As Derek Zoolander says, “Water is the essence of wetness. Wetness is the essence of beauty.”
Drinking enough water is probably the easiest, and single most important, thing you can do to improve your health. Why? Well just to begin:
1. Your body is up to 65% water.
2. Your blood is around 90% water.
3. Your brain is around 75% water.
4. Your lungs are around 85% water.
When you see just how much of your body consists of water, it’s much easier to understand why proper hydration is that important. That water keeps everything running smoothly in your body, from dissolving vitamins in your blood for easier absorption to lubrication joints to aiding in muscle recovery. If that’s not enough to convince you to up your water intake, there’s more.
Proper hydration can also be crucial to weight loss and management.
First, keeping yourself properly hydrated means that your body is running at it’s best, allowing you to have the best performance in workouts that you can. It also means that your brain is functioning well, keeping irrational thoughts at bay (hello, “i had one cookie so this means I’ve failed and I’m going to eat the whole package and be a failure forever.” That’s much harder to think when you aren’t dehydrated.) Even dehydration of just 2% leads to decrease in physical and mental performance, leading to you feeling lethargic and a bit irrational.
Second, the cue for thirst is most often mistaken for hunger. This means that when you are actually thirsty, you may be reaching for snacks that you don’t actually need. Staying hydrated means you most likely get that thirst signal in the first place, so if you get a hunger pang, you’re most likely in need of some calories.
Third, water keeps you full! You can’t abuse this one, but when you have a belly full of water, it’s hard to overeat. I tell clients to start each meal with a big glass of water. Not only does this help them reach their hydration goals, but it helps to prevent overeating.
Last, water has zero calories. Replacing a soda or juice with a water of the same size can save a ton of sugar and between 100-200 calories. Add all of those calories up throughout the day, and water can be the difference between you hitting your goal or not.
Now that the reasons for drinking water are laid out, the question is now “How Much?” There is actually no universal standard for how much water to consume. It used to be 8 8oz glasses, which is still better than nothing, but water intake is also based on your size, how active you are, how much you sweat, etc. The best rule of thumb there is right now is to drink .5-1 ounce of water for each pound of bodyweight. This means that the intake for a 150lb person would be between 75 and 150oz.
The best tips i can give you for water consumption, especially if you haven’t been drinking nearly enough is just to start.
• Drink an extra glass of water daily
• Buy a refillable (BPA Free!) water bottle to refill all day long
• Drink a glass of water before each meal
• Drink a glass right after you wake up
• Replace one sugary drink with a glass of water
• Use crystal light or MIO drops to flavor water if you need to