The Importance Of Drinking Water: Tips For Drinking More Water
There are many different opinions on how much water you need to drink each day, but the fact is, your body is made of about 60% water and if you don’t drink enough, you will become dehydrated.
Your body loses water constantly through the day, mostly from obvious ways like passing urine or sweating, but also from regular body functions like breathing. How much water you need can differ depending on a few different factors.
In this blog, we will be looking at the benefits of drinking the right amount of water, the benefits of drinking water, whether drinking water helps you lose weight and give you some tips on how to drink more water. Read on to find out more.
How Much Water Should You Drink A Day?
The NHS Eatwell Guide recommends that we drink 6 to 8 glasses of fluid a day, which is about 2 litres. They include water, low fat or plant milk, teas, coffee, juices and smoothies and fizzy drinks in this count. But they do go on to recommend restricting the number of fizzy drinks, squash and juice you consume, as they are loaded with sugar. You also get an average of 20% of your water needs from the foods you eat, particularly fruits and vegetables.
But your water needs can vary as an individual – you might need more or less water than someone else – so how much you require can depend on these factors:
- Your diet. Drinking a lot of coffee or other caffeinated beverages is likely to cause you to lose more water through urination. If you eat a lot of salty, spicy or sugary foods can also lead to dehydration. Also, you’ll need to increase your water intake if you don’t eat many hydrating foods, like fruits and vegetables.
- The season. You will probably need to drink more water in the warmer months due to perspiration.
- Your environment. If you spend a lot of time, e.g. at work, in a heated room, or spend a lot of time outside in hot weather, you’ll probably feel thirstier and need more water.
- Your activity levels. If you have an active job or lifestyle or stand a lot, you’re likely to need more water than someone sedentary. Exercise and high activity levels will also mean you need to up your water intake.
- Your health. If you have an infection or a fever, a stomach bug or other health condition, you’ll need more fluids. Check-in with your GP to see if any meds you are taking are diuretic.
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding. Your body is doing the work to feed two, or more, of you, so you’ll definitely need more water to stay hydrated.
- Where you live. Living in hot, humid areas or at high altitudes, you will need more water – make sure you drink a lot more than usual if you’re on holiday in a hot country.
So how many litres of water should you drink a day? As you can see, the amount can vary, but to be sure that you are getting enough, 2 litres is the baseline recommended amount. But becoming aware of when you are thirsty is key to consuming enough water, which means not ignoring your body’s early signals. When you feel parched and really thirsty, that shows you are already dehydrated.
Mild dehydration can have negative effects on both your physical and mental performance and well-being. Studies show that if you don’t stay hydrated throughout the day, you may experience headaches, low energy levels, impaired mood and an inability to concentrate. Losing just 1% of your water body weight might not seem a lot, but it can reduce muscle strength, power, endurance and reaction speeds.
Does Drinking Water Help You Lose Weight?
You might not think that drinking water can help you lose weight. The thought tends to be that water retention equals increased weight. But evidence shows that drinking more water can have a beneficial impact on weight loss. Here are some facts about drinking water to lose weight:
- It decreases your appetite. Drinking water before your meal can help you feel more full. This is because water passes through your body quickly and helps fill up your stomach. This signals to your brain that you are full and don’t need to eat so much. Also, dehydration can be mistaken for hunger, so sometimes when you think you need to eat, you are simply thirsty.
- It may help burn fat. Your body burns fat during a process called lipolysis, and water is essential for this. In the first stage of lipolysis, called hydrolysis, your body adds water to fat to help break it down. Increasing your water intake can cause an increase in lipolysis.
- Drinking water can stimulate your metabolism. Consuming water increases the number of calories you burn, known as your resting energy expenditure. Drinking cold water makes your body work a little harder trying to warm it up, which burns calories. Studies show that resting energy expenditure has been shown to increase by 24 to 30% within 10 minutes of drinking water, and the process continues for up to an hour.
- It helps flush out body waste. Water is essential to your body’s waste removal systems. If you don’t drink enough, you may be constipated and bloated, both of which add weight to the scales.
- Water is calorie-free. If you choose to drink water instead of other beverages, you are cutting out the calories those drinks, which may be high in sugar, would have given you.
It’s always a good idea to consult a professional about how much water you need to help your weight loss goals. The Mediweight programme is a medically supervised body transformation programme that delivers a personalised weight loss system, with weekly support sessions helping you stay on track.
Tips To Drink More Water
Trying to drink more water might seem tedious or boring, but it doesn’t have to feel so difficult with some simple tips and fun rules. Here are our top tips on how to drink more water:
- Add some flavour. Adding fruits or vegetables to your water jug will infuse your water with flavour. Try adding grapefruit, lemon or strawberry, or slices of cucumber, ginger or celery. Let it steep and then drink and enjoy.
- Drink some after every bathroom break. Getting into a habit of drinking water around your common, everyday habits is a great way to get more water into your daily routine.
- Eat water-rich foods. Melons, cucumbers, and courgettes, for example, have high water content. Increasing fruits and veggies in your diet will help to keep you hydrated.
- Use a marked water bottle. Water bottles marked with mls or even hours are a great reminder to drink more water and mark your progress.
- Use an app. There are lots of apps out there that help you track how much water you have consumed. Some will even notify you with reminders.
- Keep refilling your bottle. Every time your water bottle is empty, fill it up again. Then you’ll always have water on hand.
- Use the one to one rule when drinking alcohol. Drink one glass of water for every glass of alcohol you have. This will keep you hydrated and might help ward off hangovers.
- Reward yourself for hitting your drinking goals. Track your water consumption and when you hit your goal, treat yourself; there’s nothing like rewarding yourself for accomplishing what you set out to do.
- Your body is made of 60% water and you need to drink water to maintain this.
- You lose water continuously through natural body processes.
- Being dehydrated can affect your physical and mental performance.
- Drinking enough water can support weight loss as it’s calorie-free, boosts your metabolism and helps the process that burns body fat.
- Increasing your water intake doesn’t have to be a chore; you can make it rewarding and even fun.
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