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Water Consumption: Not Just a Fad

Por Eleazar Lara-Pantin, MD, MSc.* -
Water Consumption: Not Just a Fad

The topic of water consumption has generated a lot of questions recently. I would like to share 3 common questions, and their answers.

Is water fattening?

If by "fattening" you mean increasing a person's body fat the answer is no. Water doesn’t have any calories. It is impossible to get fat by drinking water. However, some people do have problems with retaining and excreting water/fluids. People who have ongoing problems with water retention should consult a physician, as this may be an indication of certain medical conditions.

Does drinking lots of water make your body firmer?

No. Water is a fundamental element in the human body. Adequate amounts are essential for the performance of certain vital life- and health-sustaining processes in our body's cells, but there is no direct relationship between drinking large volumes of water and having a firm body. Firmness is associated with muscle tone. Muscle tone can only be achieved through regular exercise, not by drinking large quantities of water.

Is it true that when you eat but don’t drink liquids with your meal, the body cannot digest the food properly and you therefore lose weight?

No, it’s not true. Drinking liquids with our meals is not an essential requirement for our bodies to be able to digest food and absorb the nutrients they contain. The presence of water is necessary for these processes to take place, but it can be obtained in varying proportions from the food we eat and the juices our body produces to facilitate digestion. Not drinking liquids with your meals is therefore not going to help you get slim.

It’s important to remember that when you eat, you should not drink water or any other drink before you finish chewing the food in your mouth, because doing so can affect the first and fundamental part of the digestion process which is to make sure food is well chewed and mixed with saliva. This tip won’t help us to lose weight either, but it can help prevent digestive problems.

Daily consumption of water and/or other liquids is necessary to sustain normal body functions. This has been, and always will be an important part of healthy eating principles.

*Dr. Lara-Pantin, a nutrition specialist, is Vice President of Product Development for DrTango.


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