Fill ‘er Up: Best Water For Your Metabolism

Here’s how to keep your metabolism on fire: Drink half your body weight in ounces of spring water every day. (If you weigh 150 pounds, that’s 75 ounces of water every day.) Keep a bottle or glass of water handy and sip all day long, instead of guzzling it all at once, so your body never has reason to think there’s a shortage.

I sometimes have clients who are stuck in their weight-loss plan. One of the first questions I ask is whether they are drinking all of their spring water every day. Once they start drinking my recommended amount of water, the scale starts moving again – sometimes that’s all they need.

Remember, water doesn’t just keep you hydrated. It shuttles nutrients to your cells, washes waste out of your body, and clears away the byproducts of metabolized fat. If you don’t have enough water in your system, your body will let you know by not only making you feel thirsty but slamming the brakes on your metabolism until you’re properly hydrated again. It’s just trying to protect itself — when water is truly in short supply, survival takes precedence over burning fat. But we don’t want that to happen!

Best water: It’s about electrolytes

If you’ve been doing everything else right, but the weight just isn’t coming off, double-check your water intake. Usually getting enough water is all it takes for your body to feel safe enough to get your metabolism fired up again. But there’s more to a healthy, hydrated body than “just” water — you also need plenty of electrolytes, the minerals that regulate fluid levels in every cell of your body.

And you don’t need sugar sports drinks — you can get balanced electrolytes straight from your water if you get close enough to the natural source. Here are the four types of water you’re most likely to find, and how they measure up in terms of electrolytes.

 The best choice: Natural spring water

Spring Water

It is seriously amazing how many people think that all bottled water is spring water. Spring water is just what it sounds like — water bottled from an underground spring, so you’re getting all the natural electrolytes that start out in the water. The earth’s substance and rock act as a natural filter for sediment, so this is usually the purest water you can get. Each spring has its own blend of trace minerals, which help balance your body’s pH and support the absorption of nutrients. Spring water is the only type of water I drink.

Mineral Water

Mineral water is a good choice after spring water. The FDA defines mineral water by its naturally occurring mineral content, and prohibits companies from adding extra minerals — so you’re still getting a product with naturally occurring electrolytes. It’s just not necessarily bottled as close to the source as spring water.

Tap Water: Better for household use than drinking

Almost all municipal tap water has been treated so much that it no longer has the naturally occurring electrolytes your body needs. And according to the Environmental Working Group, it can instead come with hundreds of contaminants, including known carcinogens, prescription medications, and petroleum products. Exactly what you get depends on where you live and the state of your community’s water source and water treatment plants.

 Filtered or purified water

You can filter tap water at home, or buy it bottled. Unfortunately all natural mineral content gets filtered out along with any potential contaminants. You’ll often see bottled water sold as “purified” water – often that means the company has merely taken local tap water, run it through a filter, and bottled it. You won’t be getting the full complement of trace minerals you get with spring water.