2021 is upon us, and it’s time for everyone to announce their New Year resolutions. For many, lose weight and become fitter is the aim.
Regular exercise and diet are essential. But what about hydration? How can drinking enough water each day help you reach your fitness goals?
There are many health benefits of hydration, such as:
- Clearer skin
- Stronger teeth
- Prevention/cure of hangovers
- Relief of headaches
Not to mention other advantages for weight loss and performance. Here is how hydration can take your fitness to the next level.
Every day we lose water from sweat and breathing. During exercise, the rate of water loss increases. Your cardio-vascular system pumps more blood to match the demands of physical activity. The more hydrated you are, the more efficient this process is.
Hydration enhances performance by:
- Regulating body temperature
- Moderating blood pressure and stress
- Faster transport of nutrients around the body
- Improve breathing rate
- Prevents dehydration
Dangers of Exercising While Dehydrated
Dehydration can inhibit performance to a great extent. A recent study found dehydration to decrease endurance levels in cyclists. So it can impair physical performance during exercise.
Other research has displayed adverse effects on cognitive function. Thus, dehydration can impact decision making in mentally challenging jobs.
Yet, there are health-related side effects that are more severe, such as:
- Heart Attack
- Kidney Failure
All these side effects are more likely to happen in hot weather conditions. So hydration in these environments is crucial. It is easier to lose an excessive amount of water from sweat. In addition, your body temperature will rise at a faster rate. There is less chance of these health conditions in colder weather. But if hydration is lacking, it is still possible.
Adequate hydration can speed up weight loss. Here is how drinking enough water can help you to shed the pounds:
- Decrease appetite
- Increase calories burned
- Improve digestion
- Reduce liquid calories
- Increase fat burn
- Enhance workout performance
To lose weight, you need to consume fewer calories than your body expends. By drinking lots of water, you will have less appetite. So it might be easier to consume less food. When dehydrated, we may experience hunger cravings. But hydrating yourself with a glass of water may cure this. Furthermore, water contains no calories. If you replace high-calorie drinks with water, you can drop a lot of calories from your diet.
Hydration has a positive effect on metabolism. So, you will burn more calories from exercise and increase your calorie deficit chances. Research even conveys hydration to elevate the amount of fat burn.
Enhanced workout performance can allow you to train at a higher intensity. So you will be able to burn more calories each session. At the same time, you may progress at a faster rate. When you are new to weight training, your body adapts by burning fat and building muscle simultaneously. Hydration can maximize this process.
On the flip side, feeling dehydrated during each workout will decrease the intensity. Thus, it will lead to fewer calories burned each session. And a limited amount of progress.
Let’s not forget about digestion. Hydration can help to prevent constipation and other issues. So you may find it easier to lose unnecessary water weight and reduce bloating.
How To Calculate Daily Water Requirements
The easiest way to know how much water you need to consume is to use an online calculator. This takes into account your gender, age, weight, physical activity, and height. Plus, the country you live in, so it can identify what kind of climate you experience. Hot weather will need you to drink more water compared to colder countries.
It also asks you to predict how much water or fluid you currently drink daily. Then gives you a recommendation based on your score.
How To Increase Daily Hydration Levels
Consuming enough water has to become a habit. Here are some ways to achieve an adequate level of hydration:
- Avoid diuretics
- Track water consumption with apps
- Introduce tastier alternatives
- Eat foods with high water content
- Buy a reusable water bottle
Diuretics are sources of food or drink that cause more water loss from your body. A typical example is caffeine, such as coffee or tea. By avoiding these diuretics, you will lose less water from urine throughout the day. So it will be easier to stay hydrated.
There are many apps to help you track hydration. The Daily Water Tracker Reminder is free on the app store and has a rating of four out of five stars. Yet, any app which alerts you to drink water is useful.
You can improve the taste of water in many ways. Some solutions can include flavored or sparkling water. As long as the sugar content is low, this is an adequate replacement. Avoid processed drinks, as these will be high in calories and deter any weight loss goals.
Soup, fruit, and vegetables contain a lot of water. Including more of these foods in your diet can add to your hydration level.
A reusable water bottle is a novel way of staying hydrated. It ensures you drink water wherever you go. Some give you an idea of how much water you have consumed. And most have filters improving the water quality. So, purchasing a high-quality water bottle might be the best investment.
Hydration is vital for health, weight loss, and performance. Drinking enough water should be a crucial part of your routine.
Dehydration can lead to many severe health problems and may even cause weight gain. In contrast, staying hydrated can suppress appetite, and you consume fewer calories.
A practical way of improving hydration is first to discover how much water you are consuming. Then take steps towards drinking enough every day.
A reusable water bottle may be the key to sustainable and straightforward hydration. And help you to reach your daily intake goal.