Vitamins Are Fun

You may not know this about me, but I run a small online nutritional supplement store called THE VITAMIN FUN HOUSE, which I started in 2009 after working for over 8 years in R&D at a little known Wisconsin vitamin company. As a researcher there, I combed the evidence based scientific literature on the relationship between nutrition, supplements, and human health, and published a peer reviewed study on the benefits of a whole food diet for healthy cholesterol metabolism.

One of my new year's resolutions for 2017 is to offer my nutrition and supplement knowledge to help people lead healthier, happier lives. Ask me questions and let me know if there are any topics you'd like me to research and post here on my blog.

If you gain some benefit from this site, please consider shopping for nutritional supplements via my Amazon powered online store (quality brands, lowest cost).

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Benefits of Drinking Water - What Does Water Do For Your Body?

Drinking a decent amount of water every day is correlated with a longer life and better health (SOURCE). That makes common sense, since water is essential for human life. But there are many subtle health benefits of drinking good amounts of water. The generally accepted rule of thumb is to drink eight 8-oz glasses of water every day, but that's actually a convenient statistic more than a practical one, albeit easily remembered (8 by 8). There is actually no hard scientific evidence for drinking this amount of water. In fact, some people may need more water and some less, depending on a lot of things like body type, climate, exercise, diet, medications, and more (SOURCE).

Water is needed for basic biological processes in your body (metabolism), but it is also critically important for flushing toxins from your body via the kidneys. The main toxin secreted in your urine is urea nitrogen, a normal by-product of protein metabolism that builds up in your blood stream. But your urine also removes other toxins and by-products, such as pesticides in foods or prescription drug metabolites. Although you should be eating a healthy diet all the time and trying to minimize consuming toxins, you aren't always going to succeed. Water is a good solvent and it helps flush water soluble toxins out of your body, along with normal metabolic waste products (SOURCE).

Peeing is one way we get rid of toxins and waste products in the body. But so is pooping. Drinking lots of water actually helps keep things moving in your intestinal tract and prevents constipation, which is basically when your dehydrated body pulls water out of your large intestine to try to maintain your bodily fluid levels. When your poop gets really dried out, it doesn't have enough lubrication to move freely through your colon, causing constipation (SOURCE).

Drinking water is correlated with weight loss (SOURCE). Obviously, drinking water instead of other beverages with ridiculous amounts of sugar and calories is going to reduce your caloric intake overall. But water also fills up your stomach volume, so drinking it before a meal can make you feel full sooner and therefore eat less. Water can be used to postpone hunger cravings too. The “grumbellies” (aka stomach rumbling) occur when your stomach is empty and you start thinking about food because you are a little bit hungry. The stomach muscles begin to contract in anticipation of food and cells in the wall of the stomach secrete digestive juices. This is what makes the annoying noises. It is basically your stomach saying, “Feed me!” When you have the grumbellies, drinking a big glass of water may help. This fills your stomach with something so that the sounds of your protesting stomach are stifled.

Drinking water can optimize your physical performance (SOURCE). Your muscles burn a large portion of the calories your body uses in a day and they are most efficient at this when they are well hydrated. That's why the “experts” always tell you to stay hydrated when you are exercising. You sweat during exercise to regulate your body temperature and that takes water out of your body, dehydrating you. When you are dehydrated, your muscle cells actually shrink and this can lead to premature muscle fatigue in which the cells are not burning calories as efficiently as they should. So keeping your body well watered maximizes the ability of your muscles to burn calories, contributing further to weight control, even at rest (SOURCE).