Here at Stay Fit Mom, we highly encourage a healthy water intake to our nutrition clients as part of the fat loss process! Here we take a deeper look at the scientific health reasons why water is so important!!
- Water is a natural appetite suppressant
- Water can increase calorie burning
- Water helps remove waste from the body
- Drinking water can reduce caloric liquid intake
- Water is necessary to burn fat
- Water intake helps with workout intensity and recovery
Water is a natural appetite suppressant
Water can take space in the stomach and signal to the brain fullness. It can tame hunger and cravings. Sometimes when we feel hungry, we are in reality, thirsty and having some water can help reduce excessive snacking.
Water can increase calorie burning
Some studies show that drinking cold water can increase caloric burn between 2-3% on average! Your metabolism can burn more calories warming up water for digestion and your resting metabolic rate can temporarily increase by drinking that water!
Water helps remove waste from the body
When you are dehydrated, your digestion cannot correctly function and properly remove feces and urine. Water helps your kidneys properly filter toxins and wastes while your organs retain nutrients and electrolytes. When we are dehydrated, our kidneys retain water. Dehydration can also cause constipation. Water keeps waste moving by softening or loosening stools. Water can also help the body recover from digestive problems like diarrhea. vomiting and indigestion. When wastes build up in the body, you can feel bloated, swollen, and tired. It can add inches to your waist and make your clothes and accessories feel tighter. Staying hydrated is a good way to avoid retaining waste.
Drinking water can reduce caloric liquid intake
This means sweetened coffee, teas, “healthy” juices, soda, alcohol, etc. We want you to chew your calories rather than drink them! Often times, we have clients starting with us drinking 300-500 additional calories per day! Drinking more water greatly reduces this consumption and has many other great health benefits.
Water is necessary to burn fat
The biochemical processes that break down and metabolize protein, carbs and fats that we eat and fats that we have stored do not work efficiently without sufficient water to be a part of those chemical reactions!
Water intake helps with workout intensity and recovery
Water helps muscles, connective tissues, and joints to move correctly. It also helps the lungs, heart, and other organs to work effectively as they ramp up activity during exercise. Being hydrated reduces the risk of muscle cramps and fatigue. Always drink water before, during, and after exercise to avoid dehydration. Keeping water close at hand is essential, especially if exercising in hot, humid, or very sunny conditions.
How Much Water Do You Need?
For our macro clients, we recommend your goal to shoot for one half your body weigh in ounces. For each hour you exercise daily, add 24 oz. For excessive heat and humid conditions, add an additional 20 oz. For women that are breastfeeding, we recommend at least 120-150oz daily to help maintain a healthy milk supply.
Your water goal should be built up over time. If you are only drinking 36 oz daily to start, we wouldn’t want you to triple that in one day. Try adding 20-40 oz each week until you get to your goal. More water equals more trips to the bathroom. Just know that as your hydration levels normalize, this will even out a bit, but it’s just part of your body working properly! Not only are you getting rid of toxins and all the benefits listed above, but you are getting some NEAT in and increasing your daily steps and activity! I usually also recommend front loading the day with the majority of your water intake and tapering off around 6-7 pm to keep from having to get up multiple times in the night.
All that being said,water intake should be consistent from day to day- just like your macros. Ideal hydration isn’t reached if we drink 40 oz one day and 120oz the next. Our bodies organs and cells react to our water intake much like a sponge. If a sponge is dry, it takes on a lot of water causing the scale to inflate with water weight and bloating. If the sponge stays moist, that weight change from day to day is less drastic. Outside factors that can cause dehydration and then subsequent water retention are salt and sugar intake, excessive sweating, alcohol and hormones. Each of these factors, work in a little bit of a different way to cause the water retention, but the basic sponge principle always applies. As you know these factors and record your biofeedback, you will start to notice patterns with the scale as it pertains to your hydration. This will help you understand why and when the scale changes so much from day to day.
TIPS to help increase daily water intake
- Start your morning with a big glass of water right when you wake up!
- drinking at least one 8-ounce glass of water with each meal
- carrying water in a reusable water bottle and make daily time goals to refill that water bottle throughout the day
- drinking extra water when exercising or during physical activity, or when weather is hot humid and sunny
- front load water intake during the day. Taper off around 6-7 pm to avoid excessive night time potty trips