For years, doctors have been advising us to drink eight eight-ounce glasses of water every day.
Our environment sucks water from us daily. Homes and offices have radiant or forced-air heating in the winter and low-humidity air conditioning in the summer. All the time we’re sitting and working in these rooms, we usually drink less water than we lose.
It takes very little fluid loss – only 1 to 2 percent of our body’s total water content – to cause dehydration. Each Day we lose at least two cups of water through just breathing. Two more cups of water are lost through perspiration and six more cups through urination and elimination processes. That’s ten cups a day!
There are other things that contribute to water loss. Drinking coffee and other beverages that contain caffeine can contribute since these beverages act as diuretics. Additional moisture evaporates as we sweat when exercising or doing housework.
We do take in some liquid in our food; sometimes quite a substantial amount. You will usually get about 3 1/2 cups of fluid from what you eat during the day. Your body also generates about 1/2 a cup of fluid as part of your metabolic processes.
Since we lose ten cups of water a day and only get four cups from food and metabolism, it is obvious that we need to drink at least six cups per day just to equal it out. You’re better off if you can drink the recommended eight glasses of water.
All of the liquid that you drink doesn’t have to be in the form of water. You can drink skim milk, unsweetened juices or other non-caffeinated beverages.
Heat, exercise and diet can all make a difference as to how much liquid your body actually needs. You’ll need to take in more fluids if you eat potato chips for a snack rather than an orange.
Getting your full quota of liquids does more than conserve the energy your body uses. It also burns fat. Added benefits are the increased ability for your body to fight tension and fatigue.
Sometimes we think we are hungry when we are really thirsty. That’s when we are more likely to eat high-fat snacks. A good way to tell whether you are hungry or thirsty is to drink a glass of ice-cold water when you feel hungry. Wait a few minutes to see if your “hunger pangs” have been satisfied.
Drinking water has been shown to eliminate food cravings and reduce appetite. When you drink plenty of liquids throughout the day, it takes up space in your stomach, helps you feel full and reduces your desire to eat.
Some studies indicate that increased water intake may help reduce fat deposits by flushing them out of your system. It may also help to drink colder beverages rather than hot because your body needs more heat energy to warm it to body temperature.
Your body needs water for more than just burning fat. It also flushes other impurities from your body and keeps your brain hydrated for better concentration.
You can tell if your body is dehydrated. Take a breath in through your nose and see if you feel a slight tightness of your nasal passages. If you do, grab that water bottle and take in some water. Add some lemon juice, orange juice or peppermint flavoring to give yourself some variety.
Using sweeteners and sugar may stimulate your appetite rather than depressing it. And drinking colas with caffeine and sugar can really hurt your diet.
Your body needs water so give it all it needs – and more. Hydrate your body to burn excess fat and you’ll be on your way to weight loss success.