WHY IS WATER IMPORTANT TO DRINK?
There are many different reasons why it is important to drink plenty of water, especially when in a weight loss program. In order to burn calories your body needs an adequate amount of water for to work efficiently. Dehydration will slow down the fat-burning process. The process of burning calories also produces toxins, which water in turn flushes them out.
Water helps to process nutrients, maintain normal circulation, and keeps the proper balance of fluids. If dehydrated you will have a reduction in blood volume, which will cause a reduction of oxygen to your muscles. This lack of oxygen will make you feel tired.
About 60 percent of your body is made up of water. If your body is low on water it will become dehydrated. Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink a glass of water, by that time you are already dehydrated. One sure way to know if you are getting dehydrated is by the color of your urine. If you are in good hydration it will be pale yellow or clear. A darker color usually means higher concentrated urine and you need to increase your water.
HOW MUCH WATER DO I NEED TO DRINK?
How much water your body need is determined by several different factors. It will depend on your weight, the level of your activity, humidity and temperature of your environment and also your diet.
It has always been said to drink eight 8oz glasses of water a day. Though this would be true for an average person, it would not be for someone that is overweight. If you are overweight you will need to drink an additional eight ounces of water for every 25 pounds of excess weight.
Be sure to drink your water throughout the day. It’s not healthy to drink too much all at one time. Your body can only absorb so much at once and the rest will be disposed of.
CAN I REPLACE WATER WITH OTHER DRINKS?
Of course your best choice for hydration would be water. It is a “Natural Source” of hydration. Your body will absorb some water from other sources, but not as much as it needs. Your sense of thirst, combined with simply paying attention to how many glasses of water you’ve have in a day, can help you stay hydrated.
- Sports Drinks - A good source of hydration for some very active, such as athletes. These people perspire more. When you perspire your body releases salts (sodium and potassium). Sports drinks contain electrolytes that help to replace those salts that your body needs. Watch out for high sugar content in these sports drinks. These drinks my help with hydration, but they do not quench the thirst so you end up with added calories by drinking more of it. Not recommended for those that are not extremely athletic.
- 100% Natural Juices - Juices may have some nutritional value, but should not be a substitute for water. Fructose, the sugar from fruit, slows the bodies absorption rate of water. This will cause your cells to not get fully hydrated.
- Soft Drinks - A bad choice all together. Sodas are often high in calories and sugar, and have no nutritional value. These are just empty calories that will pile on the pounds. Sodas, like fruit juice will slow the rate at which your body absorbs water.
- Coffee and Tea - These two popular drinks will actually sabotage hydration. They do have good benefits, but when it comes to hydration it’s not the right choice. Coffee and tea contain caffeine which acts as a diuretic, which means your kidneys are pulling out excess water from your bloodstream, along with your digestive system which is already pulling water. When drinking diuretics such as, coffee, tea or alcohol be sure to drink more water to compensate. Also you will slow your hydration even more if you add milk and sugar to your coffee or tea.
Bottom line is this: Water ranks number one when it comes to keeping your body hydrated!