Hello Herald readers! My name is Jenny
Slattery and I am a sophomore here at the University of Wisconson. I am currently an
undeclared journalism major, a writer for the Arts Etc. section and one of two voices that will be present in The Badger Herald’s
new column, Low-fat Tuesday.
My hopes for the success
of this column are very high since maintaining a healthy standard of
living is a considerable and enjoyable part of my life. I’m
thrilled to be able to share my interest with other people through
this column, which will have a general focus on aspects of good
nutrition and how to stay fit and healthy throughout one’s
lifetime with exercise and the continuation of good habits.
Above all else,
this column will strive to teach and hopefully help people find a
path to wholesome living. For the first column, let’s talk about a topic that is always essential, but often overlooked.
Water: a tasteless and colorless liquid
in a plain plastic bottle. “What’s the fun in that”? you might
ask. There’s nothing exciting about drinking water when you can
have a fruity flavored energy drink in a fancy, all too expensive
bottle. While that may be true, no
Gatorade, Monster or Redbull can do for the body what water does.
Water makes up roughly 60 percent of the
human body. It is the key to our health, and we would
eventually die without it. The benefits of drinking water are endless. First and
foremost, it hydrates the body with pure minerals – not sugar, carbs or other harmful additives found in most “hydrating” drinks on
The consumption of water truly does the body good. It
aids in the transportation of nutrients and oxygen into the body’s
cells, keeping them alive and well. Hydration also protects our organs including the largest organ of the human body: skin. Skin
elasticity is maintained and each layer of tissue is replenished with
every sip taken.
H2O doesn’t just stop there, though; I’m sure
the term charley horse rings a bell to you. Cramps, especially those that
love to creep up in the middle of the night or during sports/exercise, are most often the result of improper hydration since
water helps lubricate joints and muscles.
While water is about one-half to
three-forth of the human body, it comprises 90 percent of our brain. It
helps us think faster, clearer and maintain focus. That means in
order for our brains to fully function we need to drink water – what a
Keeping your body hydrated with the
purest form of liquid possible also aids in proper digestion, which is
necessary to having a healthy body. Water raises your body’s rate of metabolism, which
in turn speeds up the digestion process. Add in the daily requirement
for fiber and you’ve got yourself a well oiled machine.
Weight loss is another process in which water plays a crucial role. Once fat has broken down, the
byproducts are carried away by water. It also suppresses hunger
naturally, so next time you think you’re hungry drink a glass first
and wait ten minutes. You might be surprised that you really weren’t
hungry at all.
Lastly, water has zero calories. Unless you’re
buying flavored water such as Vitamin Water or the new brand
popping up in Walgreens and supermarkets, Neuro, that contains
roughly 35-50 calories per bottle, you can drink as much as you want
without a weight-related care in the world.
There are dozens – if not hundreds – more benefits of drinking water, so fill up a glass at every meal, snack and pre- and post-workout. You’ll be on your way to a healthier you.
Low-fat Tuesday will run every Tuesday on an alternating basis between Jenny and Rachel Werts. If you have questions for Jenny, want more information, or have ideas for a future column, please email her at [email protected].