You probably know water is good for you but did you know it helps you lose weight?

A lean, healthy adult body contains 70% water. Most of the food we eat is about that same percentage. We could go for weeks without food but only a few days without water. That’s because our blood is 90% water and is the main source of transportation for nutrition in and waste products out of our bodies. Without a steady stream of water, our tissues and organs become undernourished and contaminated. Think biochemical emergency!

All muscles depend on water to be able to expand and contract. Our lungs need constant moisture to enable us to breathe. In addition, water helps regulate our internal and external temperatures, lubricates our joints and allows our organs to perform optimally, especially the kidneys.

Blood brings waste products to the kidneys to be excreted in urine. When water is in short supply our body holds onto the little water that remains in the tissues. Over time, the water gets contaminated with waste and the kidney overload. As your body burns through its stored fat it must get rid of the waste products. Water is critical to flushing it out.

Most people should have eight 12-ounce glasses of water daily. If you’re severely overweight and/or sweat excessively when working out you may need more. Some people avoid drinking enough water because they think it will increase water retention and make them feel fat. The opposite is true. The more water we drink the less the body has to store, so overall water retention decreases.

There are a few things to keep in mind when increasing your water intake. First, talk to your doctor about it. Second, remember that if you haven’t been a water drinker your body will need time to adjust. Ironically, when you start to drink more water you may be thirstier then before. That’s because you body’s thirst mechanism is becoming active again in the presence of more water. Another thing you’ll notice is increased urine flow as your kidneys become free to release excess fluid from the body. Drink up! These are healthy signs that the drought is over and your body is doing what it was designed to do.