You’ve heard me say it time and time again, “Water’s good for you, so drink more water.” Today however, I won’t just stop at the generic “Drink more water” mantra. Instead, I’m going to explain how not drinking enough water throughout the day could be the very reason why you’re having difficulty losing weight. I’ve decided to go about things this way because years of educating others about health and fitness has taught me that getting people motivated to change oftentimes requires breaking things down in terms of “Why you should” instead of the “Just do what I say” approach. So here are a few Fit Facts about water, as well as 4 reasons why it’s important to drink enough water, especially if your goal is to drop a few founds. Time to listen up and drink up!
Water Fit Fact #1
Initial weight loss is largely due to loss of body water, so you’ll need to drink ample water in order to avoid the bloating caused by your body’s natural compensatory mechanism of holding onto water to prevent dehydration.
Bottom line: If you don’t drink enough water, you’ll probably end up weighing more (and being bloated) because your body will hold onto more water.
Water Fit Fact #2
The physiological process of burning calories requires a certain amount of water in order to function optimally, so dehydration will actually slow down the fat-burning process.
Bottom line: If you don’t drink enough water, your metabolism will naturally drop.
Water Fit Fact #3
Dehydration will cause a reduction in blood volume, which will cause a reduction in the supply of oxygen to your muscles, which will result in a reduction in the supply of oxygen to your muscles, which in turn will reduce your overall exercise endurance and make you feel more easily fatigued during your workout.
Bottom line: If you don’t drink enough water, you won’t be able to exercise as efficiently (or as long) as you should. And as a result, you won’t be able to burn enough calories to lose weight.
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Water Fit Fact #4
Last, but definitely not least, drinking water throughout the day− particularly with your meals− will help you feel fuller faster. The reason for this is because water works to expand our stomachs, thereby prompting the stomach to send a signal to the brain that we’re full.
Bottom line: A waterless meal could result in you consuming more calories. But by drinking water with your meal you will naturally end up eating less, and thus, consuming fewer calories.
How Much Water Should You Drink?
Most of us have heard the standard “drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day” rule. But this isn’t the end all be all, and shockingly enough, this 8-by-8 rule isn’t even grounded in solid science. Truth be told, how much water you should drink actually depends on many factors like gender, weight, level of activity, temperature of your environment, and diet.
Fit Fact: Drinking other water based beverages, and eating plenty of water-dense foods like iceberg lettuce and cucumbers will actually decrease your daily water requirement.
One more important caveat: While rare, it is possible to drink too much water. In this case, drinking large amounts of water can be harmful because it dilutes electrolyte concentration in your blood to the point that brain, heart and muscle function become impaired. But as I stated earlier, this is a rare occurrence and oftentimes encountered in individuals who compulsively drink water, or in athletes that sweat profusely for a prolonged period of time and only rehydrate with plain water, instead of water infused with electrolytes like Gatorade.
Now back to the original question, “How much water should you drink?”
To keep things as simple as possible, I like to go with The Institute of Medicine’s fluid intake recommendation of 91 ounces for women, and 125 ounces (or approximately 1 gallon) for men. Hit that target and you should be fine.
So in conclusion, you should always drink ample water on a daily basis. You want to do this because it promotes weight loss by virtue of preventing water retention and bloating, helps to maximize calorie burn, improves exercise endurance, and helps to control calorie consumption.
Absolute Bottom line: If your goal is to get in shape and stay fit, always stay on top of your water game.
How much water do you drink a day? – Doc
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