You are probably all well aware of how many glasses of water you should be drinking a day. However, despite all the publicity, we are still not drinking enough and it is impacting on our health. But maybe not in the ways you might think.
A recent review undertaken by Jodi Stookey, an epidemiologist specialising in nutrition, focused on the effect and importance of drinking water in efficient exercise and weight loss. Ms Stookey is based at the Children’s Hospital of Oakland Research Institute (USA).
The review showed that we are not aware of the effect which sugary drinks have on our insulin production and general calorie intake. Whenever you drink or eat something with significant calorie content, insulin is prompted to take care of it. When insulin production is triggered, fat burning in our cells is halted. Therefore water, containing no calories, does not prompt insulin and promotes hydration and energy use. Tea and coffee also have minimal effects on your blood sugar.
The review also pointed to the source of our bad habits – we all know that children like sweet things but those children are growing up to be hooked on sweet drinks and food as adults. If we concentrate on getting our children to drink as much water as possible and reduce intake of sugar, perhaps we can help halt the growing obesity epidemic.
One research project looked at water consumption in two groups of school children, where one group (the control group) were not encouraged to drink any extra water, with the other group having specific teaching about water and water fountains installed at their school. At the end of the school year, it was observed that the children in the water promotion group consumed on average 1.1 extra glasses of water per day compared to the other group. The prevalence of overweight children had increased by 1.9% in the control group and remained relatively stable in the water group (0.1%).
Speaking of her research, Jodi Stookey said: “This is the first review of its kind to highlight the potential link between drinking water and weight control. Water is the only liquid that is indispensable to our bodies. It is recommended that you drink 1.5 litres of water per day, not only to ensure that our bodies function properly, but also for weight management as part of a programme of physical activity and good eating habits.”