Hydration & Weight Loss – Is water the key to losing weight?
There’s one really essential component of nutrition & health that often goes overlooked. Any ideas? It’s what most of us are not drinking enough of. WATER! Reports suggest that up to 75% of the American population fall short of their daily hydration requirement so we’ll hazard a guess and say that you’re probably not drinking enough either. Don’t worry, we weren’t drinking nearly enough in the beginning either!
Hydration: Why is water important?
FUN FACT – We can live several weeks without food but we’d most likely die in 3-4 days without water. Yup! It’s THAT important.
At least 60% of our bodies are made up of water. Every living cell in the body needs water to keep it functioning and to help the body perform optimally. Here are just some of the key functions that water assists with every day:
- Removes waste & toxins
- Aids in digestion
- Helps dissolve minerals and other nutrients
- Carries nutrients and oxygen to cells
- Moistens tissues in the mouth, eyes and nose
- Protects your body organs and tissues
- Lubricates the joints
- Regulates your body temperature
From a performance perspective, a fluid loss of 2% of your body weight (a 2.8 lb. drop for someone weighing 140 lbs.) is the point at which you will start to experience fatigue and lose endurance. A fluid loss of 3% or more and you start running the risk of heat exhaustion or heat stroke in hot and humid climates. As you can see, it really doesn’t take a lot for our hydration to have a significant impact on our bodies.
Although you do get some water from foods, drinking water is still the main and best source for adequate hydration. To ensure you’re meeting your minimum daily water needs, take your bodyweight in pounds and divide in half for the volume in ounces. For example, if you weigh 160 lbs. then at a minimum you want to try to consume 80 oz. of water a day (roughly 2.3 liters). Ideally, you are taking on more than this though and of course your requirements will vary depending on your activity and environment – we live in Florida so we have to consume a lot more than this guideline suggests. To give you an idea, Jason weighs approximately 140 lbs. and typically consumes at least 2 gallons of water a day (more than 7.5 liters or 250 oz.). That’s a sh*t ton of water people!
The Key Benefits
What are some of the benefits you’ll feel from drinking more water? Well when the appropriate amount is consumed we find that;
- our skin looks healthier;
- our bodies look better (bye bye bloat);
- we perform better at the gym;
- our energy levels improve;
- our focus is sharper; and
- we feel less hungry throughout the day.
The big picture is this, drinking water helps boost metabolism and lipolysis (the breakdown of fat), cleanses your body, improves your overall health and promotes feelings of fullness. So guess what it leads to? Yes you got it! Better success & improved results with your weight loss goals.
Can you drink too much water?
There is such a thing as drinking too much water! Be aware that excessive consumption can lead to hyponatremia, a condition where your sodium levels are too low. This happens with excessive water consumption as it dilute the concentration of sodium in the blood. Low sodium levels in turn effect the regulation of water in and around your cells causing them to swell.
Strategies for staying on top of your hydration
Unfortunately, relying on thirst signals alone is not an adequate strategy as research suggests that if you wait to drink until your thirsty and stop drinking when you’re thirst is satisfied, you’ll remain 25%-50% dehydrated.
1. Measure & monitor consumption
Get yourself a large water bottle if you don’t already have one. Find out how much water it holds and then figure out how many full bottles you need to drink every day to hit your water goal – check out that math above or if you want some further input, feel free to reach out to us in the Tribe.
2. Flavor your water
Research suggests that one of the big reasons people skimp on drinking water is because they find the taste too boring or don’t like the taste at all. Don’t worry we still get that way about it too. One of my favorite things to flavor my water with is Nuun vitamin and electrolyte tablets. It has no carbs, no calories & no sweetners! Because it comes with electrolytes it also takes care of salt replacement on those days where I’ve really worked up a sweat. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a refreshing sprots drink.
If you’re simply looking to add some flavor then MiO Liquid Water Enhancerdrops are tasty and you can easily find them in most grocery stores. There’s lots of different flavors to choose from and they have no carbs, no sugar, no aspartame and no saccharin.
3. Use Reminders
As a general rule, drinking a big glass of water before every meal will not only help you meet your hydration needs every day but it will also ensure you’re not confusing hunger cues with thirst signals. If you still have trouble getting in enough water throughout the day, check out the Hidrate Spark Smart Water Bottle that sends you reminders! Pretty cool unless you feel humiliated taking instructions from a water bottle…
How do you keep your hydration in check? Do you have any helpful tips we left out?! Let us know by commenting below or reach out to us here!