Friday, April 16, 2010

Water Speeds Metabolism - What's in That Canteen, Soldier?

Water Speeds Metabolism - What's in That Canteen, Soldier?
by Lt. Col. Bob Weinstein, USAR-Ret.

Water is one of the four basic nutrients the body needs. The other three are protein, carbohydrates and fats. Just about every process in your body depends on water. It is the most important detoxifier available to you. It helps clean you through your skin and kidneys, helps you look younger and, yes, helps you lose weight. Even mild dehydration will slow down your metabolism as much as 3%. The slower your metabolism is, the slower your weight-loss will be. You need to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses a day. That’s right. 64 ounces a day. Depending on the weather and the types of activities, you may need more. Not iced tea, not diet soft drinks, not powdered mixes, not fruit-flavored water in a bottle. Plain old water. Now quick. Go run and get a glass of water. I know this sounds really strict. If you feel the need to add some natural fruit flavor without the calories, by all means do so. Gradually back off of the flavoring to get used to drinking plain old H2O again.

Rothco 422 G.I. Style Aluminum Canteen and Cover, 1 Quart
During a military training exercise many decades ago, I was stopped by a drill instructor who inspected my canteen to make sure I had water in it. He unscrewed the lid and performed a sniff test. Detecting a smell other than water – no, it wasn’t whiskey or gin or any other alcoholic beverage! – he poured some of the contents onto the ground.
As he saw the bright red color of my “water,” he barked at me, “That’s not water!”
I quickly responded, “No, Sir!” 
“What’s that in your canteen, Soldier?” he shouted while I stood at attention.
“Kool-Aid, Sir!”
His barking was now getting louder, “Kool-Aid? You’ve got to be kidding me!” 
“No, Sir! Kool-Aid!” 
“That’ll cost ya’, Soldier! You’re now officially promoted to KP duty for a week.”
For those civilians who don’t know what KP is, it stands for Kitchen Police and entails every imaginable kitchen duty necessary to service hundreds of troops, from mopping floors to washing dishes.
I thought I could get away with a little sweet beverage in my canteen. Red Kool-Aid was not the best choice, since my lips, gums and mouth were red. A dead give-away.
So, was my drill instructor right? Was it better to drink water without the added calories? You bet he was! One of the biggest and most consistent sources of additional daily calories is through the beverages that we regularly drink. The only exception I would make would be for the high performance athlete or for long workouts in heat and humidity.
Boot Camp Fitness for All Shapes and Sizes: Complete Manual to Exceed Your GoalsWhile training or working in heat and humidity, profuse sweating leads to electrolyte depletion. Electrolytes are substances that become ions in solution and acquire the capacity to conduct electricity. The balance of electrolytes in our bodies is essential for normal functioning of our cells and our organs. Common electrolytes are sodium, potassium, chloride, and bicarbonate. 
The major electrolytes are: 
  • sodium (Na+)
  • potassium (K+)
  • chloride (Cl-)
  • calcium (Ca2+)
  • magnesium (Mg2+)
  • bicarbonate (HCO3-)
  • phosphate (PO42-)
  • sulfate (SO42-)

Colonel Bob's Six Keys to Permanent Weight Loss, NEW RELEASEElectrolytes are important because they are what your cells (especially nerve, heart, muscle) use to maintain voltages across their cell membranes and to carry electrical impulses (nerve impulses, muscle contractions) across themselves and to other cells. Kidneys help keep the electrolyte concentrations balanced. During a heavy workout, especially in heat and high humidity, you lose electrolytes in your sweat, particularly sodium and potassium. These electrolytes must be replaced to keep the electrolyte concentrations of your body fluids constant. Many sports drinks have sodium chloride or potassium chloride added to them. 
One level teaspoon of sugar has 16 calories and 4 grams of carbohydrate. One rounded teaspoon is actually 1-1/2 level tsps and 24 calories with 6 grams of carbohydrate. Now, let’s look at how many teaspoons of sugar are actually in the following beverages.
Weight Loss - Twenty Pounds in Ten Weeks - Move It to Lose It: Take back control of your weight. A no-nonsense, straightforward, weight loss solution. (Volume 1)Orange Juice, one 8-oz. glass, fresh pressed: 112 calories (Note: most containers have 2.5 servings, resulting in 280 total calories. 8 oz. has 21 grams of sugar or 5­¼ level teaspoons of sugar. If you buy and drink the container with 2.5 servings, you are then taking in 52.2 grams of sugar, or over 13 level teaspoons of sugar. Gatorade, 8-oz serving, 50 calories, 14 grams of sugar, which translates to over 3 level teaspoons of sugar. Ever see an 8-oz bottle of Gatorade? They’re usually 16 or 24-oz containers.

·         Soft drink such as Coke or Pepsi, 12 oz, 155 calories, 40 grams of sugar which translates to 10 level teaspoons of sugar. Look at this! That 2.5-serving container of orange juice has more sugar than a 12-oz can of soda.
·         Smoothie, Banana Berry from Jamba Juice, Original size (719 grams), 518 calories, 107 grams of sugar or over 26 level teaspoons of sugar. Now, that’s a sugar fix!
·         Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino® Light Blended Coffee, Grande (16 oz), 160 calories, 21 grams of sugar and 1.5 grams of fat.
·         Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino® Blended Coffee, Grande (16 oz), 380 calories, 48 grams of sugar and 15 grams of fat.
·         Starbucks Dulce de Leche Frappuccino® Blended Crème, Grande (16 oz), 530 calories, 71 grams of sugar and 15 grams of fat (including 9 grams of saturated fat).
Make water your choice of beverage when eating out, at home or anywhere else. You will reduce your calorie intake and speed up your metabolism.

Please mention the author when using this article.
The author is Lt. Col. Bob Weinstein, USAR-Ret.

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Lt. Col. Bob Weinstein, USAR-Ret.
Boot Camp Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer

Mailing address:
757 SE 17th Street, #267
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
Office 954-636-5351
Cell 954-790-7111

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