Why we need to stay Hydrated

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I cannot emphasise the importance of Hydration.

Our body is made up of over 60% water, so it certainly makes sense.

Here are some of the reasons:

  • Helps with digestion
  • Helps convert your food to energy and absorb the nutrients
  • Flushes out body waste
  • Delivers Oxygen to all parts of the body
  • Regulates the bodies temperature
  • Lubricates the joints

The lists goes on and on and on. Without water survival is impossible. It’s part of the functioning of every cell and organ system in the body.

If you think your hydration levels are low and intend on increasing them, be warned you will wee a lot.

Signs to look for if you think your hydration is low:

  • Thirst
  • Fatigue and/or mood swings
  • Hunger even though you’ve recently eaten
  • Back or joint aches
  • Dull, dry skin and/or pronounced wrinkles
  • Infrequent urination – dark, concentrated urine and/or constipation.

The table below indicates an estimation of your bodies required water intake based on weight. Note that these figure will need to change depending on your activity levels, health and the environmental conditions you are exposed to.

When exercising you should increase by 1.5 – 2.5 cups (400-600militres).

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Why Chewing Is Important

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All of us know what happens when we don’t chew sweetcorn properly – it’s not fully processed. The outer layer is resistant to the acid in the stomach. If not chewed, the inner parts cannot be reached so they are not digested.

The more we chew the more nutrients the body absorbs.

Anything that we put into our mouth is going to elicit a response in the brain. You’ll get responses from the taste, smell and texture and the brain will signal the gut to prepare for food.

The main role chewing plays is that it prepares the gut for digestion, releasing gastric secretions in the gut and enzymes in the saliva as well as stimulating the hormones that regulate hunger.

The mouth and brain are both equally important.

If you eat your food too fast and swallow it without chewing properly you can put pressure on the digestive system and negatively impact the amount of nutrients the body can absorb.

There needs to be enough time during eating for the brain to recognise that you have eaten. If you eat too quickly you may then eat too much for what the body needs. This is why the idea of slowing down the eating process as a weight-management strategy can work.

The food also needs to be in contact with the gut to stimulate the hormones that regulate hunger.

It’s better for us overall to eat mindfully, taking our time, chewing properly, appreciating the flavours, textures and smells, by doing this we’re aiding the bodies amazing ability to digest, absorb the nutrients and tell the brain when we’re full so that we don’t overeat.

 

Brown Fat! Is It The Answer To Weight Loss?

What is brown fat, can it help promote weight loss?

Brown Adipose Tissue (BAT) Medical News Today is very different to the white fat that we can all conjure up an image of. White fat, is the fat that stores calories, is insulin resistant and promotes inflammation. Brown fat burns energy increasing calorie burn and the production of heat.

Now the interesting stuff is that this brown fat when exposed to the Stresses of COLD, starts to consume a considerable amount of energy from the white fat stores to ultimately keep you warm.

Until recently Brown Fat was thought to only be found in newborn babies, to keep them warm until they gain the ability to shiver. Science has recently revealed that Brown Fat is present in all humans but that the levels may differ. Humans with a lower BMI tend to have more.

Brown Fat can be found in the neck, near the spine and heart in adult humans. It is brown because of the amount of blood vessels and mitochondria it contains – the power source for our cells.

Research has found that by exposing the human body to COLD can result in the activation of this brown tissue and even promote the production of more.

Scientists have recently started to research a drug for humans, to increase the brown fat in their bodies which could ultimately lead to the treatment of the obesity epidemic and type 2 diabetes. Pharmacological Activation of Brown Fat

Can I generate my own Brown Fat?

Evidence suggests that just by exposing the body to a more cooler temperature such as turning down the thermostat to 60 degrees can Keep Brown fat Active.

Exposing the body to a cooler shower, sleeping in a cooler setting and exercising in the cold can activate the brown fat too, even notions of leaving the window open at night have been suggested. Embrace the Cold. Shivering and Exercise.

Some extreme methods have been harnessed by individuals too such as cold showers, Ice baths, exercising with minimal clothing – in a cold environment and they are seeing amazing results Wim Hof Method.

Ice packs are being placed on the fatty areas to promote Brown fat production and even Cryotherapy being promoted in the health and beauty industry and used by athletes and coaches worldwide, who swear by it.

Now I know that not everyone likes to be cold but surely by just simply getting outside and exposing your body to a temperature variation, or taking a cold shower now and then is much better than taking a drug.

I think so, anyway!

The possibilities of increasing our brown fat, I’m sure will become part of a worldwide drive to curb the obesity epidemic and I’m watching this space. Let’s wait and see.

This is only the beginning in terms of trials and studies with supporting evidence in the early stages but becoming prevalent each day.

Ultimately I personally feel along with many others that this is what our bodies are designed to combat and ignite in order to survive. ‘The Fight or Flight Response’

Is a temperature controlled environment 365 days a year the reason for our obesity epidemic. I think it’s certainly contributing.

In the meantime, anyone for a cold shower!?

 

References:

Receptors activated i n brown fat cells could lead to type 2 diabetes and obesity treatments. Diabetes UK, April 2017.

Sympathetic nervous system is critical in regulating energy expenditure and thermogenesis. Medical Xpress. April 2017.

Subjecting yourself to uncomfortable temperatures could boost metabolism. Mens Fitness, April 2017.

Brown fat: What is it and can it help reduce obesity? Medical News Today. March 2017.

Pharmacological Activation of Brown Fat

Embrace the Cold. Shivering and Exercise.

Wim Hof Method.

What Doesn’t Kill Us: how freezing water, extreme altitude, and environmental conditioning will renew our lost evolutionary strength: 1 Paperback – 11 May 2017

 

Please note these are my opinions based on evidence and non evidential material from my own personal interest in looking at the positive impact from our natural environment to exercise and weight loss.  

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