Are you looking to lose weight and be able to keep it off? Drink more water!
Water is an essential component of the human body and it’s critical to successful weight loss and exercise. More than 70 percent of your body is made of water and it’s therefore crucial that we drink enough for our overall wellbeing.
Yet most people don’t understand the importance of staying hydrated and how to go about it.
Proper hydration is key to long-term weight loss. You may be wondering how the amount of water you drink is related to successful weight loss. Science has proven that water is a very important part of this equation if you seriously want to reach your goals.
Water plays several important roles in the body. These include the removal of toxins and other waste products, regulating body temperature, lubricating joints, and other connective tissues. In addition, it aids in metabolism, cushions vital organs, transports nutrients to working muscles and acts as a natural appetite suppressant among other roles. Drinking enough water is therefore important to the proper functioning of the body.
How do we lose water?
The body continually loses water as it performs the aforementioned functions. It, therefore, has to be continuously replenished to enable the body to perform optimally.
When the temperature of our body rises for example during exercise, we lose lots of water through sweat and perspiration. In an hour of intense physical exercise, we lose up to a liter of water or more. When we don’t adequately replenish the lost water, we enter into a state of dehydration.
When we don’t drink enough fluids, our bodies give us signals that resemble hunger pangs. The misinterpretation of this false hunger leads to eating unnecessary calories. By staying hydrated throughout the day, you minimize the chances of overeating. As a result, you maximize the chances of achieving your weight loss goals.
A body that is dehydrated cannot cool itself properly. In extreme cases, dehydration can lead to heat exhaustion and possibly heat stroke. If you are dehydrated, you will experience generalized fatigue and muscle cramps. Your energy levels will drop and affect your workouts.
If you workout regularly, maintaining a constant supply of water to the body is essential. Drink water before, during and after your session to keep cases of dehydration at bay.
How to replenish lost water
Thirst is a late sign of whether you need water or not. The moment you feel thirsty, know that you are on your way to becoming dehydrated.
Have you ever wondered what happens during the cold season?
In fact, most people become dehydrated at this particular time of the year because they see no need for drinking water as they are not thirsty. Funny enough, the body continues to lose water regardless of the weather. The only difference is that the amount of water lost is less compared to that lost when it is hot.
You should, therefore, make sure you drink water continually throughout the day.
The Dangers of Not Drinking Enough Water
Inadequate water intake can be detrimental to your body. If your hydration levels drop by a mere 2 percent, you may experience a lack of concentration and difficulty in focusing.
If you often feel fatigued in the middle of the day and are unable to pinpoint to the cause of your headaches, gulp two glasses of water and you will be surprised that the headaches will vanish in minutes.
This is so true even in my own experience. Every time I’ve felt a slight headache, I straight away know that my body is sending me a message to replenish lost fluids by drinking more water.
The best way to check if you are well hydrated is to look at the color of your urine. If it’s light to clear you are fine. However, if it’s too dark, chances are you are not drinking enough and need to drink more water.
This urine test is however not accurate. This is because some vitamins supplements and also some antibiotics can change the color of your urine.
For most people, water is the best for fluid replenishment. Sports drinks are also good because they contain electrolytes but are not so good because they are full of sugar. I can therefore only recommend their use if you are exercising at high intensities for more than 45 minutes.
Some people detest the taste of plain water and can’t just stand it. If you have this problem, just slice a piece of lemon and drop it into the water to give it a lemony taste to make it easier to drink. Alternatively, eat healthy foods like fresh fruits, juices, soups, and veggies. These are rich in water and will help boost your overall water intake.
How much water should you drink?
You have probably heard that you should drink 8 glasses of water every day. But the amount of water you need actually depends on your weight, level of activity, the temperature of your environment and your diet. For example, if your diet comprises of water-dense foods, your need for water will be diminished.
On the other hand, you don’t need to drown yourself in water by drinking too much water. Hyponatremia is a condition caused by drinking too much water and has an effect of diluting the electrolytes in the body including sodium and potassium.
Though it takes quite an effort to reach this state, you should therefore not be overly concerned.
6 Tips to Drink More water
• Drink at least 2 liters of water every day. If you are active and it’s hot, drink more.
• Drink a glass of water before going to sleep and soon after waking up.
• Drink a glass of water 15-20 minutes before meals, to help suppress your appetite.
• Keep a bottle of water handy at all times. Take regular sips on it as opposed to drinking large amounts all at once.
• Reduce the consumption of alcohol and caffeine which are diuretics and make you lose even more water
• Drinking water won’t give you a bloated look but instead, it works the other way round by ensuring you have a smooth, supple and fresh appearance. Drinking adequate amounts of water ensures that you have no retention issues.
Everyone knows that drinking more water is important for health and vitality. However, knowing and doing are two different things.
If you are looking to be healthy and vibrant, make sure you drink more water. If you do this, the pounds will be easy to shed and keep off.