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The Diet FItness Diva Newsletter Archives

Entries in water (4)

Monday
Feb212011

I understand that drinking milk or eating yogurt will make a cold worse because the dairy increases the amount of mucus you make. I have a cold and wonder if I should stop drinking milk?

This is a myth. The amount of mucus generated by having a head cold or sinus condition is directly related to the virus or infection and not to dairy products. Researchers in Australia measured the mucus produced by people who had colds. The researchers then had them drink milk and measured their mucus output again. There was no difference in mucus production before or after ingesting the milk. While it may feel thicker inside your mouth when you eat dairy products with a cold, it is actually an illusion due to the lack of hydration in your mouth. Go ahead and enjoy dairy products when you have a cold and be sure to drink plenty of fluids to keep hydrated.

Monday
Feb072011

I have heard that coconut water is the best thing to drink after a workout and that it is better than sports drinks, orange juice or water. I saw some in the health food store by my house and it is very expensive! Is it worth the price? Are the claims about it true?

Coconut water is the liquid juice stored inside young coconuts – sometimes called coconut milk. It has long been a staple liquid of Southeast Asian nations, where the fruit is harvested for its flesh, oil and milk.  Coconut water is a fat-free, cholesterol-free, low-calorie, super-hydrating drink naturally rich in electrolytes, all of which are touted as benefits of this latest health drink. Dubbed "nature's sports drink" and "life-enhancer" by marketers, it’s no wonder celebrities have replaced their acai berry drinks with it. Coconut water hit the health food stores five years ago with Vita Coco and Zico being the big distributors. The health claims are that it will cure diabetes, cancer and hypertension.  Unfortunately, that tends to become the selling point of the product so the real health benefits get lost in the hype.

At $2-3 for 11 oz. is it worth the price you ask?  After a hard workout, the body needs to hydrate and replace the electrolytes we lose, especially potassium and sodium.  A serving of coconut water offers 569 mg of potassium but only 160 mg of sodium. A typical commercial sports drink offers 53 mg of potassium and 192 mg of sodium.  After a hard workout, the body needs sodium more than potassium because when we sweat we lose more sodium than potassium. Keep in mind that we are talking about a HARD workout! Drinking coconut water is definitely much better than “energy drinks,” cola or processed juice especially because most of us don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables, so we typically don’t get enough potassium. 

As far as being worth the cost keep this in mind:

  • most people don’t exercise hard enough or often enough to need a sports drink or coconut water as a recovery drink
  • the body doesn’t distinguish between potassium and sodium sources be they coconut water or a less expensive sports drink

For most of us, water is just fine and much less expensive.

Friday
Jan072011

I read that the Chinese and Japanese drink warm water, hot tea or soup after a meal to soften and liquefy any fat they eat. They say this prevents the fat from turning to “sludge” and clogging the arteries to the heart. Am I setting myself up for a heart attack because I like to drink ice tea with my meals?

This is a myth pure and simple. There is no scientific research that supports this concept and it is considered an urban legend. The acid in the stomach is HCL or hydrochloric acid. This acid is corrosive enough to eat a hole through most table tops. Therefore any liquid whether cold, warm or hot is quickly broken down and warmed by stomach acid and the body’s own heat.  By the time food has reached the small intestines, the food has been broken down into nutrient molecules that are small enough for single blood cells to take the nutrients to all parts of the body.  Food that goes to the large intestine is absorbed through the intestinal walls at the molecular level and the larger, solid pieces are eliminated as waste.  Any nutrients that reach the heart muscle are in the form of molecules. Drinking warm or hot drinks or soup is pleasant and soothing but won’t unclog arteries.

Friday
Dec242010

I want to lose weight for the holidays, and I have read that drinking water will help a person lose weight. How much water should I drink?

Drinking water doesn't burn calories, activity burns calories. However water does aid in the digestion of food. Water is needed in the hydrolysis or breakdown of food.  The moisture content of most foods plus the existing water content of your body along with liquids you drink with meals should be sufficient for digestion. Drinking excess water is not going to increase your metabolism or calorie burn, but will possibly make you uncomfortable and in need of a bathroom. To lose weight for the holidays or in general, decrease the number of calories you consume and pick up your activity level.  You may want to engage the help of a physician, dietician or a personal trainer so you can articulate your goals and create a plan to meet them.  Your health is worth it!