There are many reasons why it’s important to drink water, especially while losing weight.
- The process of burning calories requires an adequate supply of water in order to function efficiently; dehydration slows down the fat-burning process.
- Burning calories creates toxins (think of the exhaust coming out of your car), and water plays a vital role in flushing them out of your body.
- Dehydration causes a reduction in blood volume; a reduction in blood volume causes a reduction in the supply of oxygen to your muscles; and a reduction in the supply of oxygen to your muscles can make you feel tired.
- Drinking water reduces water retention. People often believe that drinking water can lead to increased fluid retention. However, it is just the opposite. The more water that you drink, your body knows that it will continue to receive an adequate supply, and therefore has no need to store it.
- Water helps maintain muscle tone by assisting muscles in their ability to contract,and it lubricates your joints.Proper hydration can help reduce muscle and joint soreness when exercising.
- Drinking water with a meal may make you feel full sooner and therefore satisfied with eating less.
You have probably heard that you should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. How much water you actually need depends on your weight, level of activity, the temperature and humidity of your environment. On a hot day, it’s possible to lose about the equivalent of a quart of water in an hour while being active, according to the American Council on Exercise. You’ll want to drink water before, during, and after every workout.
The general recommendation is to drink at least half of your body weight in ounces. So a 180 pound person would need at least 90 ounces of water daily (more when it’s hot or if the person is active). When you drink enough water, your urine will usually be clear, or a very pale yellow. When in doubt, drink a little more.
It is possible to harm yourself by drinking too much water, but it takes quite an effort. Either through obsessive-compulsive behavior or extended athletic activity, drinking large amounts of water can dilute the electrolytes (sodium and potassium) in your blood to the point that it interferes with brain, heart and muscle function. Athletes compound the problem with the loss of sodium (salt) through sweating, but can drink electrolyte replacement drinks like Gatorade Endurance Formula to help keep things in balance.
Tips on Drinking Water
- Drinking other liquids also provides your body with a source of water, but note that diuretics cause your body to expel water. Diuretics include caffeinated drinks (coffee, tea and soda) and alcohol. When drinking diuretics, drink more water to compensate.
- Those who spend time away from home may take a portable water container, knowing that they need to fill and drink it four times throughout the day, for example. Others associate drinking water with routine activities throughout the day, such as drinking fluid at meals, before brushing their teeth, or after feeding the dogs.
- Studies show that water intake is increased when drinking from a straw.
- When you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Try to avoid this situation by drinking in advance. Be especially careful when participating in activities where you won’t be able to stop to get caught up.