As summer approaches and temperatures rise, we want to remind you just how important it is to drink water and stay hydrated!
The old wives’ tale is true, water is the fountain of youth. It is essential to life and for the growth and maintenance of our bodies. Water supports every cell, organ, and tissue in the body and helps regulate your body's temperature while also maintaining other bodily functions.
Fun facts: Your blood is 92% water, muscles are 75% water, your brain is 75% water, and your bones are 22% water. Also 2/3 of our body weight is water (if you’re living in a healthy, thriving body).
Additionally, if your goal is to lose fat, water should be at the top of your priority list. Drinking enough helps you burn more calories, remove waste and toxins from the body, and is necessary to metabolize stored fat orcarbohydrates.
Many people know the old rule of thumb is to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day, yet so many people struggle with drinking enough water. In fact, it is widely reported that 75% of Americans are dehydrated! Dehydration simply means that you’re expelling more water than you are consuming. Typically this is due to consuming other beverages like coffee or calorie and sugar laden drinks including juice, smoothies, soda and alcohol.
So this leaves the question, how much water should I drink? We recommend drinking at least ½ your body weight in ounces per day, plus 20 additional ounces if you workout. So, a 180lb person would ideally consume 90-110oz of water per day. Your body loses water constantly through breathing, sweating, and digestion which is why it is important to drink liquids and eat foods that contain water.
Today we are going to cover 5 reasons why staying hydrated is vital to overall health and fat loss.
1) Water is a natural appetite suppressant
Oftentimes we think we are hungry, but we are really just thirsty. If you’re dieting and feeling hungry constantly, we recommend increasing your water intake and veggie intake to help feel fuller, longer.
When the stomach is full it sends a signal to the brain you are satisfied. If you’re drinking enough water throughout the day and keeping your stomach full, you are less likely to over-consume calories.
Research by The British Dietetic Association found that adults who drank more water, consumed fewer calories than those who didn’t consume a proper quantity of water. They also reduced their consumption of caloric beverages, sugar, sodium, fat, saturated fat, and discretionary foods.
Believe it or not, our metabolisms can be directly linked to the amount of water we consume on a daily basis. Richard’s research has proven that drinking water has been shown to increase the overall rate and state of our metabolism.
In a2014 study, 12 people who drank 500 mL of cold or room temperature water experienced an increase in energy expenditure.
They burned between 2.3-2.9 % more calories than usual in the 90 minutes after drinking the water. Drinking cold water may further enhance water’s calorie-burning benefits, because the body expends energy, or calories, by heating up the water for digestion.
Did you know that adequate water intake is essential for healthy kidney function? Water helps the kidneys to filter toxins and waste while the organ retains essential nutrients and electrolytes. When the body is dehydrated, the kidneys retain fluid.
Our body relies on proper kidney and liver function to detoxify waste from day to day toxins. They are also essential to burning our body’s fat reserve (as the liver is directly responsible for burning our body’s fat reserve). If our body’s kidneys are not performing properly because of a lack of water, our liver has to focus on doing the work of the kidneys and fat burning ends up as a lower priority for the body.
When waste builds up in the body, people may feel bloated, swollen, and tired. Bloating can add inches to a person’s waist.
Staying hydrated is a good way to detoxify and avoid retaining waste, which may not only add a few extra pounds but also cause inflammation.
As we just talked about, many people don’t realize the impact water has on our organs, our endocrine system, our brain, and enzymatic function.
This information will help break each down a bit:
Organ function. As mentioned above, kidneys play a big role in detoxification. If your kidneys become dehydrated, their main job of filtering the blood becomes inhibited, and so this passes a lot of the job onto the liver. One of the livers’ functions is to metabolise stored fat in the body, but the fat burning capacity drops by half if your kidneys are malfunctioning from dehydration! YIKES!
Endocrine system. Growth hormone (hgH) is a potent fat burning hormone. This hormone binds to the receptor sites of fat cells and breaks down triglycerides, shrinking the fat cells. However, when we are dehydrated the hgH production is largely reduced and therefore inhibits fat metabolism.
Cognitive function. As we mentioned earlier the brain is made of roughly 75-80% water, and is therefore very sensitive to changes in hydration levels. A meta-analysis of 33 studies including a total of 413 participants found that dehydration corresponded to more than a 2% reduction in body mass (e.g. 3 lbs. of fluid loss in a 150 lb. person) and was associated with significant impairments on attention, executive function, and motor coordination .This can also lead to tiredness or often be mistaken for hunger which leads to a lack of motivation to exercise and eat correctly. All of this indirectly impairs fat burning behaviour.
Digestive System: Drinking even the minimum amount of water during the day will help keep your colon healthy and reduce the risk of colon cancer because water helps the digestive system operate the way it should.
Lastly, drinking water also impacts our enzyme function. The enzyme that metabolizes fat, Lipase, has significantly reduced function when the body isn’t fully hydrated. This can further lead to fatigue and inactivity.
One of the most important components of living a healthy lifestyle is regular exercise.
The best way to ensure your muscles, connective tissues, and joints to move correctly is to stay mobile, and stay hydrated! Especially important to increase your water intake if you are exercising in hot, humid or sunny conditions. As mentioned above, water is vital to our organs. Water helps the lungs, heart, and other organs to work effectively as they ramp up activity during exercise.
Staying hydrated reduces the risk of things that can get in the way of a good workout, such as muscle cramps and fatigue.
Always drink water before, during, and after exercise to avoid dehydration.
Are you convinced yet to drink more water?!
We hope so! If you’re someone who struggles to drink enough water, we have a couple of helpful tips for you:
Drink a glass of water upon waking.Six to eight hours of sleeping leaves us dehydrated first thing in the morning. The worst thing you can do at this time of the day (yet what many people still do) is drink tea or coffee first thing in the morning. Drink a glass of water, then coffee :)
Set reminders on your phone. A rule of thumb we like is to have 1L by 10am, 1L by 1pm and 1L by 3pm. This covers the needs of most people and won’t leave you chugging water at 8pm and disrupting your sleep.
Add a water enhancer or powder to your water like Hydrate. We have designed Hydrate to not only keep you hydrated with the amazing taste you can enjoy, but also to support your gut and immune system! Hydrate has L-Glutamine, BCAAs, Pink Himalayan Salt (great for mineral balance and thyroid function) and high doses of Vitamin C (a water soluble vitamin that constantly needs to be replenished as we excrete it throughout the day).
Check your urine color. You want your urine to be pale yellow. If it is yellow or orange, that is a clear sign you are dehydrated and need to drink more water!
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