If you listen to the television ads, America runs on high fructose corn syrup drinks, like Coca-Cola or Pepsi. Maybe that's why one-third of Americans are obese or at least, overweight. Gone are the days when most people drink nothing but water, the original no-calorie, sugar-free, no-cholesterol beverage. So can you lose weight by just drinking water? Before I answer this, let's first look at why water is important in our bodies.
How important is drinking water?
Water makes up close to 70% of our body's weight. Water is very important in our bodies. For example,
- Water keep your skin healthy. We look younger when our skin is properly hydrated from the inside out.
- Water helps relieve constipation.
- Water helps us have better digestion.
- Water helps reduces the chances of getting a bladder infection.
- Water is essential for the proper functioning of the brain.
- Water is the majority component in blood which helps transport oxygen and nutrients to each and every one of our cells. In addition, it helps carry waste away from our cells to be processed either in our livers or excreted through our kidneys.
- Water helps lubricate our joints.
But water may also be important in helping us lose weight too. Water is used in the metabolism of our nutrients. What I mean by this is that when foods are digested, a process called "hydrolysis" is used to break down large, complex nutrients into its smaller components so they can either be ultimately used for repair or growth. Bonds that hold these many units together are broken by hydrolysis with water helping to split these bonds. In fact, 20% of the water we take in each day comes from the food we eat.
So what are the benefits of drinking water to lose weight?
Since we were children, we've been told to “Drink 8 glasses of water each day.” But what are the benefits of drinking water to lose weight? And what kind of water should we drink? Water hydrates your body and helps it work efficiently. Water boosts your metabolic rate, which gives you energy and helps to burn calories. It is an essential drink in everyday life and a great tool for those who are dieting. A well-hydrated body helps your muscles and organs to work quickly and efficiently. When your body is working well, it will boost your metabolic rate and help you to feel more energetic. Water can help your metabolism burn calories 3% faster. Metabolism plays a big role in losing weight so it’s important to give your body what it needs in order for it to work the way you want. You don't lose weight by just reducing your caloric intake.
Feeling thirsty and hungry often go hand-in-hand. If you’re feeling thirsty you might accidentally start eating instead of going for a glass of water. Try to listen to what your body needs and keep a water bottle close at hand. You don’t want to be adding on the extra pounds by eating when you’re not even hungry. By time you feel thirsty, you're already about 1 - 2% dehydrated. If you’re feeling hungry drink a glass of water 15 to 30 minutes before eating. It helps to subside your hunger so you can better manage your portion control. It is also a good idea to have a glass of water with every meal. Try to take a sip of water between every few bites, which help you to feel full faster. And the best part, it's calorie and sugar-free.
How much water should I drink?
Some experts suggest that the average person should consume at least 64 ounces of water a day. That’s eight cups of water. But there is some disagreement in these figures when you listen to the experts. No single formula fits everyone. We lose water through breathing, sweating, urine, and bowel movements. The requirements of water vary, depending on the climate and the level of physical activity. The best guide is to drink enough each day to keep your urine color a light yellow. Since it can be hard to remember to drink enough water a day, try bringing a pre-measured bottle of water with you during your day. Measure out one cup every hour and make it goal to drink the cup within the hour.
Water, weight loss, and exercise are a great combination. If exercising is part of a weight loss program more water should be included to account for water loss from sweating. Drinking water before, during and after exercise will keep energy levels high and help muscles recover after training.
Tips to drink more water
- Drink small amounts of water more frequently. It will help increase the intake.
- When working at your computer, always have a glass of water and sip generously.
- Make a habit of having a glass of water before each meal. In addition to hydrating, it will help fill your stomach.
- Drink at least one glass of water after each meal.
- Always carry a bottle of water with you.
- Replace fizzy drinks and fruit juices with pure water because soda can make you fat.
- Fill a jug with water and leave it on your table as a constant reminder that it needs to be consumed whenever needed.
What else do I need to know about water?
The water you drink needs to be pure. Bottled water and tap water is not as safe as we are told to believe. Recent examples include the public water from Flint, Michigan. The amount of lead in their municipal water supply is high enough to cause permanent neurological problems in thousands of young children. Check your quality control of your local water company or have your well tested if you use well water. Better yet, use filtered water. Make sure you know what the filter you use actually does. Filters on the market that advertise that they remove 99.9% of the pollutants doesn't give you pure water to drink. I will discuss this more in a future blog article.