How Drinking More Water Helps You Lose Weight & Boost Health
What’s good for your body inside and out and has no calories? Good, old-fashioned water. Though it comprises 55 to 60% of our bodies, we often take it for granted. Staying hydrated keeps our bodies functioning at their best, and it also plays a significant role in weight loss. Its ability to suppress the appetite, boost metabolism and make exercise efficient and easier can make a difference on the scale.
Here are some tips about how much water to consume, different ways to hydrate and the healthiest ways to do it.
When it comes to weight loss, increasing your water intake can increase how many calories you burn. Drinking plain water is the best way to hydrate, especially if cold. The body uses extra calories to warm the cold water to body temperature, resulting in even more calories burned.
Around 20% of your fluid intake can also come from foods high in water. Good examples are apples, pears, cantaloupe, spinach, watermelon, tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce. You can also hydrate with iced tea or low-sugar 100% fruit juices for variation, but avoid milkshakes, high sugar drinks or beverages with caffeine that may quench your thirst initially but will actually cause you to lose fluids.
How Much is Enough?
Most adults should consume about eight to ten 8-ounce cups of fluid daily. The amount can vary depending upon the environment. For instance, you’ll need more fluids when you have a fever, if it’s hot or when you are exercising vigorously. Children’s needs are age-dependent.
- One to three years: 4 cups
- Four to eight years: 5 cups
- Nine to 13 years: 7 to 8 cups
- 14 to 18 years: 8 to 11 cups
Too little water can bring on dehydration, frequently seen in people participating in intense physical activity or sweating excessively. Dehydration can also cause you to eat more or hit a weight loss plateau. Signs of dehydration can include:
- Dry mouth
- Lack of energy or irritability
- Eyes that are unable to make tears
- Lightheadedness or feeling faint
If you experience any of these symptoms, rest in an air-conditioned room or cool, shaded spot and consume plain water. Drinking orange juice or sports drinks with sugar and electrolytes may also help. If you need to consume more water overall, start by adding an extra cup or two of water to your daily goal. Drink extra fluid before participating in strenuous activities or sports and every 20 minutes during and after the activity.