Most of us take it for granted. But just how important is it?
If we are talking for survival then Bear Grills reminds us of the rule of 3…
You can survive:
- 3 Minutes without AIR
- 3 Days without WATER and
- 3 Weeks without FOOD
Obviously there are exceptions to this rule but it’s a good reference. So lets focus on WATER!
When the water in your body is reduced by just 1 percent, you become thirsty. At 5 percent, muscle strength and endurance declines significantly and you become hot and tired. When the loss reaches 10 percent, delirium and blurred vision occur. A 20 percent reduction results in death.
There is no more important nutrient for our bodies than water. No other substance is as widely involved in the processes and make up of the body. A man’s body is about 60 percent water, and a woman’s is approximately 50 percent.
Every day, we can lose 1-2 litres of water through urination, sweating and breathing. Since many of the processes within the body rely greatly on water, it is important we replace our fluids regularly to compensate for this loss.
When we exercise, water loss through sweat can reach 1-2L per hour! If you are exercising in warm weather, water should be replenished every 15 minutes in order to keep muscles strong and body temperature down. This is especially crucial for long endurance events, which is why cyclists (who strip away every unnecessary ounce of equipment) still carry water with them.
Water is vital in delivering oxygen to muscles and helps the body perform physical labour more efficiently.
One of the things that I preach the most for those looking to lose weight is to drink more water. This can be difficult for some people to understand. I even have one client who sees water as weight and so therefore tries to not drink too much!!! (incidentally, my main motivation for this blog post)
So… does water really help weight loss? In a word… YES!
Drinking water helps boost your metabolism , cleanse your body of waste and acts as an appetite suppressant. Also, (believe it or not) drinking more water helps your body stop retaining water, leading you to actually drop those extra pounds of water weight.
So what can you do to make sure you’re drinking enough water to keep yourself hydrated and encourage weight loss?
Step 1: Drink before you eat
Because water is an appetite suppressant, drinking it before meals can make you feel fuller and therefore reduce your food intake. Health resource website WebMD states that drinking water before meals results in an average reduction in intake of 75 calories per meal. Drinking water before just one meal per day would cause you to ingest 27,000 fewer calories per year. Do the math: You’d lose about eight pounds per year just from drinking water! Now imagine if you drank it before each meal.
Step 2: Replace calorie-filled drinks with water
Take my 2 week water challenge and drink water where you would normally have a tea/coffee/juice etc. These all have calories in them. Caffeine has also been considered a diuretic by experts and consumers for years. This means drinking caffeinated beverages will cause you to lose fluids.
Don’t even get me started on alcohol!!!
So replace all other drinks with water for 2 weeks and I can practically guarantee that you will lose weight. If you think water tastes boring, add a slice of lemon. A glass of water with lemon is a recipe for successful weight loss because the pectin in lemons helps reduce food cravings. Still think water doesn’t really help weight loss? Try my 2 week water challenge then talk to me after!
Step 3: Drink it ice cold
According to the editorial staff at WebMD, drinking ice cold water helps boost your metabolism because your body has to work harder to warm the water up, therefore burning more calories and helping you to lose weight. Plus, ice cold water is just so much more refreshing than water that’s room temperature.
Step 4: Hit the gym
Because drinking water helps prevent muscle cramping and keeps your joints lubricated, you can work out longer and harder. Just another way keeping hydrated with water helps you lose weight.
Step 5: Make sure you get enough
How do you know if you’re getting enough water? A general rule is to check the toilet after you’ve gone to the bathroom. You’ll know you’re well hydrated if your urine is clear. The darker your urine, the more water you need to drink, especially if weight loss is your goal.
As always, if you would like to chat to us about your health and fitness goals please contact us for a free consultation.
Yours in Health