Name a drink that can increase your alertness, prevent you from fainting after giving blood, and even promote a teensy bit of weight loss.

Think it’s one of those “miraculous” multi-level marketing elixirs made of exotic juices that sell for about 40 bucks a pop?

Well, think again...continue reading.

The drink I’m talking about doesn’t cost anything, yet most of us don’t get enough of it.

I’m talking about…water.

Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center led by David Robertson, MD, have shown that ordinary water—without any additives—does more than just quench thirst. It has some other unexpected, physiological effects. It increases the activity of the sympathetic—fight or flight—nervous system, which raises alertness, blood pressure and energy expenditure (a technical term for calorie burning).

Sharp eyed readers may have noticed the reference to increasing blood pressure, something none of us want to do (unless we have very low blood pressure to begin with). But not to worry, while the researchers found that water did not significantly raise blood pressure in healthy young subjects, they did find that water increased sympathetic nervous system activity.

And because it raises sympathetic nervous system activity—and consequently calorie burning—it does promote weight loss.

So how much weight loss are we talking about?
Dr. Robertson calculated that it might be as much as five pounds a year if you drank three 16 ounce glasses of water a day and nothing else changed.

“This is not going to be the answer to the weight problem in the United States,” he said, “but it’s interesting that activation of the sympathetic system is enough to do that.”

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS, (aka "The Rogue Nutritionist") is a nationally known expert on weight loss, nutrition and health. He is a board-certified nutritionist with a master’s degree in psychology and the author of nine books on health, healing, food and longevity including two best-sellers, “The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth” and “Living Low Carb”. A frequent guest on television and radio, he has appeared on Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, and CBS as an expert on nutrition, weight loss, and longevity. He is a past member of the Editorial Advisory Board for Men’s Health magazine, is the Nutrition Editor for Pilates Style, and is a regular contributor to AOL, Vanity Fair Online, Clean Eating Magazine, Better Nutrition, and Total Health Magazine Online.

Website: www.jonnybowden.com