Hydration – Is it Important to Weight Loss
Hydration is important for so many reasons, but is it important to weight loss? Our bodies are about 50-75% water depending on our body composition. Water is responsible for many different functions throughout our body.
Water gives us so many benefits such as;
- Regulates our body temperature
- Carries oxygen and nutrients to the cells
- Dissolves minerals and nutrients
- Aide’s digestion and prevents stomach aches during digestion
- Protects the body organs and tissues
- Lubricates joints
- Keeps us alert
- Prevents headaches
- Boosts cognitive abilities and focus
- Protects the heart
Of course this just names a few benefits that come from being properly hydrated.
It is important to be hydrated, but is it important to weight loss? The answer is, YES!
Proper hydration increases the metabolism. According to a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, drinking 17 ounces of water increases the metabolic rate by 30% in healthy men and women. The maximum effect on the metabolic rate was reached 30-40 minutes after the water was drank.
Think about that…
If you are properly hydrated throughout the day, your metabolism is functioning better and burning more. If you are hydrated during exercise, you will also burn more.
So, if you are among the thousands who want to lose a few or many pounds, proper hydration is a must. Many people track their food and physical activity when they want to lose weight, but very few track their water intake. If weight loss is your goal, you should be tracking your water intake as well. Really everyone regardless should track their water intake to ensure they are hydrated. Proper water intake throughout the day can help assure our metabolism is operating at full capacity.
So how do you know how much water your body needs? It comes down to using a simple formula to calculate your general water needs. Please note: This formula is not exact, but accurate enough to be very close to what your body will need. Of course if you are still feeling thirsty you may need to add some more. Being thirsty mean you’re dehydrated. If you find you need more water, increase by 8 ounces at time. Once the consistent feeling of being thirsty is gone, you have hit the mark.
- Know your body weight. Make sure you obtain an accurate reading. Digital scales are the most accurate. If the number on the scale shows decimals, round down if .4 or lower; and round up if .5 or higher. If using an analog scale, attempt to be as accurate as possible. (Example: 175.4 pounds = 175 pounds. 225.5 is rounded to 2225, etc.)
- Divide your weight in half. (Example: 225 pounds/ 2= 112.5, which is rounded to 113 ounces.) This number is your required water intake in ounces.
- Determine Your Activity Level. Your activity level is the level to which you physically exert yourself. This exertion has a direct correlation with our water intake. As we exercise or perform any physical or strenuous activity, our bodies will naturally expel water. This means our consumption will need to be increased to replenish what is lost.
A good general gage for physical activity is as follows:
- For every 30 minutes of vigorous exercise add 16 ounces.
- For every 30 minutes of moderate exercise add 8 ounces.
- For every 30 minutes of light exercise or walking add 4 ounces. *
*if you have a job that you put in a lot of time doing physical work, or walking you will need to calculate extra water that is needed for the time spent doing those activities. (Example: Person walks for 4 hours at their job – additional 32 ounces, or a construction worker is doing hard physical labor for 4 hours – additional 64 ounces)
- Calculate your water intake needs. Follow steps 1 to 3. Add the numbers derived from steps two and three.
Weight: 250 pounds
250 ÷ 2 = 125 ounces
30 minutes of daily vigorous exercise = 16 ounces
125 ounces + 16 ounces = 141 ounces
(18 8-ounce classes or 12 12-ounce glasses of water per day)
Hydration – Is It Important to Weight Loss? YES!
Here are a few other helpful tips to keep yourself hydrated. When you are hydrated your body is happy, and your metabolism firing at full capacity.
- Drink 16 ounce of water 30 minutes prior to every meal. This guarantees you 48 ounces just by implementing this habit.
- Drink 16 ounces in the morning right after getting out of bed, and 16 ounces 30 minutes before going to bed. This gets you another 32 ounces.
- When you see others drink something, drink some water.
- Never leave the house without a bottle of water. Get a bright colored and fun bottle to help set this habit.
- If you live in arid climates, add an additional 16 ounces to your daily consumption.
- Use lemons, limes or other fresh fruit in your water.
- Use a high quality, clean and free of artificial ingredients hydration supplement during exercise.
Hydration is important to weight loss. Whatever you need to do to consume the water your body needs, set up those habits and your body will want to shed more body fat.