Are You Drinking Enough Water?

You need more water than you may think in order to lose weight.

Drinking water plus exercise and the right diet will ultimately lead to weight loss. You will be releasing retained water, increasing your metabolism and burning fat.

Fitness author Stew Smith advises “If you think you may be retaining water, try adding up to a gallon of water (128 ounces) a day and you could lose about five to ten pounds of retained water in a few short days.”

If you do not get enough water, you will actually gain weight as your body retains the water it needs. Your liver will slow down its process of metabolizing fat. You will get sore muscles and lose muscle tone. You may get digestive complications.

How much water is in the body? — Water is vital to life

About 60-75% of our body is made up of water. Brain tissue is about 85% water. Virtually every system in our body depends on water. We need water to: –

  • flush toxic and wastes out of organs
  • help prevent constipation
  • protect tissues and organs
  • carry nutrients and oxygen to cells
  • regulate body temperature
  • protect against heat exhaustion through perspiration
  • lubricate and cushion joints
  • reduce risk of kidney stones by diluting salts in the urine
  • dissolve minerals and other nutrients making make them available to our vital body functions
  • moisten the mouth, eyes, nose, lungs and other organs.

Are you drinking enough water?

You need at least 8 glasses of water (64 ounces, in 8-ounce glasses) a day, according to the rule of thumb suggested by conventional wisdom. While that’s a good guide; in fact, your need for water depends on many factors.

You should drink even more water if you exercise or work up a sweat in other activities. You need to compensate for fluid loss. It’s a good idea to replace lost sodium with a sports drink that contains sodium. You need more water in hot, humid or very dry conditions.

What about coffee, tea, soda and alcohol?

Coffee, tea, soda and alcohol tend to be diuretic – they tend to dehydrate you, so they probably should not count as part of the 8 glasses plus that you need. Other beverages, such as milk, fruit juice can contribute somewhat to your daily water needs.

When should you drink water?

Your intake should be spread throughout the day and evening, before and after exercising. If you are not used to this you may be feeling the urge to urinate more frequently; but after a few weeks, your bladder tends to adjust and hold more urine.

Drink water when you first get up in the morning, with each meal, before and after exercising, after dinner.  You can sip water throughout the day. If you feel hungry between meals, drink water.  You’ll find that you can easily increase your daily water intake.

What if you are overweight?

Some experts recommend that water intake should increased by 6-8 oz. of water per day for every 10-20 lbs overweight.

So, how much water should you drink each day?

Daily water intake recommendations have been made by a number of expert organizations:

The Food and Nutrition Board of The Institute of Medicine offer general guides for men and women: –

  • For women: 2.7 liters (91 ounces) of total water — from all beverages and foods — each day. (About 80 percent of a person’s total water intake comes from drinking water and beverages, according to the Board. The rest comes in food.)
  • For men: 3.7 liters (125 ounces daily) of total water.

The International Sports Medicine Institute’s advice: –

  • If you weigh 160 pounds and you’re not active — drink 1/2 ounce of water per pound of body weight (ten eight-ounce glasses).
  • If you are active, you need more water — drink 2/3 ounce per pound if you’re athletic (13 to 14 glasses).

Some experts recommend even more water – 75% of your body weight in ounces for an active person, If you’re in a dry climate add another 16 ounces; if you’re exercising strenuously, add still another 16 ounces – for a total of 144.5 ounces.

What are the effects of dehydration?

Don’t let your “dry mouth” be a signal that you need water, according to Dr. Thomas Stearns Lee. “A dry mouth is the last outward sign of extreme dehydration.” Lee points to these earlier signs of dehydration : –

  • “heartburn
  • stomach ache
  • non-infectious recurring or chronic pain
  • low back pain
  • headache
  • mental irritation and depression
  • water retention ( ironic but true! )”

Even mild dehydration can leave you tired and fatigued.

So how much water should you drink?

Anywhere from 64 to 144.5 ounces, according to the experts. It all depends on your weight, sex, level of activity and climate.

If you want to lose weight, drink more water.

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