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Book-2: Guide to Total Wellness -1.0

Water gives us life! Your body needs water to process calories. If you are even mildly dehydrated, your metabolism may slow down. By the time you begin to feel really thirsty, your body is already in a state of mild dehydration. So do not wait till you are really thirsty. In one study, adults who drank eight or more glasses of water a day burned more calories than those who drank four. The water in the foods you eat and in the beverages you drink also counts and hence you may not need to drink eight glasses of water. In any case, do not force yourself to drink more water at any one time as that can have adverse effects on your body’s fluid balance. To stay hydrated, drink a glass of water or other unsweetened beverage regularly throughout the day and about 10 to 15 mins before every meal and snack.

The quantity of water you really need to drink depends on what you eat, where you live, how big built you are and what you do.

If you’re a coffee drinker, you probably enjoy the energy and concentration perks. Taken in moderation, one of coffee’s benefits may be a short-term rise in your metabolic rate. Caffeine can help you feel less tired and even increase your endurance while you exercise. A little Naringin before coffee can extend its effect.

Drinking green tea offers the combined benefits of caffeine and catechins, substances shown to rev up the metabolism for a couple of hours. Research suggests that drinking 2 to 4 cups of tea (any tea) a day may push the body to burn 17 percent more calories during moderately intense exercise for a short time.

The best beverage choices are water, seltzer, perhaps mixed with a little lemon juice, or unsweetened tea or ginger tea, and also traditional unsweetened Indian drinks such as unsweetened ‘Nimbu Pani’ and ‘Jal Jeera’.

We all know how good it feels to quench our thirst with a nice tall glass of cool water. But is cool water always the best option? Or maybe there are occasions where we should opt for warm water?

Ancient medical advice (from Ayurveda or Traditional Chinese Medicine – TCM) advises against drinking cold water. The logic behind this advice being that cold water has the overall effect of contracting, slowing and shrinking, while warm water helps to keep everything fluid and thus protects the internal organs and increases healthy blood flow and circulation. Also that cold fluids or foods require more energy from the body to warm them up and this delays digestion.

Evidently there is some validity in this advice in those circumstances or it would not have been carried over these thousands of years. But we do need to remember that when these medical systems were put in place, people were not typically worried about losing weight, they were more concerned about how to preserve energy and their advice was thus given in that context. Also at most times chilled water was not available to them.

Today we understand that the human body is a self-regulating system and when you drink cold water, it works to maintain its core temperature at 370C (98.60F). The temperature in the mouth is somewhat cooler 36.80C. From the moment the chilled water comes in contact with your body, the heat transfer will begin to warm it up, and it will equalize within a few minutes.

As an added bonus, drinking 2 glasses of ice-cold water will actually make your body burn about 17 calories in order to keep its temperature constant and also increases your body’s metabolic rate for about an hour thereafter.

The meal that you just consumed will not be affected in any way, as it will still end up around the same temperature as long as it remains in the body, regardless if you decided to wash it down with hot coffee or chilled water afterwards. Avoid carbonated drinks, especially with meals.

Whether cold or warm water – the most important thing is to stay hydrated and listen to your body. Our bodies have their own innate intelligence and often tell us what we need to know.

When you are working out or the weather is hot outside, you will likely crave ice water. But when you are sick with a cold you will be more inclined to want warm water. It’s still good to know the science behind the best times for cold vs. warm water!

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