Darleen Barnard is Board Certified Health Coach and Personal Trainer who specializes in weight loss by using the power of the mind.
The Importance of Water
Water is critical to our health and wellbeing. Our body is 60% water (by weight). We can only survive a few days without water. Benefits of consuming adequate water include:
- Reduced fluid retention – it seems counter-intuitive, but if we are retaining water, there is a good change we are dehydrated.
- Improved liver function – the liver is how we break down fat so we will actually increase the percentage of fat used for energy just by drinking more water
- Improved endocrine function
- Maintain proper blood volume
- Regulate body temperature
- Regulates blood pressure
- Distribute nutrients throughout the body
- Improved athletic ability (lowers perceived exertion)
- Increased blood flow to the skin
How Much Water Should You Drink?
There are a lot of differing opinions on how much water you should drink. Everyone is different and has different needs. Most of us have used the general rule of thumb that we should drink 8-10 8 oz. glasses of water a day (64-80 oz). That was the general rule years ago; however, experts have now updated the requirements.
- Some experts state you should consume .5 to 1 ounces per pound of body weight. Therefore, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should be drinking between 75-150 ounces of water per day.
- Other research states that men should consume 104 ounces (13 cups) and women should consume 72 ounces (9 cups) as a base and then an additional:
- 14-22 ounces before exercise
- 6-12 ounces for every 15-20 minutes of exercise
- 16-24 ounces for every pound of body weight lost during exercise
Easiest Way to Drink More Water
If you are struggling to drink enough water, one great thing I have found that really makes a difference is the Cactaki water bottle. It is a 32 oz water bottle that has time markers on it so you can track your water throughout the day. It breaks your drinking down by the hour and helps you stay on track. If you fill it up twice throughout the day, as recommended, you will get 64 ounces of water. If you drink an additional 1 to 2 glasses of water with each meal and of course extra when you exercise, you should have no problem meeting or exceeded the recommended amounts each day!! You can even add frozen berries, lemon, etc because it has a built in diffuser. It is BPA free and fits perfectly into a car cup holder. The lid is also drip free and the strap is perfect for people on the go. I HIGHLY recommend this water bottle.
Cactaki Water Bottle
Other things to consider…
If you are thirsty, it probably means you have waited too long and you are dehydrated.
So, sip throughout the day and drink before you are thirsty.
If you are trying to lose weight, water is a necessity.
A 1% drop in hydration can cause our bodies to run less efficiently and cause our weight loss to slow. Water is necessary at the cellular level throughout our body. In addition, our liver needs water to function properly and our liver is what breaks down fat.
Water helps us feel full.
Another advantage of drinking water for weight loss, it helps us feel full. I always recommend to my clients that they drink 1 glass of water before eating each meal. In addition, drink another glass of water with the meal and wait at least 20 minutes before going back for seconds. When this simple rule is followed, it can significantly reduce the number of calories consumed without feeling deprived.
What color is your urine?
Clear to light yellow is good and indicates you are hydrated. Darker yellow or cloudy means you need more water.
Soda, coffee, tea, Kool-Aid, alcohol, etc are NOT water.
By adding something to the water we are taking away the hydrating quality, so don’t count that can of soda pop or cup of coffee. In fact, these beverages may actually increase your need for water.
Use frozen fruit and citrus to flavor your water.
To add variety and flavor, add a squeeze of lemon, lime, or orange. Or add some frozen berries for some extra flavor and a few extra vitamins!
When we are thinking about living a healthy lifestyle, we often think about what we should be removing from our diet – less sugar, less alcohol, less saturated fat. It is actually refreshing to take a step back and remind ourselves that there are things we should be ADDING to improve our health. Water is the first thing we should think of when we think about consuming more. Most of us don’t get enough water and you will be surprised how much better you feel and how quickly your body responds to proper hydration!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2019 Darleen Barnard