Sorry, I am not referring to a "magic potion" that will give you quick and effortless weight loss. I found not such substance and it was not from a lack of trying either. Centuries ago, Emperor Qin of ancient China initiated a nationwide quest to find the "Elixir of Life", a potion (depending on which myth you listen to) that either would allow the imbiber to live forever or heal all wounds and illnesses. He of course failed in his quest, but in a very real sense we have always had the Elixir of Life. It is called water. True, water will not give us immortality, but try going three days without water and see how alive you feel.
As living organisms, we have countless chemical reactions going on in our bodies - literally tens of thousands in each and every of our 50+ trillion cells and most of them occur more efficiently in a liquid medium. And water happens to be the most common and least reactive liquid in the universe. It is no wonder that the first life began in water, and life continues to depend on the presence of water. Furthermore, water acts as a transport medium, carrying needed materials to our cells, and removing wastes, and depleted water levels makes for more sluggish reactions, including fat-burning reactions. You have no doubt heard that we should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. That is a minimum and if you are active you should be drinking more. In my research, the most common rule of thumb I found is to drink .075 8-ounce cups of water per pound of body weight for active individuals. So for a 200-pound man, that would be 15 cups or 120 ounces of water per day. This should be done with plain water, not through drinking sodas or caffeine beverages.
I like those 24-ounce sports bottles personally. They contain a sizeable amount of water in an easy to handle container. I count the number of those bottles rather than cups or ounces. I try to make it a habit to drink a minimum of three bottles and sometimes I drink as much as five. I will factor in water I drink mixed whey and/or casein protein or mixed with maltodextrose, however I will not factor in water I drink from beverages such as sodas, alcoholic drinks, fruit or vegetable juices, coffee, or tea towards my daily quota of water. Excluding water from those sources keeps my focus on drinking pure water and the health benefits I get from it.
Water is the only substance we can consume that neither contains calories nor has a caloric effect on our bodies. Drinking electrolyte beverages such as Gatorade® in moderation will help restore electrolyte balance. By staying well hydrated, you will help with many fat metabolizing processes within your body, and that will speed up your weight loss. Not to mention, I personally have noticed other health improvements when I ramped up my water consumption, such as more energy and a great general feeling of exuberance. I feel much less groggy in the mornings - and without caffeine, and virtually get no more headaches. The only downside I really had was I needed to use the restroom more often. However, considering the vast improvement I experienced in my physique, this inconvenience was well worth it.
Please keep in mind, simply increasing your water consumption will not help you loose weight directly. The core of any successful and long-term weight loss will always be a combination of healthy eating and physical activity. However, by ensuring you are well hydrated while eating healthy and training, you will push your body to burn more fat by facilitating the biochemical processes responsible for metabolizing fat stores.
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