Sometimes when we try to lose weight we make things too complicated and lose sight of the simple things. Making sure you get enough water is vital to your general health and to your weight loss progress.
Benefits of Staying Tanked Up on Water:
According to the Mayo Clinic, the body is 60% water. Every cell in the body needs water to function effectively. Water is an essential component of blood which carries oxygen and nutrients to the body. It is necessary for healthy skin which is the body’s largest organ. Water is a natural lubricant for joints and also helps us maintain a healthy core temperature. Your brain is up to 90% water. Your brain needs water to function effectively. Water helps us us to eliminate toxins and waste and to digest and absorb nutrients from the food we eat. Water intake can reduce hunger which can help you meet your weight loss goals.
How much water should I drink & when should I drink it?
We do get some water from our food – especially fruits and vegetables. It is best to drink pure water since it is calorie-free and is easily absorbed. Even though drinks like diet soda may be calorie free, they sometimes act as a diuretic and you lose more water than you got in the drink. Thirst is not a reliable indicator of how much to drink. By the time you are thirsty you are already somewhat dehydrated. Also, sometimes thirst is translated by your body as hunger and you end up eating when you don’t need to. A general guideline is to drink 8 – 9 glasses of water per day. That may not be enough for some people, especially if you weigh more than average. Another way to track your water intake is to take your weight in pounds and divide it in half. Then drink that many ounces of water per day. So for a 200 pound person the calculation would be 200/2 = 100 ounces. You may need more water if you do strenuous exercise or on particularly hot days when you sweat more. An easy way to gauge if your getting enough water is to look at your urine. It should be clear to light yellow. Dark yellow or orange urine may indicate dehydration.
A great time to drink your first glass of water is first thing in the morning. Drink a cup of water 30 minutes before each meal to help you feel full faster. Drink water before, during and after exercise to keep your body functioning at maximum performance and to replace water lost through perspiration and increased respiration. Use a water bottle or a cup with measurement lines to track your intake. I use a cup that holds 4 cups of water so it’s easy to stay on track.
Risks of dehydration
We lose water from our bodies throughout the day. One obvious way is through urination. We also lose water in bowel movements, breathing and perspiration. Dehydration can cause many unpleasant symptoms and can be dangerous. It can cause fatigue, migraines, constipation, muscle cramps, low blood pressure, kidney problems and dry skin. If it is severe it can lead to death.