Thursday, July 9, 2009

Just Drink Water

Decades ago, I saw someone on Oprah explain that drinking water can cure hunger. He simplified the solution quite a bit, but his point was made that consuming the right amount of water can help curb hunger.

Was he right?

In short, people often confuse slight dehydration (I'm talking about subtle dehydration that most of us endure daily without realizing it) for hunger. We don't often know how to interpret the messages from our bodies, so we think we are hungry when we are really just in need of water.

So, can drinking more water cure hunger? Not all the time, but since most of us don't consume enough water, then this is surely a good start.

How much is too much? How much is just enough drinking water?

In a very broad and general statement, our water consumption in ounces should roughly equal half of a person's bodyweight in lbs on non-exercise days in normal temperatures. On days of high exercise and/or extreme temperatures, we may want to double that number and consume roughly one ounce of water per pound of bodyweight. Heavy caffeine drinkers or those on diuretics may need more water, and those that consume a lot of hydrating beverages should probably go lower than these values.

The above equation is rough, and many medical factors should be considered, but if you're not consuming anywhere near these numbers, then you probably need to change your water intake.

Remember, being short on body water may lead to excess feelings of hunger. And, do any of us really want to deal with that?

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