Our bodies are made up of nearly 60% water, yet most of us fall short of even drinking a few cups of water each day, let alone enough water to help with weight loss. In fact, up to 60% of adults in the united states on a weight loss journey up their water intake and see better results. [R] If you’re looking to shed a few pounds then drinking water is one of the most basic and important places to start. We’re going to go over why this is and how you can optimize your weight loss journey with your water intake. Grab your glass of water and lets dive right in!
Drinking Water For Weight Loss
Hydration is crucial not just for everyday health but for weight loss, too! While the research on exactly how much isn’t conclusive, many studies are provide that there is a really positive correlation between increased hydration and water intake supporting weight loss efforts. Drinking water for weight loss starts with the idea of burning more calories than you take in through food.
This is also called your resting energy expenditure, and when you regularly drink water throughout the day, it’s been shown that your resting energy expenditure (calorie burning) can increase up to 30%! [R] In more technical terms, this is called water-induced thermogenesis and by increasing it, you can burn more calories at rest.
In order to increase your water-induced thermogenesis and calorie burning process, it’s generally recommended that you drink about 34 ounces of water per day (1 liter). One study had a cohort of women drink 34 oz per day, without any other lifestyle changes (except drinking more water) for 12 months which resulted in 4.4 lbs of weight loss. [R]
How could that be possible? The study concluded that for every 17 oz of water drank, 23 extra calories were burned. Over a 12 month (1 year) period, that adds up to over 17,000 calories burned, equating to the 4.4 lbs of weight loss. Now imagine what you could do if you coupled a higher water intake with proper exercise and nutrition!
In conclusion, 1-2 liters of water per day is recommended based on your activity levels and goals.
8 Ways Drinking Water For Weight Loss Can Work For You
1. Water Stimulates Your Metabolism
Having trouble losing weight? Eating what you’re supposed to, getting some purposeful activity throughout the day but not seeing results? How is your water? Drinking water might be the missing key to support your metabolism and digestion! The more hydrated your body is, the better ability it has to breakdown, digest, and absorb the nutrients from the food that you eat.
Additionally, adequate hydration and drinking water can help your body move waste through, contributing to more regular excretion, less constipation, bloating, and other unwanted GI issues. Who wouldn’t want that?! A good measure of hydration and your metabolism can be indicated by the texture of your bowel movements - hard ones mean you need more water, friend!
2. Water Improves Sleep
When you’re poorly hydrated you may notice it during the day because you feel sluggish, irritable, or just ‘off’. But what at night? Believe it or not, water improves sleep quality and plays a major role in how well you sleep at night. If your nose gets stuffy, your mouth gets dry, you snore, get nocturnal leg cramps, or wake up often, these are all really quality indicators that you didn’t hydrate well throughout the day.
Even while you sleep your body needs water to regulate normal processes within the body, so keep in mind, the more you consistently you can drink fluids throughout the day, the better! Practice spreading your water intake out throughout the day and watch your sleep dramatically improve.
Another way to improve sleep is to take a ZMA supplement with ingredients like zinc and magnesium to support deeper, more restful sleep at night. Coupled with increased hydration, you’ll be able to catch those zzz’s that you’ve been missing out on!
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3. Water Can Reduce Appetite
Studies have shown that drinking water regularly and drinking a glass of water before you eat can reduce your overall appetite and keep you from overeating. [R] By giving the stomach liquid along with food, you can better digest your food and get that feeling of fullness before you feel like you have to unlatch your belt buckle because you’re so stuffed. Some studies have shown that when participants drank 1-2 glasses of water before eating that they ate 22% less than those who didn’t drink any water at all. [R]
4. Water Can Help Reduce Liquid Calorie Intake
If you’re hydrating regularly, you’re going to be less likely to want to grab the nearest thing in the vending machine or fridge to quench your thirst. Why is your thirst so high? Maybe because you need to opt for water, instead! Because water doesn’t have any calories, you’re going to reduce your overall caloric intake (by up to 250 calories per drink!).
Not real keen on water and want something ‘tasteful’ without the calories? Instead of opting for diet soda, grab something to flavor your water, like fresh/frozen fruit. Better yet, snag some of Swolverine’s refreshing lemon lime BCAA powder with electrolytes so you can drink more water and enjoy it along the way.
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5. Water Makes You Feel Better
The concept seems simple, and it is. When you feel dehydrated, you get headaches, chapped lips, and experience lethargy. Your brain depends on water so much that even slight levels of dehydration (2%) impair brain performance and health.
Need to go run errands, go for a walk, recall what your boss asked you to do earlier, or hit the gym? Dehydration makes doing this activities so much harder! Since your brain is 73% water you need H2O to keep things running smoothly. Drink more water and you won’t be as irritable, you won’t have as much anxiety, and when you feel better you do better. It’s really as easy as that!
6. Water Regulates Blood Pressure
Similar to the way our brain reacts when we’re dehydrated, our blood pressure is affected too if we’re not drinking water regularly throughout the day. Water is crucial to deliver nutrients and oxygen in the blood stream, and when you don’t regularly supply water to the body, the blood gets thick and viscous changing the plasma/blood cell ratio.
When this happens, the body signals to the brain, and the brain secretes a chemical that actually constricts the blood vessels. Constriction creates high blood pressure and even hypertension, which increases our rates of anxiety, poor mood, stress, hypertension and heart disease. Yikes! Keeping these markers in check and drinking water can actually help with weight loss, but it helps with so much more than that, too.
7. Drinking Water Helps Burn Body Fat
Increasing your water intake will help improve the process of lipolysis, or the process of using body fat for energy. Mild-moderate dehydration has been shown to slow down the fat burning process decreasing lipolysis and contributing to weight gain. Water also expands cell volume which could also be another mechanism to weight loss with water intake.
8. Drinking Water Removes Toxins
Drinking more water will make you have to pee more often as well as facilitate bowel movements. Therefore, the more hydrated you are the more things will move along removing toxins and waste along the way as a byproduct. This will also reduce stomach bloat and constipation.
Water For Weight Loss: Takeaway
Drinking water provides a host of benefits that span far beyond just regulating weight or aiding weight loss efforts. Since we’re made up of so much water, making sure we’re well hydrated helps our bodies run more efficiently, absorb nutrients, and regulate important biomarkers like blood pressure. Keep in mind, drinking water isn’t a magic weight loss resolve, but it’s an incredible daily habit that you can practice on your journey towards better health. Now go get a cool water bottle, slap some stickers on it, and bring that thing with you everywhere. Hydration here we come
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