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Water vs. Diet Soda

As a workout partner, water's clearly the winner. And here's why: about 60 percent of your total weight is made up of water found in your body fluids. So it makes perfect sense that the best replacement for this water is good ol' water itself (as opposed to some fizzy fluid filled with artificial sweeteners and other icky stuff). But let's dive right into the scientific reasons: drinking water helps keep your body humming along smoothly and can even make you a better athlete before and during exercise. After all, water helps maintain your body's correct temperature, along with the many chemical reactions taking place inside you. And it will do its job best if you replace it while it's being lost as perspiration (and expired air), especially since you can sweat out more than two quarts of fluid per hour. Keeping a water bottle handy during your workout is a smart idea; otherwise, dehydration could set in and dry up your chances of staying fit. 



So what's wrong with diet sodas? After all, they're mostly water, too, right? True, but they're also full of some things that Mother Nature never even heard of. For one thing, they contain an artificial sweetener called aspartame, which has unknown effects on human health over time. Many diet sodas also have caffeine, which acts as a diuretic. In less scientific terms, that means it makes you pee more and become dehydrated. To top it all of, carbonated soft drinks are high in phosphorus, a substance that might hurt your body's ability to absorb calcium and weaken your bones as a result. 



Thirsty for some practical tips on staying fit with water? Then take care of yourself by drinking about 8 ounces of H20 (more in hot weather) for every 30 minutes of heavy exercise. And drink cool water (40 - 50 degrees) since it'll get absorbed by your body more quickly than warm water. It's also less likely to cause cramps. By following these simple bits of advice, you won't be left high and dry when it comes to staying in shape.