While drinking water does not accelerate weight loss directly it certainly helps in other ways. Water is vital for boosting energy levels.
The human body is made up of 55-60% water and we are constantly losing it - like draining through a hole in a bucket. If this is not replaced regularly our blood volume decreases and becomes thicker, so the heart has to work harder. This causes us to feel tired, lethargic and flat. It is harder to make good nutritional decisions when we are tired and that often ends in food choices that are quick, convenient and high in calories or drinking caffeine and alcohol that are not ideal for rehydration. If you wait until you get thirsty it’s too late! You are already 10% dehydrated.
The amount of fluid you need to drink to remain fully hydrated does not have to come from water. All foods and drinks contain water however you cannot get all the fluid you need from food and most fluids contain excess calories. Drinking water or a calorie free non-caffeinated drink is giving your body what it needs and nothing else that it needs to filter, excrete or store as fat. Water has many benefits and purposes:
No calories and promotes the feeling of fullness
Increases blood volume (95% of blood is water) and keeps you alert
Increases oxygen flow to the heart and brain
Protects body tissues
Regulates our body temperature
Transports nutrients around the body
- Going to the toilet Exercise
- Caffeine drinks
- Air Conditioning
- Being Female
- Illness Pregnancy
- Breast feeding
- Food types
- Body size
The general recommendation is to consume 6-8 glasses of fluid a day or 1500-2000ml per day. Another way to be more specific is to consume approximately 1ml per calorie of energy intake i.e. Female - 2000ml (2000 calories), Male - 2800ml (2800 calories).
Drink 1 glass of water before and during every meal and snack
Choose drinks that don’t contain caffeine, alcohol or sugar
Drink small sips between meals (to increase absorption)
Choose juicy fruits and vegetables as a snack in the morning and afternoon
Drink 200-250ml of water every 15minutes during exercise
Aim for at least 1.5 liters of water a day and increase to 2 liters during the summer or if affected by any conditions that accelerate dehydration.
If you find drinking water challenging try getting into the habit by pairing it up with other things you do regularly e.g. drinking with every meal and snack. Have a water bottle with you at your desk, in the car and in your bag. If it is the lack of flavor then try adding a splash of lime, cranberry, lemon or orange juice. Try leaving a jug of this in the fridge with ice cubes and a sprig of mint for a refreshing pick me up.