For many, trying to lose weight can feel like an uphill battle, and with all the tips, tricks, and diet pills flooding the market, it can be a little intimidating to know where to start. In many cases, people often look at the food they’re eating and ignore the other major part of their diet: the fluid that keeps them hydrated. If you have ever questioned whether or not drinking water can affect your weight loss efforts, then keep reading - we’ve got the information you need below!
Believe it or not, your entire body critically depends on continuous water intake to survive. Every single cell, organ, and tissue that makes up your body needs a certain amount of water to function correctly. For example, your body utilizes water to lubricate your joints, flush out waste, regulate blood pressure, and maintain body temperature. With that in mind, it goes without saying that water is essential for overall good health (and no, chugging large amounts of sports drinks with added sugar isn't as good as when you drink water)! However, for many, meeting fluid needs to stay hydrated can be quite the challenge. In fact, 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated, even if it's just mild dehydration they don't even notice everyday. Dehydration happens when fluid replacement isn't balanced out and your body is losing more fluid than it's absorbing, which can significantly disrupt fat metabolism and affect body weight.
Here are four body systems that can impact proper fat metabolism when your body water levels are too low:
If your kidneys become dehydrated, their main function of filtering blood becomes difficult and they will attempt to pass the job onto the liver. One of the liver’s main roles is to metabolize stored fat in the body, but when the kidneys' hydration status is out of whack due to lower water content, the liver will attempt to filter blood, therefore working at only half the fat-burning speed that it could be if the kidneys had proper hydration.
Did you know that your brain is made up of roughly 80% water? This means that it is very sensitive to changes in the level of water within your body. In fact, just 2% dehydration can reduce cognitive function by up to thirty percent! This can also lead to fatigue and is often mistaken for hunger, which can then lead to unhealthy eating choices and a lack of physical activity. Dehydration within the brain can significantly inhibit your weight loss efforts.
Growth hormone (HGH) is a potent fat-burning hormone found in your body. It binds itself to the receptor of fat cells and breaks down triglycerides which ultimately shrinks the fat cells. However, HGH production is greatly reduced when you don't drink enough fluids, which can limit your metabolism’s ability to burn fat.
Lipase is the enzyme in your body that metabolizes fat. Without good hydration, its primary function is significantly reduced, which can further lead to fatigue and inactivity.
So, can dehydration affect weight loss? The answer is: Yes! Being dehydrated can put a real damper on your weight loss journey by inhibiting many functions in your body that are needed to support a healthy metabolism.
Here are a few tips for rehydration to help increase your weight loss efforts:
Set a Goal for Yourself
Many people set themselves daily goals, so why not set one to help make sure you drink fluids? Not sure the correct amount you should be drinking? According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, adequate daily fluid intake is:
- About 15 cups of fluids for men
- About 11 cups of fluids for women
With that in mind, things like hot climates and exercise can influence your water needs so it is important to adjust accordingly. Supplements like Adapted Nutritions Hi-Lyte Concentrate can help, and are ideal for those on the go. Just a few drops in your water and you’ve got yourself a potent, fast-acting electrolyte drink to help with body rehydration from head to toe!
Another great tip to improve your overall hydration is to set yourself up with reminders to push yourself to reach for that cup of plain water before signs of dehydration start to show. For example, try setting an alarm on your smartphone to remind yourself to take a few sips of plain water every 30 minutes, or set a reminder to refill your water bottle at the top of each hour. Simple reminders like these can help you to increase your water intake substantially, especially if you are someone that struggles with being forgetful or getting too busy to drink.
Drink a Full Glass of Water First Thing in the AM
Six to eight hours of sleep tend to leave us pretty dehydrated first thing in the morning, and to make matters even worse, a cup of coffee or tea is typically the first drink of choice for many. These caffeinated drinks are “diuretic,” and will dehydrate you even further. Try incorporating daily 8-ounce glasses of water into your morning routine before your morning cup of joe to rehydrate your body from your eight hours of slumber.
Sip Water Throughout The Day
When you first wake up and look at your water goal, you might feel a little intimidated. Reaching the recommended daily water intake can be tough, but if you keep a glass or bottle handy at all times, you just might be surprised at how fast it disappears. Also, the more you drink, the thirstier you tend to get, so your body will quickly adapt to the higher volume of water, making it easier to reach your water goal over time.
Keep an Eye on Your Urine
Always keep an eye on your urine as you use the restroom throughout the day because it can be a good indicator if you have been drinking enough fluids or not. Ideally, your urine should be pale yellow to clear in color. If you find that it is deep yellow or orange, then you are dehydrated and need to drink more plain water! Energy drinks and fruit juices show their true colors here,--chugging either of these in an effort to quench that dry mouth also means you're taking in a lot of added sugar, which becomes evident in your urine when it's dark yellow instead of clear!
Fight the Fluid Loss!
Keeping your body hydrated is important. Like we mentioned, your entire body runs on water and without it, it won’t work properly. If you have been trying to lose weight and are struggling, it could be that you are simply not drinking enough water! Try increasing your water intake and incorporate a great hydrating supplement into your diet like Adapted Nutritions Hi-Lyte Concentrate to maximize your weight loss efforts. Remember, you can also always turn to a healthcare provider or nutrition consultant for additional advice about what to do to really get your weight loss journey off a plateau, especially if you have other medical conditions that may be an obstacle you didn't even consider!