With so many fad diets and plans on the internet nowadays, it gets so confusing for people to find the best way to burn fat. Most of the time, going back to basics gets you in the right spot. Don’t over complicate it. Have you ever thought about drinking more water? Most of the time we fall short of getting the right amount of fluids in. Chances are, even if you think you consume plenty of water you’re not. Heck, there are even some days when I fall short of drinking an adequate amount. Staying hydrated can be one of the best ways to blast extra fat off your body giving yourself numerous health benefits while preventing many problems.
People are generally dehydrated. So much, that chronic dehydration affects over 75% of the American population. If you haven’t had any water in the past few hours, it’s time to go smash a bottle of water. When you wake up from a nap or a long nights rest, you’ve been sleeping a pretty decent period of time without an intake of water. Are you feeling thirsty? You are already in the beginning stages of dehydration. If time & time again you constantly ignore your body’s need for water, it will delay your sensitivity to being deprived of it. The effects of dehydration will take an even harder toll on your body. Still not sure if you’ve been drinking the right amount of water? Check your urine. This chart below will show you where you are at. If you just took your multivitamins, your urine may be bright yellow the next time you use the bathroom. So don’t worry about that too much.
Dehydration is something the body cannot adapt to. When you’re running low on water, it impairs every other function of your body. Obviously the air you breathe is pretty important. It’s number one on the survival list. You’ll die within minutes without oxygen. The second most important item your body needs to survive & function with is water. Your body could last about 3 days without water, maybe a little more depending on circumstances & if you had any food. Food is the last thing you’ll need to live. You could potentially go about 3 weeks without it. (But please, do not ever try this!) You could argue that this is one of the most important blog posts you’ll ever read on water consumption. You really can’t go without it.
There are plenty of health benefits to drinking water such as:
-Boosting your metabolism
-Improving skin complexion
-Flushing toxins out the body
-Preventing joint/muscle pain, sprains, cramps & headaches
-Preventing kidney stones
-Increasing your body’s ability to burn fat
The list of benefits to drinking water could go on forever. On the other hand, issues may arise due to a lack of water. Dehydration headaches can be one of those. Headaches are one of the most common disorders of the nervous system. Nothing feels good when you have one. You probably think about taking a pain reliever before you ever give thought to how much water you have you drank recently. The brain is composed roughly of 80% water. So when water is absent in the body, the brain begins to shrink some pulling it away from the skull. As these brain cells shrink, it creates stress around the brain sending signals of pain resulting in a headache. There is less blood flow & oxygen available to the body when there is a deficiency in water, worsening the headache. Blood vessels in the brain dilate to receive more oxygen & circulation of blood resulting in even more discomfort. It could take a few hours before a substantial amount of fluids are replaced in the brain. An ibuprofen may provide some temporary relief, but it does not solve the problem. Make sure you replenish the water in your body so you can dismiss the chance that your headache was caused from a lack of it.
Drinking water first thing in the morning basically allows your body to readily absorb more nutrients by adequately hydrating it. Drinking enough of it flushes and pushes a lot of the toxins out of your body cleansing the colon. This in turn will give you a better skin complexion. It can prevent you from getting sick as much eliminating bacteria out of your system. When food is broken down properly & absorbed into your system, your metabolism functions more efficiently. There was a German study comparing energy output versus consumption of water in individuals who had an ideal healthy weight for their age and gender. Researchers found that after about 10 minutes had passed from drinking at least 17 ounces of water, the metabolism of the men and women increased by about 30% lasting upwards of 30 – 40 minutes. Wow, pair that with some morning cardio & you got some serious fat burning action right there! If you’re looking for the natural fat burner, it’s called sufficient hydration, nutritious food, cardio, & resistance training. Try cleaning up these areas before you even think of trying a weight loss supplement.
So how does this morning water cleanse work? I’d advise you to have at least 2-3 cups of water right after you wake up. It seems like a lot at first, but your body will get used to it. Do not eat anything for 30 minutes afterwards. I doubt you’ll even think about food after drinking that much water for the first time. This is the perfect amount of time for you to wake up, shower, and/or begin cooking breakfast. If you want to incinerate even more fat , start your empty stomach cardio (be sure to supplement with bcaas)! After that time has passed, your body will be hydrated from all of the water you just took in. Your body can absorb the water in as little as 5 minutes to as long as 2 hours. If you eat food beforehand, it could take upwards of an hour just for the water to get into the large intestine depending on how much you ate. This will delay absorption even further causing you to be dehydrated even longer. Some water will pass through your urine as an excess of fluid drinking this hefty amount, but it insures the toxins are expelled out of the body.
You generally eat less drinking water. Since water has 0 calories, it doesn’t add anymore to what you already take in. Your appetite is up when you’re dehydrated causing you to eat extra. Your body can send a mixed signal saying you’re hungry, even though you are really just thirsty. It will try & pull as much water out of the food you eat as it can to hydrate itself. Try downing a large glass of water first when you feel a need to snack outside of your regular meals. Drink 8-16 ounces of water & wait 15-20 minutes. Then, eat if you are still feeling hungry. Avoiding temptations of unhealthy foods & making sure you are hydrated first can keep you from gaining undesirable weight.
Your body processes warm liquids differently than it does cold liquids. Cooler liquids are absorbed faster, & is best to drink before/during/post training. It can help deliver more nutrients to the muscles faster. Cooler liquids pass through the stomach faster. This process is known as rapid gastric emptying. This is beneficial to athletes and even the general person who is working out to be in better shape. Hydrating faster prevents your stomach from feeling as full. The temperature of the water you drink doesn’t matter too much at any other time. It’s whatever you prefer.
When it comes to preventing kidney stones, the best treatment is making sure you drink a substantial amount of water every day. Water treatment is great for this because most of the time it can offset some of the dietary problems that are part of the cause. Overweight & obese people will have a higher chance of passing a kidney stone. The formation of kidney stones generally starts with a lack of water. The urine usually becomes so concentrated with substances formed in the body such as phosphorous & calcium. When the body gets what it needs from food, the excess waste is sent from the bloodstream to the kidneys & is dispersed as urine. When there is a shortage of water, this waste can become concentrated enough to begin to form small stones or crystals.
An oversupply of sodium in the diet can lead to more kidney stone formation. The surplus of sodium causes the body to release more calcium into the urine. This mixes with phosphorus & oxalate to form the stones. Sometimes, these stones are small enough to pass without pain & you’ll never know it happened! That is the best case scenario. If you have had a kidney stone before, you need to drink enough fluids to produce at least 2 liters of urine per day. Depending on the weather and your activity level, you may need to drink more water than average. Sodium is the main thing you need to reduce before you even consider lowering the amount of calcium you take in, which most people are deficient in. Do yourself a favor to stay hydrated enough so you can lessen the chance of this happening to you!
Photo courtesy of www.nasm.org
The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) recommends you drink at least 96 ounces of water per day. You must drink additional water when exercising , training in a hot climate, and/or if you are overweight. Consume an additional 8 ounces for every 25 lbs above your ideal weight. For every pound lost during exercise, you should ingest at least 20 ounces of water. I tell most people to try & drink a gallon of water per day. You’ll be close in the zone if you fall short of that. If you know how much you drink you have something to measure. It’s the same with your food. If you don’t record & track your performance, how do you improve? Why would you guesstimate? Imagine driving your car without a fuel gauge or even any other instruments that assess distance on the dash. You’d constantly worry about filling up your gas tank. You’re at a standstill when your vehicle runs out of gas. Almost the same as when you’re dehydrated, your performance is wrecked. Your heart rate increases. You feel more drained from exercise than you actually are. Your body consumes more energy than it normally would causing you to fatigue quicker.
60% of your body weight is water. Even losing 2% of water in your body can reduce your performance & circulatory function. The average person consumes roughly 20 ounces of water a day. I’m surprised how these people are even still alive! I always aim to consume at least a gallon of water per day. Sometimes, I near a gallon & a half. Water facilitates the breakdown of fat in your system. Chemical processes occur that break down fat. The remains of these processes are either used for energy or discarded as waste. Water helps your organs filter out this waste to your bladder which is discarded as urine. DISCLAIMER: Drinking a ton of water doesn’t get rid of fat in your body! Water is the mechanism to flush fat from your body. You need to make a lifestyle approach to exercise, nutrition, & proper hydration. This is what creates sustainable results. Eating enough of the right foods & exercising regularly will trigger your body to burn fat weekly. It all adds up over the year through the months of continuous effort.
Water also helps prevent joint/muscle pain by keeping cartilage/tissue soft & hydrated. Glucosamine works in this way by helping the cartilage absorb more water to stay lubricated. If your joints don’t have enough water to retain, they will slowly dry out & you will ache. It’s important to have an adequate amount of water in the body paired with quality eating habits. This will have your metabolism operating optimally. You will have an easier time getting results when systems & processes within your body are engaged efficiently.
In conclusion, there are more than enough reasons listed here as to why you should drink more water. You want to burn fat, have more energy, have radiant skin, live pain free, & cleanse your body of potential sickness. What I’ve discussed in this blog doesn’t even cover all of the benefits of water & the health risks of dehydration. Water may not be the only thing you need to help improve the quality of your life, but it sure is a priority. Eliminate any doubt if a lack of water is the cause for any health issues you may have. Reach your goals sooner by staying educated, hydrated, & practicing the right lifestyle choices. Did this information help you? If so, please comment below & share this post! I would love to hear your feedback. If there’s any other topics you’d like to read & learn more on, post your thoughts in the box below. Let’s see how I can help you live a better life!
1. Department of Kinesiology. Pharmacokinetic analysis of absorption, distribution and disappearance of ingested water labeled with D₂0 in humans. Université de Montréal, Quebec, Canada. 14 Oct. 2011. Web. 4 Jan. 2015.
2. National Academy of Sports Medicine. Nutrition. Water. 2007. Web. 28 Dec. 2014.
3. Franz-Volhard Clinical Research Center and Helios-Klinikum-Berlin. Water-induced thermogenesis. Humboldt-University Berlin, Germany. Dec. 2003. Web. 6 Jan. 2015.
4. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Diet for Kidney Stone Prevention. Feb. 2013. Web. 8 Jan. 2015.