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    « Weekends weren't made for weight loss. | Main | Meal Plan - Day 1 »
    Monday
    Aug042008

    Take the Pee Test

    We take the Pee Test every morning when we wake up, and we probably don't realize it.  That trip to the toilet upon rising can tell us a lot about our health.

    Hydration is a critical issue when it comes to losing fat.  The body needs an ample supply of water in order to function efficiently.  In extreme situations (like desert survival situations), the body can become so depleted of water that the blood becomes more like syrup and is all but impossible for the heart to pump.  Since most of us aren't trekking through the Sahara any time soon, you might think such an example is pretty irrelevant.  However, it is worth noting that a great majority of people walk around dehydrated every day, putting a strain on their heart, kidneys, and liver.

    Here's how it all works.  You drink things like soda, coffee, and other non-water beverages all day without taking in the infamous 8X8 water supply (8 - 8-ounce glasses of water a day).  Worse, the caffeine in the soda and coffee deplete even more water from your body.  The heart has to work overtime to pump a thicker blood supply through hardening veins and arteries.  The kidneys need a good supply of water to perform their functions, so the lack of water causes them to fall behind in their duties.  The liver picks up the slack and is then unable to perform its regular duty - metabolizing the fat that I so desperately want to lose.  The end result is fat retention and frustration that changes don't seems to be occurring.

    So what does all of this have to do with the pee test?  Simply this - a hydrated body doesn't pee yellow.  It pees clear.  If you can see your urine in an otherwise clean bowl of toilet water, you're probably not hydrated.  Before I started drinking more water (like the glass that's sitting right over there <~~~~ right now), I peed a golden yellowish-orange.  It also smelled strongly (another bad sign).  My urine is now fairly clear, indicating that I'm in much better hydration today than I was yesterday at this time.

    64 ounces of water might sound like a whole lot, but let's put that in perspective.  A supersize value meal can have a beverage cup that holds 32 ounces.  I could put away a whole 32-ounce cup of cola without blinking and go back for a refill.  It's all a matter of priority.  The glass of water I've nearly consumed entirely while writing this article knocks 16 ounces off my 64-ounce total.  I drank 20 ounces while working out this morning.  I've had a few glasses here and there in between.  The less I've thought about it, the easier it's been.

    Every trip to the bathroom is an assessment of my level of hydration.  So, if you'll excuse me, I have an assessment to perform.

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    Reader Comments (2)

    I have reading about fitness and body building for about 20 years now (just wish I had practiced as much as I have read and I would be awesome right now). But I have rarely seen a more practical description of the benefits of drinking water.

    Thanks

    September 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEric Evans

    Thanks for the comment, Eric. When it comes to most things, simple is better - it's certainly true for me!

    September 21, 2010 | Registered CommenterKeith

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