Are you trying to lose weight? If so, you may be focusing on eating healthy foods, watching your portions and exercising.
But what are you drinking?
If you’re not paying attention to your water intake, you’re missing out on a major factor that helps with weight loss.
Drinking more water can help you burn more calories, suppress your appetite and flush toxins from your body. Plus, replacing sugary drinks with water can help you cut out extra calories without even trying.
You have probably heard that you’re supposed to drink eight glasses of water a day. However, the right amount for you may depend on your current weight and activity level.
Bodybuilding.com offers a handy water calculator that can help you determine how much to drink. If your urine is dark in color, you should be taking in more water.
Here are some scientific ways in which drinking more water can help you lose those extra pounds and inches.
Boost the Burn Without Adding Exercise
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t get moving, but drinking water can increase the number of calories that your body burns just doing what you’re already doing.
According to this study, within 10 minutes of drinking about 2.25 cups of water, your metabolism is boosted by 30%. The effect lasts for about 30 to 40 minutes.
That’s because every time you eat, your body burns some calories to process the food or beverage.
Water is a negative-calorie food. Your body uses up more calories to send the hydration to the cells throughout your body than it takes in when you drink the water.
You’d have to drink a dangerous amount of water to lose weight via this method alone, but it can help speed up your metabolism if you’re already taking other measures to lose weight.
Curb Your Appetite
Natural News reports that water is a significant appetite suppressant. Have you ever tried chugging a glass of water when you’re hungry?
It makes your stomach feel full. You simply don’t have the room to cram in a lot of food after that.
Studies support this notion. A 2010 study showed that a group of dieters who drank water before meals lost 44% more weight than the participants who didn’t start their meals with the beverage.
Although the researchers aren’t exactly sure why participants’ appetites were suppressed, they believe it has to do with water’s filling effect.
On the flip side, signs of hunger may be indicators that you’re dehydrated. Next time you feel like you have low energy, dizziness or a grumbling stomach, try drinking water before grabbing a snack.
Your body may be trying to tell you that you’re thirsty.
If you do drink water before a meal, try to space it out by about 30 minutes. Too much water in your digestive system can dilute the enzymes that are necessary to help you properly process and absorb the nutrients from your food.
One can of Coca-Cola contains 140 calories. If you drink two cans of soda each day, replacing them with water can help you lose an extra pound every 12 weeks or so.
Observational research shows that people who drink water do take in about 194 fewer calories each day than people who drink juice or soft drinks.
If you have trouble swapping something sweet for water, try infusing your water with fruits or vegetables. Watermelon, cucumber, citrus and berries add flavor and a hint of sweetness.
Drinking Water May Help you Eat Healthier Foods
Studies show that people who drink more water tend to have healthier eating patterns in general. These individuals tend to eat more fruits and vegetables than people who drink calorie-laden beverages.
Hydration and healthy eating patterns are also linked to education.
That makes sense. People who know what’s healthy for them are more likely to make better decisions across the board when it comes to their wellness.
Drinking Iced Water May Boost Your Metabolism
When you drink iced water, your body has to heat it up before using it. That process burns some extra calories.
While some research does support this theory, some experts say that it’s simply not true. I think it doesn’t hurt to throw some ice in your water, especially if it helps you get more down. If it helps you burn extra calories, that’s great.
Just don’t look at it as some kind of miracle weight loss strategy.
Workouts are Improved with Hydration
When you’re properly hydrated, you experience fewer muscle cramps. Your joints remain lubricated, allowing you to work out more effectively.
Your heart pumps blood more efficiently to your muscles when you’re hydrated. This is even more of a factor for overweight people.
When your mobility is on point and your body feels good, you’re more likely to exercise to burn off those extra calories.
By the time you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. In fact, thirst is an indication that you’ve lost the amount of water that’s equivalent to 2% of your body weight.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that your workout performance drops significantly at that point too.
How can you tell if you’re drinking enough water during your workouts?
Weigh yourself before and after your exercise routine. If your weight drops by 2% or more after a workout, you’re not drinking enough water.
For someone who weighs 115 pounds, that’s a drop of about 2 pounds. For a 175-pound individual, that’s a loss of 3.5 pounds.
To make sure that you’re drinking enough, down a full glass of water about 15 minutes before a workout. Continue to drink about 8 ounces every 30 minutes while you’re sweating.
Make sure to drink more if you’re perspiring excessively or working out in hot weather.
Water Flushes Out Toxins
Your kidneys need water to filter toxins from the body. If the toxins aren’t flushed out, the body holds onto them.
This can cause inflammation, which is linked to obesity.
Water can also help move stool through the digestive system, which also removes toxins from the system. Without enough water, you may become constipated, leading to bloating and digestive distress.
Other liquids aren’t as beneficial for flushing out toxins. In fact, an energy drink or soft drink may add more toxins to the body.
Adding squeezed lemon to your water can increase its toxin-flushing benefits, though. Many people tout the benefits of drinking lemon water first thing in the morning to get your digestive juices flowing and cleanse your system.
Watch this video to get a recipe for detox water that can help flush your system and assist with weight loss.
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The Avocadu Crew
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