Why Water is Important for Weight Loss

May 5, 2019

During nutritional consultations or when we are teaching nutrition classes, we are constantly telling people to drink water for better health. In today’s Dishing Up Nutrition, we have invited Dr. Paul Westby to join us to help you understand WHY drinking water is so important for weight loss, beautiful skin and good brain function.

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CASSIE: Welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition. I'm Cassie Weness. I'm a Registered and Licensed Dietitian. And in studio with me today is my co-host, Joann Ridout. She is also a Registered and Licensed Dietitian. And Joann and I have the pleasure of having special guests, Dr. Paul Westby live in studio with us this morning. Today we are going to have a great conversation, the three of us, about how drinking water supports your metabolism and supports your weight loss efforts.

JOANN: That's right. And during a nutritional consultation or when we're teaching nutrition classes, we're constantly telling people to drink water for better health. So today we have an expert on this topic. Dr. Paul Westby is going to help us understand why drinking water is so important for weight loss, and for beautiful skin, and good brain function.

CASSIE: And before we hand the mic over to doctor Westby, I want to give listeners a little information about him. Dr. Paul Westby is the founder and director of Wellspring Chiropractic Center in Fridley, Minnesota. He's a full-time practicing chiropractor. He's a Licensed and Certified Acupuncturist, and he's also board certified in nutrition. And just from visiting with Dr. Paul before we came on air this morning, I'm certain that every day he talks about the importance of drinking water with his clients. And he really loves to get into the science. At least he did with Joann and I before we went on to the show. But today we certainly want to talk about some of that science but not in a real “sciencey” way. I think all of our longtime Dishing Up Nutrition listeners know that we always want the information we give to be science-based, but we also want it to be something everyone can understand and then take out there and put into practice. So all that said today, Joann and I and Dr. Paul are very hopeful that once we share the many reasons why it's so important for your overall health to drink plenty of water each day, we're hopeful that knowing these wise will help you drink more of it.

JOANN: That's right. So now I'd like to welcome Dr. Paul Westby. So Dr. Paul, thank you for joining us this morning. Your bio says you've been working with clients for quite some time, over 35 years to be exact. So we know a true passion of yours is understanding the science of water and explaining how water supports your health. We always hear: “Drink your water” and, but then why is water so essential for your health?

DR. PAUL WESTBY: First and foremost, thanks so much for having me on. We all, we all know water is really important. I mean, it covers the earth. Our bodies are 75% water. 25% is solid matter. The bones, the organs, the muscles… Our brains are 85% water and 15% fat. And most of that fat, 60% of that fat is the fish oils, the DHA, the omega-three. That's why that stuff is so important. But you know, to move on beyond that water is something that we take for granted every day. This morning when I was walking my dog, I noticed the water in the air. So everyday we're breathing, we're breathing that water that lubricates our lungs: Our respiratory system. And you know, if we move on from that, we realize that that water does so many things in our body that we had no idea about. One of those that we talked about this morning was, is that there's something called specific heat and you know, the, the term is not important, but what it means is that at 99 degrees, water is really stable. So to heat it up or cool it down, it takes a lot of energy. And when you think about that, that's just a little bit cooler than what blood temperature is. So if we were to really look into that, what's going to happen is, is that with that body being hydrated, your body's going to be able to maintain its temperature a lot easier than if you were dehydrated. And living in Minnesota, we did experience the polar vortex this winter.

CASSIE: Yes, we did.

DR. WESTBY: Were it not for that ability of water to maintain that temperature… And remember the blood is 90% water. We would either freeze or if we were to go to the desert, we would burn up.

CASSIE: Boil. Yeah.

DR. WESTBY: Exactly. And if we were to take that one step further, you think about the ocean currents: When you think about how water is stable, if we were to take an ocean current that was 100 miles wide and measure the temperature carried in one hour, it would take 200 million tons of coal to match that heat. One more time: 200 million tons of coal just to match the heat that was carried in one hour of that water.

CASSIE: Wow. That's amazing.

JOANN: That is truly amazing.

DR. WESTBY: So when, you know, when you apply that to the body, you can see how that water, just in terms of thermal temperature makes a big difference.

JOANN: That's right. So in terms of our water recommendations for people, we always hear drink eight glasses of water a day. So is that the correct amount for everyone?

DR. WESTBY: Well, you know, it's been something that's been accepted for a long period of time. And yet, when we really look at it, you know, if we were to take 125 pound woman, about eight glasses of water a day might be sufficient.

JOANN: Sure.

DR. WESTBY: Now if we were to take a 225 pound woman who wants to lose weight, she would need to drink a lot more water. So, we think about in August, Minnesota Vikings playing outside: A 320 pound lineman in 80 degree heat is going to drink eight glasses of water? We know what happened with that one.

JOANN: Right. Exactly.

DR. WESTBY: So the formula for that is: You have to take your body weight divided by two, and the answer that you get is how many ounces you should drink every day.

CASSIE: And doesn't that make sense? I mean, I think of myself versus my six-four husband. We’re going to need different amounts of water. So I'm so glad you gave out that equation. So body weight in pounds divided by two.

DR. WESTBY: Exactly.

CASSIE: And that's the number of ounces wouldn't you say probably at a minimum?

DR. WESTBY: At a minimum. You know, so if you're taking medication, diuretics, if you're working outside, all those things are going to take more water. And remember that water is not just something that carries things. It is the lifeblood of your body. And we say, “Oh, it's the blood of your body”. Well, 90% of that blood is water.

JOANN: Right?

DR. WESTBY: So water is the lifeblood of your body.

CASSIE: Yes. Drink up. Right? So bringing it back here to our topic of why is water important for weight loss? In thinking about this topic as I was driving in today, I was reminded of our Weight and Wellness series. And Joann, you probably know right where I'm going to go with this.

JOANN: Exactly.

CASSIE: We always talk to our class in that Weight and Wellness series about how when you don't drink enough water, then your kidneys can't function properly. They can't detoxify as efficiently as they were meant to. So your body being an amazing machine has your liver jump in to help out your kidneys. Now that sounds all fine and great until you realize that if your liver is busy helping out your kidneys, then your liver doesn't have the time or the energy to metabolize the fat that's coming in from your fat cells as you try to burn fat and lose weight. So bottom line, as a result, your metabolism slows down. Because again, one of the liver’s many jobs is to break down fat into small enough molecules so that your body can eliminate that fat. So do you want to add anything to that Dr. Paul: That connection with weight loss and water?

DR. WESTBY: Sure. Well, you know you were talking about the liver breaking down fats. Well, how does it do that? Well, the liver drips something into the gallbladder. The gallbladder, which is a liquid, comes out and mixes with the fat. And then that helps not only the fat to be absorbed, but the fat that’s not used is carried out. So you say, well it’s the liver. Well it's the liver that gave it to the gallbladder that gave it to the small intestine. So again, it's that water management system that is working in the body all the time. And one thing I like to mention to my patients is that, you know, when you think about your body as a garden, you can't plant it in May and come back in August and think you're going to get something. You know, if you really want a healthy garden, you have to weed it every single day. You know, one row a day. So you're drinking your water every day. You're doing your meditation. You're doing your walking. You're doing all these things to help that water work through your body.

CASSIE: And that's a great analogy this time of year when we're thinking about getting out and planting that garden. I love that. And so kind of on a totally separate note here, but certainly related to water, do you find that some of your clients, if they come in struggling with constipation, that it's really a water issue?

DR. WESTBY: So many times it is. One of the things that we have to remember is that part of the job of the end part of the small intestine and the entire large intestine is to reabsorb water: Water and electrolytes. If you don't have enough water in there, then what happens is that your body is going to steal that water from the large intestine. So that makes the stool real hard and it makes it difficult to pass water among many other things as a lubricant. So when that water goes through the large intestine, it helps bring that, that fecal matter out. If that fecal matter doesn't move quickly every day, sometimes twice a day, then what happens is that that rotting material (which is not that fun to talk about), that rotting material in the colon now gets reabsorbed into the body. And now that puts another strain on the kidney, another strain on the liver, and on the entire body. If it can get through the blood brain barrier, then you're going to get headaches and migraines and lots of other things.

CASSIE: It’s just toxic. So we already have to take our first break. You're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition today. If you're just joining us, we are discussing the importance of drinking water for weight loss and for a myriad of other health reasons. But before we head to break, I want to share some reasons why the month of May is such an important month for your health. First off, this entire month of May we are offering 15% off of our new bone building supplement called Key Osteo Plus. This is a really great product that I myself plan to purchase as soon as I use up my current calcium supplement. And I'll be explaining more about Key Osteo Plus later in the show. So stay tuned. Also starting on May 7th and eighth, we are offering our six week Weight and Wellness series at three different locations here in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul area. And I'm not done yet. Many of you know already that on May 12th it's a very important day. Many of you will be celebrated and many of you will be celebrating your moms on Mother's Day. Now, personally, I think a gift certificate to Nutritional Weight and Wellness would be a great gift for any mom. So if you haven't gotten a gift yet, there's your idea. And then finally on May 18th the owner and founder of Nutritional Weight and Wellness, Darlene Kvist, along with my cohost today, Joann, and another colleague of ours, Kris, will be teaching our five hour Menopause Survival Seminar. This will take place at our Maple Grove office. So this month we have a lot going on at Nutritional Weight and Wellness. And all of these classes, all of these seminars are focused on helping you understand how nutrition can help you become the best you that you can be. And if you want more information on any of these events, go to our website at weightandwellness.com or you can call the office at (651) 699-3438. And we'll be right back.


JOANN: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. Today we are discussing why water is important for weight loss with our special guest, Dr. Paul Westby. Dr Westby has been working with clients for the past 35 years, including many athletic teams like the US ski team and the University of Minnesota wrestling team. He's very passionate and knowledgeable about our topic today on water. So, so far in our conversation we have identified that dehydration can definitely slow down our metabolism. And I always tell my clients to think of water helping us out as a fat burner. So now you've explained why. It is sad to say, but 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. That's hard to believe.

CASSIE: Really, 75%. You know, it's interesting to think about the fact that that's about the same percentage of adults in this country who are either overweight or obese. So not to say that water is the only answer to that issue, but there's probably a connection for a lot of people.

JOANN: Definitely.

CASSIE: And you know, I tell my kids this a lot, and Joann, you've probably said this to clients. If you feel hungry and let's say it's only been an hour since you ate dinner or your last snack… Before you go grab for more food, drink a glass or two of purified water and wait a couple minutes because sometimes your body mistakes… How do I want to say this? Sometimes your body mistakes thirst for hunger. So if you can grab a couple glasses of water, like I said, wait a few minutes and see if that takes care of it. Cause it might be that you're actually just thirsty. And we know from the research that water is a natural appetite suppressant. And I found some research, and I'm going to have you comment on this Dr. Paul, but I found some research. It was published in 2015 in a journal called Obesity that showed when older adults drank water before meals, they lost on average about four pounds in just 12 weeks. You've probably read similar research.

DR. WESTBY: Sure. You know, there are two sensations associated with eating: thirst and hunger. And food is often mistaken for hunger. So the idea of drinking water a half hour, hour before eating, what that does is that not only works as an appetite suppressant, but it also a lubricates the digestive system for that food to come through. And when you think about how food is broken down, I mean, you know, we've got enzymes and hydrochloric acid and all this stuff, but none of it happens unless you have water. So imagine that you took a scoop of oatmeal and put it on the table and it would sit there. Now take a scoop of oatmeal and put in a big bowl of water and it just dissipates. Well, that's what happens in your digestive system.

CASSIE: Great visualization.

JOANN: Right.

DR. WESTBY: One thing I'd like to just throw in before I forget: When we were talking about constipation and that kind of stuff, when you think about people that have constipation, they also have hemorrhoids. They have polyps. They have diverticulitis. So when the colon gets toxic like that, you think about, well what could be the end result of that? That's the cancer. That's all these colon problems that we have. And so when you look at how many people are constipated, and then we start correlating that with some of the disease of the colon and you start to make the connections and saying, holy cow, this is, this is a big deal.

JOANN: It is.

CASSIE: And such a simple solution to be some of these problems. Right?

DR. WESTBY: I read an article that talked about heart disease. And if Americans would drink more water, heart disease would drop by one to 2%. And we go, well you know, big deal. One to 2%. That would be the population of Minneapolis/Saint Paul and outlying regions. Drink. Just drink more water.

JOANN: Yeah.

CASSIE: Not going to cost you much.

DR. WESTBY: No. Not at all.

CASSIE: And might save your life.

JOANN: And that thought you just talked about with heart rate helping with heart disease is a perfect lead in to our next question, which is about high blood pressure problems. So can you explain the connection with high blood pressure?

DR. WESTBY: We talked about this this morning. When you think about if you were to look at a fire hose that's four inches in diameter, that carries a lot of water. Now if the pressure is high, that hose is going to be filled up with water. Well, if that, if that pressure starts to go down, if that water starts to go down, then the pressure has to go up to make sure that water is, or that hose is full. Well, if that hose is now a vessel and the volume goes down, the heart has to work harder to push that thicker material through. So, you know, not only is water a lubricant, but it also dilutes everything in the bloodstream. And we want that. And it's very rare that somebody says, you know, the other day I drank five gallons of water. It’s not going to happen. I mean it's hard to overdo it. It really is.

CASSIE: Yeah. But I think I'm just fascinated about your description with high blood pressure because I think that's new information for a lot of listeners. I don't think they would ever correlate… You think of “I'm not drinking enough water”. “I probably am going to have lower blood pressure”. But your drinking more water can be the fix.

DR. WESTBY: Because those vessels start to close down. And the other thing too that we mentioned earlier about that thirst sensation, when that happens, chemicals are released in the body and then your body has a very protective mechanism for a water. And what's your body saying, you know, “We need something here”. So if we mistake that need for water for food, and keep eating food, and you're going, “How can I still be hungry”?

CASSIE: Yeah. You’re missing a big opportunity. And, and we always hear too, by the time your body is signaling to you that you're thirsty too, you're dehydrated. So let's just get ahead of that.

JOANN: So often people with a diuretic medication cut back on their water because they have too many trips to the bathroom.

CASSIE: They’re peeing all the time.

JOANN: That is actually compounding, from what you're saying, that is actually compounding the problem making it a lot worse.

DR. WESTBY: That's exactly it. Some of these things that we kind of take for granted, really don’t make sense. I mean, you know, you hear if somebody has had too much alcohol, give him coffee. And you go, wait a minute, “Isn't coffee dehydrating”? You would just give them water. You know, and why do you get a hangover? (Which I've never experienced). Why would you get a hangover? It’s because your brain becomes dehydrated. And in a sense it kind of shrinks. And that's where that pain comes from. So it's, you know, if you're going to have a glass of wine, have a glass of water. Glass of wine, glass of water. That, that's going to prevent that dehydration.

CASSIE: Ah, so much great information. Boy, do I have time to ask another question, Joann? I don't know. You know, I think what I'm going to say is what I'd like to talk about when we come back from break is some of the research behind the fact that drinking plenty of water can prevent wrinkles and sagging skin. I know the three of us would probably love to delve into more science, but I know a lot of our listeners are motivated if we tell them, you know, well drink up and you’ll stave off some wrinkles. So I want to talk a little bit about that when we get back from break. So if you're just tuning in, you're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. I'm here with my co-host Joann and also special guest, Dr. Paul Westby. And we're discussing the importance of drinking water for your overall health. And more specifically, we've been talking about weight loss this morning. And just one bit of housekeeping before we go to commercial: If you or someone you know are experiencing osteoporosis or osteopenia, I want to recommend our new bone building supplement. To truly support bone rebuilding, it takes more than just a calcium supplement. And this is where this new product, Key Osteo Plus comes in. It is a total bone support supplement and we're offering it to you at a 15% discount for the whole month of May as sort of our introductory special. If you have any questions about this product or its effectiveness, this product called Key Osteo Plus, you can call the at 651-699-3438. You can ask your questions there or might want to first check out our blog about Key Osteo Plus on weightandwellness.com. Stay with us. We'll be back on the other side of this break.


JOANN: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. Today we're discussing all the reasons to drink water. The importance of drinking water is one of the topics we cover in our Weight and Wellness series. The next six week class series starts the week of May 7th at three of our locations. The Weight and Wellness series will give you the nutritional foundation for a better, healthier life. And again, clients tell us that this series of classes has changed their lives and their family's lives. So I encourage you to sign up today and take advantage of our early bird special and save $50. This offer expires May 6th so you can sign up online at weightandwellness.com or call (651) 699-3438.

CASSIE: That is such a great series.

JOANN: It is.

CASSIE: I took it three times before I started teaching it and I learned something new every time. I don't know if it was because there was so much information or because every time you get a different teacher you get a different spin, a different story and you take something different way. But I love that series.

JOANN: I think everybody has that experience with that series.

CASSIE: Probably. So before we went to break, I was mentioning, and I bet I perked up the ears of many of our female listeners especially. I was mentioning that drinking enough water can help to stave off wrinkles and might even prevent sagging skin. I've even had clients be willing to give up their coffee and replace it with water. And we know how tied some people are to their coffee or should I say addicted. But if you say to them it can stave off wrinkles, many of them are willing to do that. Do you have any research in your head on that Dr. Paul? Or just experience with clients?

DR. WESTBY: Well, anytime we talk about the body, obviously water is always going to be first in line for discussion. And when you think about skin, you know, with dehydration, the first site for water conservation is a scout. Dehydration or the water reserves in the body… As they go down, the dry skin goes up. And what happens, that capillary action is compromised. So if you're dehydrated, it's going to be tougher to cool your body down because it's the water that goes on your skin that cools it down. You know, and when you talk about wrinkles, look at a grape and a raisin. You go, you know, why are babies so plump? And old people are so wrinkled? Dehydration.

CASSIE: Do you want to be a grape or do you want to be a raisin? There’s the question of the day.

DR. WESTBY: There you go. And the skin needs water all the time. I mean, you think about, oh, my skin is kind of dry and now I go into that steam room and “Oh my gosh, that feels good”. It's again, the water is, is your protection to the outside world. So if there's too much sun, there's free radical damage. Again, that water can make a big difference. But when we talk about skin and skin health, we just can't talk about water. You know, we're back to our garden again. If you're smoking a pack of cigarettes a day and you know, drinking a half a liter of coke, it just doesn't work. Your body cannot repair itself. So unless you have that water, unless you have those nutrients, those are the things that you go through in your classes. Then you really understand, you know, why am I drinking water? Oh, now I understand. Well we know, why am I avoiding the caffeine? Why can't I have that sugared cereal for breakfast? Because your body needs the nutrients to repair itself. And we talked about this at break. Every five days your digestive system has been overturned with brand new cells. Five days. Your blood: every 120 days, all new blood cells. I mean it doesn't happen on the day, but every day we're breaking down blood cells and building new ones. You need the nutrients to do that. And if you don't imagine that your house has blown over by a tornado. And now you're going to go out in the yard and you're going to pick up all the pieces and put your house back together again.

CASSIE: Good luck.

DR. WESTBY: You’re going to have a very small house. So you need those nutrients to rebuild that house on a daily basis.

CASSIE: So yeah, like you said, it’s not just the water. We need good food, good fats. It's the whole picture.

JOANN: It absolutely is.

DR. WESTBY: And there is an acupuncture face-lift program for that too.

CASSIE: Well, I’ll be signing up. Wow.

DR. WESTBY: If we just take that one step further: When we talk about skin health, we're talking about vitamin C, we're talking about collagen… You know, and you say, well, “What about where the collagen…?” Well, that's where the bone broth comes in; the vitamin C. When you start to tile this together, you go, wow, this is a, this is a big picture that makes a lot of sense. You can get into the science (that we won’t do today). But you can get into the science of it and spend years understanding it. And yet, if you're just to follow the simple rules: You know, vegetables, high quality protein, high quality fat, adequate rest, adequate water, adequate quiet time, you're going to rebuild that structure every single day.

JOANN: Exactly. And that reminds me of what we always tell our clients is that you can't supplement away a bad diet. So it's the same concept we're talking about with growing your garden and really nourishing our bodies. So we also touched on how lack of water can slow down our thinking and memory. So one thing we hear…I very often hear from clients, as people get older, they drink less and less water. And of course their memory is affected. So why is drinking water so important for our memory?

DR. WESTBY: Well, remember we talked… remember? I just talked about that. Do you remember the brain is 85% water? The blood is 90% water. When that water goes down, then what happens is that that brain heats up. You think about all the electrical activity that the brain goes through, whether you're sleeping or not. That brain is working. All the nutrients that we know, all those neuro chemicals that are carried in the brain are carried by water. So many times we hear about a cell or something goes in and something comes out. Well, how does it do that? It's carried by water. So unless that water is there, then, you know, memory starts to fade. I remember watching one of these reality shows where they took 12 guys and put them on an island: Gave them one day of water, and then they had to find their water, find their food, you know, and if you could survive for a month, you got a half a million dollars or whatever it was. There was one fellow: muscular guy. Within three days, he had to go off the island. He was, he was delusional. And it just struck me like, you know, we could live three weeks, four weeks without food. Three days without water, and we're done. And because water is so plentiful, it's hard to concept. When we talked in the break every year, 1.2…I think it's 2 million children die every year because of polluted water.

CASSIE: It is so sad.

DR. WESTBY: And as we get older, that thirst reflex, it starts to go away. So, you know, when you hear people say, “Well, I'm not thirsty”. I don't care. You know, I've been driving my car for 5,000 miles now and it seems like it's fine. Why do I need to change the oil? Because you need to change... I could go to 50,000 miles and all the cars did I buy always break down. I wonder why. You know, so that regiment of water and one thing suggest is get a big glass container. Fill it up in the morning. And by the end of the day have it gone.

CASSIE: Something easy that you can do.

DR. WESTBY: That's what I do in clinic. In one of my rooms, I have that half a gallon of water, and by the end of the day it's gone. You know, I don't have to… “How many glasses did I have”?

CASSIE: Right. Like you would have time to do that in a day, right?

DR. WESTBY: It’s just another thing to think about. It’s like when you look at your gas gauge, you go, “You know, I've only got a quarter tank of gas and I'm going to go to Duluth”. That's not a good idea. You better fill it up. So with that water, there's no thinking involved. You just make sure it's done by the end of the day. And it’s water. I know it's profound. Water's water. Water's not tea. Water's not coffee. Water’s not pop. The tea, the coffee and the pop are all dehydrating. So if you have a cup of coffee, you have to have your water plus one more to balance that water out.

CASSIE: I love that. I read that statement in that article that you wrote. What was that publicated in? Yeah. And just that statement of the only thing that's water is water. Because too many times, and I think I've been guilty of this in the past, you might count your herbal tea or you might, you know, some people count their pop and their coffee. We've heard that before, Joann, haven't we? But it's just you feel best and you need that filtered water. So on that note, and I'm not sure…  We have about a minute before we have to go to break, but I bet some people are thinking, “Well, what's so wrong with my tap water”? Could you address that?

DR. WESTBY: Well, there was an article that I was going to bring in. And it was, I think it was from 1995. It was from Newsweek and they were looking at a swamp in Florida. And the alligator population was going down. And they couldn't figure it out. They thought it was poachers. So they started doing research. And what they found is that a local municipality was dumping its treated water into the swamp so that treated water had chlorine in it. I mean, it didn't have any solid matter but it had chlorine. The chlorine mixed with the organic compounds and was an estrogen mimicker. So what was happening is that the reason the population went down is the males were becoming sterile. And there's research coming out of, I think it was the Netherlands that found that the sperm counts of young males are half what they are of their grandfathers is because of everything. And when you think about the water, they can't filter out estrogen. They can’t filter out antidepressants. I mean, how many, how many women are on birth control pills? How many antidepressants? All these drugs they're taking: Some of those things can't be filtered out. And if they're not filtered out, then they're coming back into the water.

CASSIE: They can't be filtered out by the local municipalities because it would be too expensive. However, as you're shaking your head, yes, if you get a filtration system: the right kind in your house, you can filter them out. We can talk more about that on the other side of break. But I can't believe, I'm sad that we need to head out to our last commercial break of the hour. You're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. I already mentioned this before, but since I want to be sure that I get celebrated, anyone listening May 12th this Mother's Day, again, if you haven't gotten your mom a gift yet to why not make this the year you get her something that will support her health. How about a gift certificate to a Nutritional Weight and Wellness class, which I am certain will help her feel better. You know, it's so true that most people don't understand the power of nutrition until they actually experience it. So let your mom experience the power of nutrition with a gift certificate from you to Nutritional Weight and Wellness. That is if you haven't thought of any other gift ideas yet. And on a side note, if you or someone you know is experiencing depression, please tune in next Saturday to this program when Dar, Britni, and Melissa, will discuss nutrition solutions for depression. And stay with us. We'll be right back.

JOANN:  Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. On May 18th join Dar and Kris and myself at our Maple Grove location for the Menopause Survival Seminar. We will teach you how to successfully navigate through perimenopause, menopause, and post-menopause. We'll talk about real life issues such as incontinence, hot flashes, mood swings, sleep problems, and weight gain. We not only talk about these issues, but we give you nutritional solutions. For example, diet soda might be the cause of incontinence or migraines or weight gain. And what about popcorn or wine might be the cause of your sleep problems? So I encourage you to sign up today to save your seat as this class fills up quickly. If you have questions, call 651-699-3438 for answers.

CASSIE: And I know that when we come back from this final commercial break, the show always flies by. So before it gets away from us, I just want to say a great big thank you to Dr. Paul Westby for being on today. Thanks for getting up early. Sorry for the little mishap of finding each other this morning in the studio. But you are just such a wealth of knowledge and you're fun. And I will tell Greg Peterson.

DR. WESTBY: More fun than him.

JOANN: We’ve had fun today.

CASSIE: And we really hope this show has motivated listeners to drink more water. I mean, we haven't even gotten through a quarter of the reasons why you should be drinking plenty of water. If you have questions though, I do want to say, you can call doctor Westby. He won't let me give you his cell phone number. Darn it. But he said, I can give you his office number, so if you have questions for him or maybe you want to make an appointment, Dr. Westby’s office in Fridley is 763-571-1345. I'll say that one more time: (763) 571-1345. I know he'll be happy to answer your questions if you take time to call. So we were talking before we went to break about the importance of drinking filtered water versus tap water. And then when we went to break and you guys were listening to commercial, Dr. Paul was saying even more very profound information. Could you repeat that about the city that you mentioned?

DR. WESTBY: I'm going to get hate mail from Flint, Michigan. We all know the tragedy that happened in Flint where you know they were going to save some money and took the water out of the river and now all the people there, the children have high levels of lead. And we know how devastating that is going to be and those people will be affected for the rest of their lives.

CASSIE: Yes. And then Joann, you said:

JOANN: Well, I said every time I heard the news reports about Flint, Michigan, it came to mind that that could be any city, which is so true. It could be any city. So it really isn't all about Flint, Michigan. This could be anywhere in the United States.

CASSIE: So we really have to look out for ourselves and if it's at all in your budget, I think a water filtration system is huge because the other thing we were talking about on break that I think we need to mention is the chlorine in the tap water.

DR. WESTBY: Yeah. When you drink your, where you consume your probiotic with tap water, the tap water has chlorine in it and chlorine is designed to kill bacteria in the water. So will it kill all of your probiotic? Maybe not, but take it with filtered water. That way you know it's, you know, you're really going to get the most out of it.

CASSIE: Right. Because that chlorine doesn’t know the difference between a bad bug and a good bug, which is your probiotic. And so it can kill off some of that.

DR. WESTBY: Kind of like a bullet.

CASSIE: It's doesn't discriminate, does no.

DR. WESTBY: No. It's job is to kill bacteria.

CASSIE: Yes. Yes. So, you know, I think we certainly haven't given you all the reasons for drinking plenty of water, but we've given you several. But the next question is how can you personally develop this water habit? I love the idea that Dr. Paul gave of having that big jug of water or carafe of water in your office and just being sure that you finish that off by the end of the day. Another idea that comes to mind: Several years ago, one of my clients made a little checklist on a three by five index card and he just carried that in his front shirt pocket. And every time he drank, you know, an eight ounce glass of water or the equivalent, he marked that off. And that was his way for keeping track. So maybe that would work for you, a checklist in your wallet or in your planner. I know something that I've done since I got my kidney stones...And Joann, you probably remember that story. A few years back, I had three large kidney stones. We could talk, Dr. Paul, about why that all happened. But at the time I was just having my one small cup of coffee in the morning and drinking water the rest of the day. But I never stopped to measure how much water am I really drinking? So I got the kidney stones. I filled up a pitcher of water and I just went about my day as usual to figure this out. I was drinking about three or four glasses of water in a day. That's it. I had no idea. So I tell you that story because I think there are other people out there like me that maybe think they're drinking enough, but you're really not. You have to be intentional. One of the tricks that I've put into practice is for the weekends when I'm home I keep bottles of water in various rooms throughout my house. So if I'm upstairs and I get to cleaning or something, no excuse, I have several bottles of water sitting there on my vanity in my bedroom. And I got that idea from Richard Grassie, our local water expert. So that's one idea. And then there is one of our nutritionists: I want to share this idea. She puts rubber bands around her water bottle. And I don't know if she has like a 20 ounce water bottle and she puts, I think she said four rubber bands around it. And so every time she finishes one off, she takes a rubber band off. And if she gets four off, she knows she's had enough. So you know, just figure out one of those tricks. Whatever works for you is the perfect solution.

JOANN: Exactly. So let's recap. This hour has been flying by here.

CASSIE: This is why we want to have Dr. Paul back for another hour or two.

JOANN: Yes. So let's recap all the reasons for drinking sufficient water. And this is just a few of many, but first of all, drinking sufficient water helps with your metabolism and weight loss, as we've been talking about this morning. And that's motivating, I'm sure for a lot of people to drink up. Another motivating factor is that drinking enough water every day helps prevent wrinkles and saggy skin.

DR. WESTBY: So do you want to be a grape or a raisin?

CASSIE: I love it. See if people can get that visual, I'm sure everybody wants to be a grape.

JOANN: Also drinking sufficient water helps us maintain normal blood pressure and maintain our health health or improve our heart health.

CASSIE: And that I think is just really important. Reason number four here that we've talked about today: Drinking sufficient water helps your thinking and your memory. It helps get rid of that brain fog that so many of our clients complain about at that initial appointment.

JOANN: Absolutely. And then drinking water is also a natural appetite suppressant. So reach for water first when you're hungry.

CASSIE: Yes. And we talked early on in the show about how drinking sufficient water helps to avoid constipation.

JOANN: That's right. Very important. And then one reason we didn't have time to discuss but kind of goes along with the wrinkles and sagging skin is drinking sufficient water helps us clear acne. So it's, you know, kind of to help maintain our skin. Drinking water is so important during those teenage years to keep our skin clear.

CASSIE: Yes. And we could certainly talk about a lot more. One thing that I was thinking of that we didn't even have time to cover yet today is I always think of water as my energy drink. And I'm sure you know the science behind that, which we don't need to get into.

DR. WESTBY: No, we do.

CASSIE: Oh listeners, you just don't even know how we've had… We have Paul on a harness and we're holding him back from sharing all those sciencey terms. But yeah, you know, even after a night of not getting much sleep, I know if I drink plenty of water I'm going to function pretty well. Something else I have noticed is if I don't drink enough water, I feel like my muscles are achy.

DR. WESTBY: You can’t carry away the toxins. There's so much we didn't get to but if you’re dehydrated by I think it’s like, like two or 3%, your performance goes down by like 20. You know your body is… the water is carrying in the nutrients to keep those muscles going. It's also carrying out the waste products. So if you can't carry that waste product out, then your performance is going to go down.

CASSIE: See, and you've worked with athletes, so I'm sure you've talked about that a lot. So any kids out there in sports listening, drink water, water: Not just right before your event.

DR. WESTBY: And not Gatorade.

CASSIE: And not Gatorade. Thank you. That's a great note to end on. Not Gatorade. You know, as our show draws to a close, as always, I just want to remind everyone that our goal at Nutritional Weight and Wellness is to help each and every person experience better health through eating real food and through drinking plenty of water. It's a simple message. Yes, but it's a powerful message. Eating real food and drinking your water is life changing. Thank you so much Dr. Paul for being here today and to all of you listening, have a healthy day.

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