EatWell with a BaySport Nutritionist: Stay Hydrated to Fight Wrinkles, Control Weight and Improve Performance

By Sheri Berger, RDN

From the cellular level to fighting wrinkles and weight management, water is vital to every function of the human body. Read on for more information on why hydration is important along with some helpful tips.

Drink before you eat. Many people mistake thirst for hunger. Your body may actually be craving fluids and not that chocolate bar! When you do not drink enough, your body receives mixed signals that it is hungry.

Drink before you eat more. Water is a natural appetite suppressant because it fills the digestive tract with calorie free goodness. A study from Virginia Tech showed that dieters who drank 2 cups of water before a meal consumed 75-90 calories less than people who did not drink water.

How much fluid is enough? Most people urinate 1.5L per day. An additional Liter of fluid is lost from breathing, sweating, and bowel movements. Not only do we replace bodily fluids from drinking water, but also from a well-balanced diet. Fruits and vegetables can account for about 20% of fluid intake. Be sure to eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day and drink 2 liters of non-caffeinated fluids for proper fluid replacement.

Water is so blah! I get it; you may not like plain water. Ever try spa water? Decaffeinated tea and clear broth are also great sources of hydration.

Go easy on the caffeine and alcohol. Both of these tempting beverages are full of calories and they are diuretics. Limit these beverages for the sake of your waistline and hydration level. When at a social event, substitute sparkling water for alcohol or for every cocktail or glass of wine, drink a glass of water as well.

Hydrate before, during, and after exercise. Body fluids are lost from sweat when exercising, drinking enough water before, during, and after exercise is essential. When you are well hydrated during exercise your endurance and performance will be better, which can help you to burn more calories. Hydrating well after exercise is important for repairing and building muscle tissue.

About the Author:

Sheri Berger is a Registered Dietitian having completed her B.S. in Food/Nutrition & Dietetics and a dietetic internship at Loyola University Chicago. Sheri has a diverse professional background that includes hospital and outpatient clinic support, preventative wellness programs, corporate wellness services, cardiovascular disease management, and working with seniors. Sheri enjoys engaging her clients in pursuit of their personal wellness goals and leading by example with her healthy lifestyle. Sheri has been certified in adult weight management since 2005. She belongs to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, California Dietetics Association, and the San Jose Peninsula District of the CDA. Sheri enjoys spending her free time with her husband and two daughters and she loves to run marathons.

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