Water is a critical component of your body, making up between 55 and 60% of your weight. Your body can't store water (unlike fat) so you need to replenish it often. That's why drinking at least 8 glasses/day is a key habit to a healthy lifestyle.
Water plays a key role in supporting health, particularly during weight loss, because it helps remove toxins and other unhealthy substances stored in your fat cells. Being well-hydrated helps all your organs and systems function properly. In fact, every function in your body takes place in water. It's the solvent that moves nutrients, hormones, antibodies and oxygen through your bloodstream and lymphatic system, and removes waste. And of course it's essential to your kidneys' ability to filter and eliminate metabolic byproducts and toxins.
If you don't drink enough, your body is forced to recycle dirty water, diminishing the efficiency of every metabolic function.
What you may not realize is that we actually lose nearly 12 cups of water every day: 2 cups through perspiration, 6 cups through urine, 2-4 through breathing - and nearly 1 cup through the soles of our feet! And in high altitudes or dry environments, you lose even more, so you can get dehydrated in a hurry.
8 reasons to drinks 8 cups:
1) It's calorie free, but helps you feel full and satisfied.
2) It keeps you from overeating. Studies show that when we feel hungry, 30% of the time our bodies are actually signaling for water.
3) It facilitates the removal of toxins such as pesticides and preservatives from your cells.
4) It prevents dehydration as your body eliminates excess salt and water from a diet of too much processed food.
5) It minimizes or eliminates fatigue, lack of energy, headaches, and unclear thinking.
6) It speeds up metabolism. A recent study showed that drinking two 8-ounce glasses of cold water increased metabolic rate by 30% for 90 minutes.
7) It helps your liver convert fat to energy.
8) It compensates for the loss of glycogen stores as you lose weight.
Q & A:
I'm just not thirsty. Do I still need to drink water?
Don't use thirst to guide your water intake! Thirst is a late warning symptom of dehydration. Waiting until you're thirsty to drink means that your body must function at less than optimal efficiency for several hours.
How do I know if I'm not drinking enough?
If you start feeling tired, have trouble thinking, develop a headache, or notice that your urine is darker than usual, these are late-stage signs that you need to drink more water! (Urine should be almost colorless unless you've just taken vitamins)
How much water should I drink every day?
The best gauge of how much water you should drink in a 24-hour period is a simple mathematical equation: take your current weight (as of last Monday - 253lbs) and divide it in half (126.5) = your intake in ounces. So for me, my goal is to drink at least 126.5 ounces every day! I use a 24oz water bottle and try to drink between 5 to 6 of those each day.
Is it possible to drink too much water?
No - not unless you have a specific medical condition that requires you to restrict your fluid intake, such as renal failure or severe congestive heart failure, or if you have performed intense physical activity in a hot environment, in which case you should consume an electrolyte-enriched drink.
Liven up your water by adding a squirt of lemon or some fresh mint leaves.
Vintage Payton drinking her water! (Utah, 2009)