Have you ever wondered if it's true that water helps you burn more calories? Well, it is! In a recent study researchers at Vanderbilt University found that ordinary water - without any additives - does more than just quench your thirst. It also increases the activity of the 'fight or flight' nervous system, which raises alertness and boosts metabolism.
One Vanderbilt professor estimates that drinking three 16 ounce glasses of water a day without making any other changes could boost calorie burning enough to lead to a five pound weight loss over the course of a year.
And because water tightens blood vessels, it prevents blood from pooling in the extremities (hands and feet). That's one reason why drinking water helps alleviate the puffiness you might experience after eating a salty meal or during 'that time of the month.'
Guzzling gallons of water isn't practical, or even safe. Drinking too much water too fast can actually lead to a condition called water intoxication, which means the body's cells and tissues swell with excess fluid, leading to an irregular heartbeat, fluid in the lungs, and pressure on the brain and nerves. This H2O overload could lead to seizures, coma and ultimately death.
So bottom line: don't go crazy and think the more the better. To harness the benefits aim for 8-10 cups, spread even throughout the day, maybe 1-2 cups with each meal and snack. And if you don't like the taste of plain water, add some all natural flavor. My glass in this photo contains half of a sliced key lime and two fresh, torn mint leaves (yum!).