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Why is water so important?

Water can really help with the weight loss process! The body is made up of between 45-78% water depending on gender, age, hydration level, and body fat percentage.  On average, men have approximately 60% water whereas, women have 55%.  This difference is due to lean muscle mass and body fat composition because fat contains less water than muscle.  Lean muscle holds more water than fat so the more muscular you are the higher the water percentage will be in your body.  For age, the difference ranges. Babies have a higher percentage of water because this allows them to maintain fluid equilibrium but after a year old it averages 60%. Older adults up having 45-50% and this is due to the loss of muscle mass. Hydration level depends on how much body water is lost and how many salty and sugary foods you have eaten.  

Weight Loss Benefits:

  • Natural appetite suppressant – stomach senses it is full and will send the brain signals to stop eating.  When you feel hungry the first thing you should do is drink water because in most cases it’s a “thirst signal” not a hunger signal.
  • Water increases calorie burning – up to 2-3 percent more calories between 60-90 minutes after drinking water (depending on the study). Drinking cold water may enhance calorie-burning benefits
  • Water helps to remove waste from the body – when your body is dehydrated it cannot remove bodily waste appropriately.  Water helps the kidneys filter toxins and retains essential nutrients and electrolytes when hydrated appropriately.  Dehydration can cause constipation.  Bloating can add inches to the waistline.
  • Drinking water can reduce overall liquid calorie intake-helps to remove those empty calorie beverages
  • Water is necessary to burn fat-without water the body cannot metabolize stored fat or carbohydrates.  This process is called lipolysis, but the first step is hydrolysis which occurs with water molecules interacting with triglycerides to create glycerol and fatty acids.
  • Water helps when working out – helps muscles, connective tissues, and joints move correctly.  It also helps your organs work correctly.  If you are dehydrated, you risk getting fatigued and having muscle cramps.  Always drink water before and after working out.

Real studies

There have been many studies that show the effect of drinking water and weight loss.  Overall, findings have concluded that drinking water increases the number of calories you burn at your resting energy expenditure. Findings concluded that for adults the resting energy expenditure increased by 24-30% within 10 minutes of drinking water and could last up to 60 minutes.  Drinking water before a meal reduces your appetite. One study showed that adults that drank water prior to each meal lost 44% more weight compared to those that did not drink.

Not drinking enough water?

When do you know you’re drinking enough water? If you get headaches, are moody, constantly hungry, or have problems concentrating, these could be signs that you are not getting enough water.  On average, the minimum amount of plain water that is recommended is 64 ounces. The goal is one gallon of fluids a day.   Water is essential to the weight loss journey and will help you achieve your goals. Hitting your water level and will have many unexpected benefits besides weight loss.