The Importance of Hydration for Weight Loss
When trying to slim down and lose weight, people often overlook how much or how little fluid they consume. The body’s need for hydration is an integral part of successful weight loss and maintenance. Our bodies are composed of approximately 75% water depending on our age, gender and body type. Without proper hydration, healthy body functions cannot run optimally.
There are many different systems that are affected during weight loss and the calorie burning process. The process of burning calories requires an adequate supply of water in order to function efficiently. Burning calories creates toxins. In order to flush out the toxins, we need an adequate supply of water in our bodies for everything to work optimally. An average of 16oz of water per day goes into respiration. 16oz is part of invisible perspiration and even more is utilized if you are sweating. 48oz of water is used through elimination. For all of this to occur efficiently and to effectively loss weight, we need water to be readily available. If all bodily functions are occurring efficiently, our metabolic rate is also efficient, which results in a higher calorie burn. A dehydrated body is a body working overtime. Your heart rate increases; your kidneys begin to slow down. The kidneys require a large amount of water. If they are unable to work efficiently, it creates more work for your liver to clear the built up toxins. The liver is able to metabolize fat (turn fat into energy), but each second your liver is working on removing toxins (or doing the job of the kidneys), is one less minute that it is burning stored fat.
Water is also important for fat metabolism. Water helps the body breakdown stored fat. When the body does not have a good supply of water to draw from to perform physiological tasks, it will draw water from inside the cells, including the fat cells. Any fat stores that are drawn on for water are less likely to be mobilized and burned off as energy. This results in increases in fat stores over time if you remain in a constant state of under hydration.
Water deprivation also leads to water retention. The body is very efficient at survival. If we don’t get enough food, the body’s metabolism slows down to retain every calorie. If the body is not getting enough heat, the vessels will constrict to shunt the blood and keep your core warm. Your cells have the same survival mechanism in place. If your cells sense that their water supply is inadequate, they desperately hold onto
the water that they have. When there is a consistent and constant supply of water, our cells don’t go into “deprivation mode” and don’t feel the need to hold onto water coming in therefore, release excess water as it comes in. No stored water results in less bloat and less extra water weight. Inadequate water intake can make you feel fatigue, have decreased concentration, emotional imbalances, and often create a feeling of malaise. Dehydration causes a reduction in blood volume. If blood volume is reduced, there is also a reduction in the amount of oxygen getting to your muscles. Decreased oxygen can result in feeling tired. If you are not feeling good, you are less likely to make good dietary decision. You are also less likely to exercise, which greatly contributes to calorie burn. Water helps to maintain muscle tone, and assist the muscles in their ability to contract. Water also helps keep the joints lubricated. Good muscle tone and lubrications, leads to a better result when exercising. You must also take into account your level of activity, the temperature, and the humidity of your environment. What you eat and drink also plays a role in your water needs. A diet that is high in fiber requires a higher water intake than a diet high in water rich foods, including fruit and vegetables. Fluids such as coffee and tea that contain caffeine actually have a negative effect on your hydration status. A good rule of thumb is, for every caffeinated beverage you consume; consume one decaffeinated beverage of equal volume.
As you see, without the proper hydration, optimal weight loss cannot be achieved. Hydration should begin when you wake up and end before you go to sleep. In the time it too you to read this article you should have
consumed at least 1oz of fluid, so it you didn’t… drink up!!