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Water: Your best health ally

Perhaps nature’s greatest gift, water is calorie free, satisfying, life sustaining and costs next to nothing. And if you’re not taking advantage of it—that means drinking at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day—you’re doing your body a disservice.

Here’s why:

  • Every cell needs water to carry out its activities. Water transports nutrients and helps the body regulate its internal temperature. So vital is water to bodily functions that we can survive only a few days without it.
  • Water acts as an internal buffer, bathing and cushioning internal organs and lubricating joints.
  • Water makes you glow—from the inside out. Skimp on your intake and you’ll deprive skin of the nutrient it needs for replenishment. The results? Dry skin and wrinkles.
  • Water can help prevent colon cancer and other cancers by keeping the gastrointestinal system moving and encouraging the elimination of waste and toxins.
  • Water energizes. Fatigue is one of the first signs of dehydration, but don’t wait for exhaustion to set in before drinking up. Get into the habit of filling a two-quart container with water each morning and finishing it by bedtime. Juice, seltzer, decaffeinated colas and fruits and veggies also contribute toward your daily water intake.
  • Water plays a key role in weight control. Often, people misinterpret thirst for hunger. Reach for a tall glass of water the next time you think you need food. If you’re still feeling pangs 10 minutes later, it’s genuine hunger you’re feeling—so eat!
  • Water feels great on the skin. A splash of water on the face or a quick shower instantly invigorates, while a soak in the tub soothes and restores. If few things ease stress and muscle tension as well as a swim or a bath, it’s not so surprising. After all, water keeps us alive—in more ways than one.