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Water v. Diet Soda For Weight Loss

Replacing diet soda with plain water might help you lose more weight, especially if you’re already on a diet. Researchers at the University of Nottingham in the UK recruited 89 overweight and obese women ages 27 to 40 who usually drank diet sodas at lunch and asked half of them to switch to water. The others were instructed to continue drinking diet sodas after lunch five times a week for the 24-week duration of the study. Of the 89 women who initially enrolled, 62 completed the study. Those who switched their lunchtime drink to water lost about 8.8 kilograms (19.4 pounds), compared to 7.6 kilograms (16.8 pounds) for the women who continued to drink diet soda. Another plus: the research team reported improvements in insulin sensitivity in the women who switched to water. Even though the difference in weight loss between the two groups was small, diet drinks definitely have another downside. Earlier studies have linked them to obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. 

Is The “Lemon Water In The Morning” Craze Justified? Find Out!

While many people opt to start their day with a cup of coffee or tea, drinking warm water with lemon juice first thing in the morning - before consuming anything else - may have benefits. A glass of lemon water may:

  • Help With Hydration. Since our bodies go about seven to eight hours without any water overnight, it's essential to drink water first thing in the morning to avoid dehydration. For those who find water boring, lemon juice provides a tasty addition to help stay hydrated.
  • Provide An Immunity Boost. A citrus fruit, lemons are a great source of vitamin C, helping to keep the immune system strong.
  • Rejuvenate Your Skin. The vitamin C lemon juice provides can also help to repair and regenerate tissues, and is essential for synthesis of collagen, a protein that is the chief component of skin.
  • Enhance Your Mood. The scent of a lemon has been found to reduce stress levels, improve moods, and reduce agitation - all good reasons to start the morning off with fresh citrus.

While there is no solid evidence to support lemon water's weight loss claims, there is certainly no downside to starting your day with it. Likely any benefit in the weight department will be more due to how you spend the rest of the day.

Lemons are available year-round, in both sour (Eureka and Lisbon) and sweeter (Meyer) varieties. Look for a lemon that is heavy for its size, which indicates less skin and more flesh. The peel should have a finely grained texture and be fully yellow.

 

6 Reasons to Drink More Water

 

Want to promote healthy skin and proper digestion? Interested in a natural detoxifier? Water is a basic necessity. The body is more than two-thirds water, and keeping it hydrated is vital. Other reasons to have water as a regular part of your day include:
1. Healthy blood and bones. Your blood is over 80 percent water and your bones are over 50 percent water. Proper hydration is required to optimize creation of new blood and bone cells.


2. Toxin elimination. Skip the fancy (and costly) detox plans. Plain water naturally helps remove toxins through the lymphatic system, intestines and kidneys.

3. Lubricated joints. Water helps protect against wear and tear and can even help reduce joint pain.

4. Proper digestion. Water helps prevent constipation by adding bulk to stools and fluid to the colon. 

5. Alertness. Even minor dehydration can lead to headaches, irritability, impaired concentration and fatigue. The human brain is 85 percent water; keeping it hydrated is essential for proper functioning.

6. Healthy skin. Water hydrates from the inside out, helping to maintain elasticity of the skin.

The standard recommendation is to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses a day. I don't believe there is solid evidence that such a high volume is essential for everyone; however, do drink throughout the day - this is easier if you keep a large glass or glass water bottle handy at all times. I have always recommended drinking high-quality water from a trustworthy source, or, if possible, getting a water-purification system for your home. If you are trying to wean yourself from soda, consider switching it out for sparkling water with a lime as a refreshing, healthful alternative. Learn more about quality drinking water.

 

4 Healthy Beverages

Yesterday we looked at unhealthy drinks to avoid – and today we cover four that you should add to your diet. Each offers health benefits, and tastes great too!

Yesterday we discussed four unhealthy drinks that you should minimize or avoid. Today we cover four healthy beverages - experiment to find the best ways to incorporate them into your daily routine: 

  1. Green tea. Dr. Weil's beverage of choice, green tea is a potent source of catechins - healthy antioxidants that can inhibit cancer cell activity and help boost immunity. Look for an organic and fair trade version. Replace your morning coffee with a cup of tea for a healthier wake-up, and drink iced green tea throughout the day.
  2. Cranberry juice. Cranberries are a rich source of vitamin C and contain a substance that hinders the attachment of bacteria to bladder walls, which can help prevent urinary tract infections. Instead of cranberry juice cocktail, opt for unsweetened cranberry juice concentrate and dilute with water or sparkling water. Diluted blueberry juice is a healthy choice as well.
  3. Red wine. The antioxidant activity of red wine has been linked to heart health benefits, reduced stress, and even preserving memory. If you enjoy an occasional drink, limit your intake to one to two glasses a day. If you don't drink, don't start - there are other ways to get antioxidants in your diet, including fresh whole fruits and vegetables.
  4. Pure, filtered water. Staying well hydrated is essential to optimal health and overall functioning. Sip water throughout the day, and in the warmer months, be sure to drink water before and after exercising to avoid dehydration.

 

What Water Temperature Do You Use for Hand Washing? (Poll)

A recent Q&A discussed the best way to wash your hands: Cold Water for Cleaner Hands? Check out the article and let us know what temperature water you most often use when washing your hands.