One of the top tips you’ll ever hear when it comes to weight loss – aside from eating right and exercising – is to drink water. You’ve likely heard it dozens upon dozens of times and that isn’t about to stop any time soon. The fact is that adequate H2O makes a tremendous difference to your overall health and your body’s ability to function. At the same time, it also provides you with certain benefits that can be highly advantageous to your weight loss efforts.
Drinking enough water keeps your metabolism running as quickly as possible and supports healthy digestion. You rely on both of those functions to be at their best in order to be able to shed the pounds with as much speed and little effort as you can.
How Much Water to Drink for Weight Loss and Why
Is More Water the Key?
That said, more often than not, you’ll hear that the key to losing weight efficiently is to drink more water. Do you really need to drink more water than you already are? Is there a difference between seeking adequate hydration and continually drinking additional amounts of water? Absolutely!
The key to efficient weight loss may be to drink more water if you aren’t already drinking enough. However, if you’re already hydrated enough, then drinking more water may not do anything beneficial for you. If you’ve had enough, having more isn’t going to help.
The question you should be asking yourself is how much water you need to drink in order to be able to promote better health and fat loss. Are you dehydrated? Are you getting enough water, or could you possibly be drinking too much water? If you’re dehydrated, yes, you should drink more water. This isn’t just for weight loss, but for your overall wellness. If you’re already drinking enough water, you should focus on maintaining your current levels of hydration, not changing what you’re already doing correctly.
Water as a Metabolism Booster
Water plays a role in the function of every cell throughout your entire body. Even the best diet pill won’t be able to work if you aren’t taking it with plenty of water. When you become dehydrated, it means that those cells – some or all of them – are not able to function at their full efficiency level. They cannot transport nutrients or supplements the way they normally would under the right hydration levels.
The cells involved in your metabolism are no exception to that rule. Therefore, when you’re not drinking enough water, the result is a slower metabolic rate than your body is capable of achieving. Your entire body’s efficiency drops, slowing down your rate of calorie and fat burning and reducing the impact of your workouts.
After all, the metabolism isn’t an organ or a system. It’s a number of natural chemical reactions that occur throughout the body’s organs and systems. Both the chemical reactions and the organs and systems that produce those reactions are dependent on water. To get the results you want, you’ll need to hydrate.
Water as an Appetite Suppressant
Another way that being dehydrated can affect your weight loss is by controlling your appetite. The reason is that when you are thirsty, your brain may send you the wrong signals. Instead of feeling thirst, you may experience hunger pangs.
This means that some of the times when you find yourself craving something to eat, you’re not even really hungry. All you really need is some zero-calorie water, not a bag of chips. Therefore, the next time you’re feeling hungry, try drinking a glass of water and waiting ten minutes. You may find that the strength of your hunger will shrink considerably, or it may even disappear.
Similarly, if you drink a glass of water a half hour ahead of each meal, you might not need to eat as much at mealtime in order to be satisfied. When you feel fuller earlier in the meal, you’ll be less likely to overeat.
Water to Improve Digestion
Beyond the way water can help you to keep your eating under control, it can also help to improve the way you digest the food that you do eat. As was mentioned earlier, water helps to improve the function of every organ and system in the body.
For example, water is needed for the kidneys to function at their best. It is also a critical component to regularity, helping you to avoid becoming constipated. If you aren’t regular, you’ll suffer from bloating, fluid retention and discomforts that will make it unpleasant to try to exercise. This will only hold back your ability to diet and will make you appear bigger than you actually are.
Even worse is that chronic dehydration places you at an increased risk of more considerable discomforts such as kidney stones. Kidney stones are very painful and are produced by a buildup of minerals such as calcium in your urine when you don’t have enough water to flush them away.
So How Much Water Do You Really Need for Weight Loss?
How can you tell if you’re already getting enough water every day for health and weight loss, and how do you know if you’re dehydrated? Can you trust that rule of thumb that tells you to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day?
Not according to experts. That cookie-cutter rule is actually quite deceptive. There are many other factors that you will need to consider in order to get it right. The taller you are and the more you weigh, the more water you’ll need each day. The more active you are, the more you’ll need hydrate. When it’s hot out, or if you’re otherwise caused to sweat, your body will require extra water to regulate your body temperature.
Equally, if you already eat a lot of foods with a high water content, you’ll need to drink less water as a result of it. If you are petite, have lost a lot of weight or haven’t been all that active in a given day, you might not need as much water in order to achieve the same amount of hydration.
While the amount of water you need to drink to lose weight efficiently will vary depending on your activity level and the temperature outside, among other factors, there is a better rule of thumb for you to follow, according to some experts.
For every pound you weigh, drink one half to one ounce of water each day. For instance, if you weigh 170 pounds, you will need to drink somewhere between 85 ounces and 170 ounces of water per day. If it’s hot, you’ve eaten many dry foods and you’ve been active, you’ll need to aim for the higher end of that scale. If you didn’t exercise too much that day, it’s cold out and you’ve eaten many fruits and veggies that have a high water content, the lower end of that scale will likely work better for you.
As great as it would be to have one target for water intake each day, it’s much better for you to use a range meant for you and the conditions of that day.