Why Hydration is Essential for Weight Loss
Water is essential for your body to survive. Up to 60% of the human body is composed of water meaning that every cell, tissue and organ needs water to function adequately. Some key examples of its uses in the body are to maintain temperature, discharge waste and to lubricate joints. Water is necessary for overall good health. Similarly to nutrition, the importance of hydration is frequently outlined by all health care professionals.
Hydration plays a vital role in both fat loss and muscle gain; a hydrated cell works more effectively and is better prepared to burn fat and generate energy.
Hydration also plays a large part in digestion, energy levels and mood. After a long day with minimal water, brain fog can start to appear. A simple way to eradicate this is to ensure you are drinking sufficient amounts of water.
How much water is enough?
Precisely how much we need to drink is an intensely debated topic, and like anything, it is possible to drink too much water. But for most of us, we probably need more than we are currently drinking. A great way to identify if you are hydrated is by assessing your urine; it should be pale, odourless and copious.
If you want a more calculated method of identifying how much water you need, it is usually recommended to drink a litre per 25kg of body weight. Therefore, if you weigh 50kg, you should be drinking a minimum of 2 litres a day. If you think that you aren’t drinking enough water and need to up your intake, it’s recommended to do so slowly.
Drinking more water can burn calories
There are many studies to support the fact that drinking more water can help to burn calories, known as resting energy expenditure. This means that while we are at rest, water helps to increase the number of calories burned.
It has been found that In adults, resting energy expenditure increases by 24–30% within 10 minutes of consuming water. This can last at least 60 minutes.
A further study supports this where overweight children were found to have a 25% increase in resting energy expenditure after drinking water.
Drinking cold water may further strengthen water’s calorie-burning advantages, because the body uses more energy, or calories, by heating the water for digestion.
Without water, the body isn’t able to properly metabolise stored fat or carbohydrates.
The process where fat is metabolised is called lipolysis. The first step of this function is hydrolysis, which happens when water molecules interact with fats to create glycerol and fatty acids.
Drinking sufficient water is necessary for burning off fat from food and drink, as well as stored fat.
Hydration Can Suppress Hunger
When the stomach realises that it is full, it sends signals to the brain, so you know to stop eating. Drinking water helps to take up space in the stomach which can lead to a feeling of fullness which in turn reduces hunger.
Additionally, an individual may think that they are hungry when they are actually thirsty. Drinking a cup of water before reaching for something to eat can reduce snacking.
A study on overweight females found that when they drank 500ml of water 30 minutes before eating their daily meals in addition to their usual water consumption for eight consecutive weeks. The women experienced a decrease in body weight, body fat, and body mass index. They also reported appetite suppression.
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By Ella Orrock