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waterEach and every cell needs water to perform its essential functions. Best time to drink water is upon rising in the morning, and the worst time is after eating breakfast, lunch or dinner. Cold water after a meal will solidify what has been eaten and slow down the digestion process.

Digestive problems affects absorption of calcium and other minerals and will increase the risk of kidney stones, one of the most excruciatingly painful conditions people experience that affects a million Americans every year. Once a kidney stone attack has been experienced, chances of recurrence are 70 to 80 percent. The most effective way to prevent kidney stones is to drink plenty of water. If water intake is low your urine will simply have higher concentrations of substances that can form stones. Waiting until you feel thirsty is often too late, and usually signifies dehydration.

Soda, pop, cola, soft drink — whatever you call it, does not count as water and is one of the worst beverages people can drink. Soft drinks contain little to no vitamins or other essential nutrients. However, it is what they do contain that is the problem: caffeine, carbonation, simple sugars — or worse, sugar substitutes — and often food additives such as artificial coloring, flavoring, and preservatives. A lot of research has found that consumption of soft drinks in high quantity, especially by children, is responsible for many health problems that include tooth decay, nutritional depletion, obesity, type-2 diabetes, and heart disease.

Most soft drinks contain a high amount of simple sugars. The USDA recommendation of sugar consumption for a 2,000-calorie diet is a daily allotment of 10 tsps of added sugars. Many soft drinks contain more than this amount! Just why is too much sugar so unhealthy? Well, to start, let’s talk about what happens to you as sugar enters your body. When you drink sodas that are packed with simple sugars, the pancreas is called upon to produce and release insulin, a hormone that empties the sugar in your blood stream into all the tissues and cells for usage. The result of overindulging in simple sugar is raised insulin levels. Raised blood insulin levels beyond the norm can lead to depression of the immune system, which in turn weakens your ability to fight disease.

Furthermore, the excess sugar ends up being stored as fat in your body, which results in weight gain and elevates risk for heart disease and cancer. One study found that when subjects were given refined sugar, their white blood cell count decreased significantly for several hours afterwards. You may come to the conclusion that diet or sugar-free soda is a better choice. However, one study discovered that drinking one or more soft drinks a day — and it didn’t matter whether it was diet or regular — led to a 30% greater chance of weight gain around the belly. Furthermore, diet soda is filled with artificial sweeteners that can pose a threat to your health.

Beverages with bubbles contain phosphoric acid, which can severely deplete the blood calcium levels; calcium is a key component of the bone matrix. With less concentration of calcium over a long time, it can lower deposition rates so that bone mass and density suffer. This means that drinking sodas and carbonated water increases your risk of osteoporosis. Add in the caffeine, usually present in soft drinks, and you are in for even more trouble. Caffeine can deplete the body’s calcium, in addition to stimulating your central nervous system and contributing to stress, a racing mind, and insomnia.