is one of the best methods on the market.

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Read Next: Top 5 Reasons People Retain Water