Water is underrated. Fact! It is also a nutrient we take for granted. When we want it, water just flows from a tap. Yet, many of us often forget to keep ourselves hydrated, but water has other great benefits too, including aiding weight loss.
Dehydration and Exercise
Of course, drinking water alone will not cause weight loss but drinking the right amount can help boost other bodily processes which can. For example, dehydration can affect your weight loss programme. Generally, we don’t begin to feel thirsty until we have lost around 2% of our body weight in water – which also coincides with our exercise performance because it is at this point where our performance may begin to reduce. So, if you are going to hit the gym or go for a run make sure you take water on board before you begin to exercise. This will ensure you are adequately fuelled. Remember, you wouldn’t take your car out without having enough fuel first, your body is the same.
Water has also been shown to help speed up our metabolism. But what is it?
Metabolism is the word used to describe all the chemical reactions in the body which take place to keep us alive. The processes include breathing, digestion and the transport of nutrients and oxygen to the different cells in the body but they all require energy. The amount of energy required to carry out these processes effectively is known as the basal metabolic rate (BMR).
The speed of your metabolism can be affected by several factors including gender, age and genetics. As we age our metabolism does slow down but a study carried out in 2003 found that drinking 500ml of water boosted the metabolism in both males and females by 30%. However, to see the beneficial effects on our metabolism, you will need to increase your daily water intake by around 1.5 litres. The research showed that increasing water intake by this amount could lead to the burning of around 200 calories.
Hungry? Drink some water. According to a study by the University of Oxford in 2015, drinking water when you begin to feel hungry can determine how peckish you really are. The research showed obese adults who drank 1.5 litres of water before they ate a meal consumed fewer calories. Plus, these individuals also lost 2.6 more pounds than the participants who were asked to imagine their stomachs were full before eating.
It’s 3pm, and suddenly you feel tired, what do you reach for to boost your energy levels? A sugary snack, a cup of coffee or an energy drink? Why not swap these for a glass of water? Often fatigue can, in fact, be dehydration in disguise. Water is a much healthier option with zero calories and keeps our muscles fed with oxygen as well as keeping our brains focussed on the task at hand. Plus, by not consuming a calorific snack or high sugar drink you are less likely to gain weight.
Although, drinking water alone may not cause you to lose weight, increasing your water intake can aid processes which can help weight loss.