Tag Archives: hydration

Water for Weight Loss

Forget expensive diet programs. The secret to maintaining a healthy weight may be… plain water.

A new study suggests that by increasing plain water consumption, you can control your weight. Not only that, but water can also help you reduce your intake of sugar, sodium and saturated fat.

Published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, the study examined the link between plain water consumption and weight. Plain water was defined as water from a tap, cooler, drinking fountain or bottle.

Participants were asked to recall all foods and drinks they consumed, and then researchers  calculated the amount of plain water that each participant consumed as a percentage of daily dietary water intake from both foods and drinks.

On a daily basis, the participants consumed an average of about 4.2 cups of plain water, which accounts for just over 30% of their total water consumption.

The average calorie intake for each participant was 2,157 calories, which included 125 calories from sugar-sweetened beverages and 432 calories from desserts, pastries, snack mixes and other foods that are not essential.

The results of the study revealed that people who increased their consumption of plain water by one to three cups daily lowered total energy intake by 68-205 calories each day. They also consumed significantly less sodium, sugar and cholesterol.

Obviously, drinking water is not a silver bullet for weight loss; factors like a healthy diet and exercise are also important. But if more water can reduce your intake of calories, sodium, sugar and cholesterol, our advice to you is: drink up!



Manuel Skow, PAManuel Skow, Physician Assistant, joined MPCP in 2007 and sees patients in the Glen Burnie office. He received his Master of Science/Physician Assistant degree from St. Francis University, and completed his Physician Assistant Preceptorships in Primary Care at the United States Naval Academy Brigade Clinic and Internal Medicine/Cardiology at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.


Keep Hydrated, Stay Safe

By: George Cavanagh, M.D.

Summer is here. Time for picnics, sports, working in the yard ─ and the risk of dehydration.

Our bodies normally lose fluids in the form of exhaled water vapor, in sweat, and in urine and stool. Along with water, small amounts of salts are also lost. However, we become dehydrated when we lose more water than we take in, and our bodies don’t have enough water to carry out normal functions.

Dehydration often occurs in hot weather during outdoor work or exercise, but it can also be caused by illnesses such as diarrhea, vomiting or fever. Anyone may become dehydrated, but young children, older adults and people with chronic illnesses are most at risk. In severe cases, dehydration can lead to death.

The signs of mild to moderate dehydration include:

  • Increased thirst
  • Dry mouth and swollen tongue
  • Weakness
  • Sluggishness
  • Decreased urine output. (Urine color may indicate dehydration. If it is deeply yellow or amber, you may be dehydrated.)

If you’re a healthy adult, you can usually treat mild to moderate dehydration by drinking more fluids, including water, sports drinks, or oral rehydration solutions.  However, if you develop any of these severe symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately:

  • Extreme thirst
  • Lack of urination
  • Shriveled skin (that doesn’t bounce back when pinched)
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Fainting
  • Heart palpitations (the feeling that your heart is pounding or jumping)

The best approach is to prevent dehydration in the first place. If you are caring for people who are sick, make sure they get plenty of fluids if they have diarrhea, vomiting or fever.

If you need to be outside in the heat, follow these steps to keep hydrated:

  • Take plenty of fluids and drink continuously to replace what you lose
  • Avoid exercise and exposure during the hottest part of the day, typically mid-afternoon
  • Wear a hat and light-colored and loose-fitting clothing
  • Carry a personal fan or mister to cool yourself
  • Break up your exposure to hot temperatures and direct sun. Find air-conditioned or shady areas and allow yourself to cool between exposures
  • Avoid alcohol consumption because alcohol increases water loss

Remember, the key to preventing dehydration is to replace the water you lose, so drink up!

George Cavanagh, M.D.
Dr. George Cavanagh is an MPCP partner and practices in our Bowie office. He is certified by the American Board of Family Medicine.