Drinking water is good for you, but experts say eating it is better.
Drinking water is good for you, but experts say eating it is better.

'Eat' more water, don't drink it, experts say

WE'RE constantly being told we don't drink enough water - being advised to get in eight glasses a day - which has lead many of us to constantly cart around a water bottle in an attempt to guzzle our daily dose.

But it seems those efforts to sip your way through the day may be in vain as experts declare we should turn off the tap and start "eating" our water instead.

While beauty experts often tout the benefits to our skin from drinking a lot of water it is also considered essential for lubricating joints, carrying nutrients around the body and regulating body temperature.

However, health experts are now arguing the "drink more water" messages may have been overplayed and instead recommend we shift our focus to consuming water-rich foods.

In an average day, a quarter of our liquid comes from food. Almost all food contains some water (even a slice of bread can hold as much as 33 per cent H2O). But fruit and vegetables are the most water-laden, with cucumbers, lettuce, courgettes and radishes boasting more than 95 per cent.

Dr Howard Murad, associate clinic professor of medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, and author of The Water Secret told the Daily Mail, "Healthy hydration is about the water you hold in the body, not the water you drink that passes straight through."

He explains that, in fact, drinking too much water can actually be detrimental as it can deplete the body of vitamins and minerals by flushing them from the body too quickly.

"There's nothing wrong with drinking water, but if we don't improve the capacity to get it into our cells and keep it there, it goes straight into the toilet without doing us any good," he says.

"You can drink eight glasses of water - and while that is still a way of putting water into your body, it could mean eight trips to the bathroom without it actually reaching your cells."

He also warns that puffy eyes, swollen joints and bloating can all be signs of a body that isn't handling water efficiently.

But the water consumed via food is absorbed differently. this is because it's surrounded by other molecules that help it get into our cells more easily, and work to keep it in our system longer.

"When we eat water-rich foods, we absorb water more slowly because it is trapped in the structure of these foods," says Dr Murad. "That slow absorption means the water in food stays in our bodies longer, and brings a multitude of additional benefits."

In fact, studies show that fruit and vegetables can hydrate the body twice as effectively as a glass of water.

Take a cucumber, for example. The vegetable is 96 per cent water and might only deliver under 100 millilitres of liquid, but you'll absorb all of that liquid in a way your body can use, while getting nutrients at the same time.

Switching your focus to consuming more water-heavy fruit and vegetables may also encourage weight loss.

According to dietitian Dr Sarah Schenker, foods with high water content tend to be low in calories.

Studies also show that water-heavy foods can keep you feeling fuller for longer because the water content aids digestion, keeping you feeling full for longer.

- nzherald.co.nz

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