Water is the most abundant component of most of your body. In fact, about 60% of your body is made up of water. Our joints require it for lubrication, nutrients need it for transport and absorption, and our organs need it for protection. Simply put, water is essential for life.
We’re consistently losing water from our bodies, primarily from urine and sweat. In Fact, 75 percent of Americans are chronically dehydrated. Nearly half of Americans don't even come close to being fully hydrated. Even mild dehydration can trigger symptoms like headaches, fatigue, constipation, dizziness, irritability, and anxiety. But chronic dehydration leads to sunken eyes, shriveled skin, muscle cramps, joint aches, slower metabolism, higher blood sugar, and, on a weight related note, increased hunger. People are especially dehydrated when they wake up in the morning after a long sleep and consistent breathing.
So how much water do you need? There is the 8x8 rule, where you aim for 8, 8oz cups of water per day, but this may be low balling it for some people. According to the the Institute of Medicine about 13 cups (3 liters) of total beverages a day for Men and about 9 cups (2.2 liters) of total beverages a day for Women. And coffee counts! But this is just a ball park. Another metric commonly used is to drink half your body weight in oz. But, even water needs will vary from person to person and from day to day so best to look out for dehydration signs.
Signs you are dehydrated:
What can water do for you?
But back to the weight loss portion of dehydration. It’s very difficult for the body to tell the difference between hunger and thirst. So if you’re walking around feeling a gnawing sense of hunger, you might just be dehydrated. Try drinking a glass of water instead of grabbing a snack.
Research has also shown that drinking a glass of water right before a meal helps you to feel more full and eat less. Many people do find that if they have water before a meal, it’s easier to eat more carefully. In one study, dieters who drank half a liter of water before meals lost 44% more weight, over a period of 12 weeks.
It is actually best to drink water cold, because then the body will use additional energy (calories) to heat the water to body temperature.
Drinking water instead of other caloric beverages can dramatically boost weight loss. For one, drinking your calories doesn’t stimulate the same fullness mechanism that solid calories illicit. Thus, people who drink calories often don’t compensate by restricting other calories. Drinking more water may lead to decreased calorie intake and reduce the risk of long-term weight gain and obesity
HOT Lemon WATER = perfect morning hydration
HOW TO: Cut a lemon in half. Each morning squeeze half a lemon into 8-12 ounces almost boiling water. You can also add a few shakes of cayenne for a real wake-me-up.
5 REASONS TO JOIN THE HOT LEMON WATER CLUB:
1. Craving Buster: Sour & bitter foods reset taste buds to help you crave less sweet stuff.
2. Immune Boost: Lemon contains immune-boosting vitamin C.
3. Energy Kick: Staying well hydrated keeps energy levels naturally high.
4. Appetite Help: Water before meals decreases appetite so you naturally eat less.
5. Mental Jumpstart: Starting the day with hot lemon water gives you the feeling that you’ve already done something good for your body. It puts you mentally on track to have a healthy day and can snap you out of a less-than-healthy eating streak.
So just how much water do you need? In general, you should try to drink between half an ounce and an ounce of water for each pound you weigh, every day. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, that would be 75 to 150 ounces of water a day. If you’re living in a hot climate and exercising a lot, you’d be on the higher end of that range; if you’re in a cooler climate and mostly sedentary, you’d need less.
How can you build more water consumption into your day? Try these tips:
Too hard to drink water? Here are some of the most hydrating foods:
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