Does your body seem to hang onto the calories instead of burning them off? An answer to speeding up your metabolism may be as close as your kitchen faucet. You can speed up your metabolism by drinking more water.
Here’s why it works: Your kidneys have the task of filtering fluids and getting rid of toxins. In our modern poisonous environment that’s a big job! When you don’t drink enough water, the toxins are highly concentrated and the kidneys can’t cope.
“We need help,” they radio to the autopilot — the part of your brain that manages your body functions. The autopilot sends the message on the liver.
“Situation is getting critical. Give the kidneys some help with the poison filtration.”
“But, I am busy with my own job,” the liver complains. “I have all this fat to process. Metabolizing this stuff takes all my time and energy.”
“Put the fat on hold,” the autopilot replies. “Just stuff it somewhere while you work on the toxins. I’ll send the message to the other organs to slow down until you are caught up.”
And that’s what happens. You don’t realize it. You probably are barely even thirsty. Yet, your body is compensating for the lack of water. You need a lot of it, because 2/3 of your body is made up of fluids. Besides that, it takes three grams of water to metabolize each gram of carbohydrates you eat. If you don’t drink enough water, you set yourself up for an internal crisis — and a weight gain.
Will other fluids work as well? There is a lot of conflicting information and opinions about that. Some say there is no difference. Others say it should be pure water. In my opinion, if you are drinking something made up of toxins — like sodas — you are defeating your purpose, since your kidneys will have more work to do, get behind, and have to call in the liver for help. Same scenario. Why not just drink the water? If you don’t like the taste, squeeze a little lemon into it. Lemon is good for the liver, so you will be a step ahead.
I found a couple of clinical studies that show that drinking water, especially cold water, does speed up the metabolism briefly right after drinking it. In 2003, an article was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism about this. In the study, seven men and seven women of normal weight drank about 500 ml of water per day. When their metabolic rates were measured, the researchers found that all metabolic rates were increased by about 30 percent. The highest rates were about 30 minutes after drinking a glass of water, and it stayed high for about an hour.
How does this compute to your life? More than likely you will burn an extra 70 calories a day if you drink eight glasses of water daily. That doesn’t look impressive next to a 500 calorie piece of cake. However, since you could expect to burn about 100 calories by walking a mile, that’s not too shabby.
It’s easy, painless, and free. And it makes your body work more efficiently. So get out your water bottle and get into the habit of drinking water throughout the day. It may be the little boost you need to kick your metabolism into a higher gear.
Eating to live and living for Christ,
Susan Jordan Brown