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The Power of Your Metabolism - Dehydration


Chapter: The Metabolism


One of the factors that lower the metabolism the most is dehydration. In other words, lack of water.

Working with thousands of people to help them recover their metabolism, I have seen that a reduced consumption of water has a devastating effect on the metabolism.

The human body is composed mainly of water.  It is calculated that your body should be at least 65% water.  I have had the opportunity to weigh thousands of people using modern, electronic scales.  This type of electronic scale uses a technology that measures the exact amount of water and fat that your body has.  This information is much more valuable than just finding out your body weight.

When overweight people are weighed using one of these electronic scales it can be seen that, the more obese a person is, the less the amount of water can be detected in their body. In other words, being overweight really means having a lot of fat and very little water in the body. Thin people’s bodies are made up of up to 65% water and those who are obese have a body water content as low as 40%.  As  a person loses weight the electronic scale detects both an increase in water and a reduction in fat.

The reality is that if a person wants to lose weight, their first step must be to increase their intake of water.  Water significantly increases the metabolism.  It is logical that it would be that way because when we study the physics of the water molecule, H2O (two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom), we can see that the oxygen atom has a molecular mass 8 times larger than that of the two smaller hydrogen atoms. The water molecule, H2O, is of similar shape to the cartoon character “Mickey Mouse”® in which the two hydrogen atoms are Mickey’s ears.

Water, H2O, is composed of 89% oxygen and only 11% hydrogen when we figure in its molecular mass .  When we drink water we are mainly adding oxygen to our bodies.  Oxygen is the element that allows the combustion of fat and is what drives the metabolism.  Drinking a lot of water is a very effective way to increase your metabolism and to lose weight.

Now, it must be clarified that drinking water and drinking juices or soft drinks is not the same thing.  The way that the body functions, if water is just plain water without any flavor, the body sends it to the blood stream and that increases the hydration level and the oxygen availability at the cellular level. If the liquid that we consume has some sort of flavor (soft drinks, juices, coffee), the body assumes that it is food and it sends it through the digestive tract, which doesn’t remedy a state of dehydration as effectively nor does it necessarily increase the metabolism.  Our body knows how to distinguish between what is simply pure water and other liquids (soft drinks, juices, coffee, etc.), which it treats like food.


Drinking soft drinks (Coca-Cola®, 7UP®, etc.) is one of the best ways to dehydrate the body and decrease the metabolism.  Those drinks contain an acid called phosphoric acid which is what causes the tingling on your tongue when you drink them.  The purpose of this acid was to keep the sugar from settling in the bottom of the container and to provide the effervescent and tingling characteristic of soft drinks.  Acids, by definition, are substances that reduce oxygen.  When we drink a carbonated beverage, even if it is diet cola, the phosphoric acid that it contains reduces a good part of the oxygen that is available in the body and that, at the same time, causes a decrease in the metabolism. I have known obese people whose main action in losing weight was eliminating diet soft drinks from their diet and substituting them with a habit of drinking more water.


When we drink carbonated beverages, diet or not, the body becomes dehydrated.  The reason for this is that the human body has to maintain a low level of internal acidity in the blood to be able to survive.  Our blood is more alkaline (opposite of acid) than acid because if it weren’t, it would repel the oxygen that our cells need.  Acids repel oxygen. That is why our blood is more alkaline than acid, so that oxygen can be transported in it.  When we drink carbonated beverages with phosphoric acid, our body makes a supreme effort to reduce the level of acids through our urine and this makes the body use part of its water to push out the acids from the soft drinks outside of the body.  The more acidic colas or soft drinks we have, the more our body will have to urinate in order to reduce the level of accumulated acids. This worsens the cellular dehydration, as well as reduces the available oxygen to the cells as an effect of the water shortage that is created.

In chemistry you use a pH scale (pH stands for “hydrogen potential”) to measure the acidity or alkalinity of substances.  On this scale 7.0 is neutral, not acid nor alkaline.  Water, for instance, if it is not distilled, is 7.0 in pH on this scale.  In other words, it is neutral.

Examples on this scale would be the following:







Soft drink cola



Grapefruit juice



Tomato juice












Human blood



Sea water







It has been calculated that only one 12 ounce can of a carbonated drink (pH 2.5) contains so much acid that it requires as many as 32 glasses of water (8 ounces each) to get the body back to a neutral state (pH 7.0).  The sales of soft drinks around the world have been increasing at an accelerated rate in the same way that weight problems, obesity and the so-called “slow metabolism” have increased.



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