When I was younger, my Mum used to tell me all the time I didn’t drink enough water, or really enough fluids to keep hydrated. She said I was going to destroy my kidneys if I continued to drink so little. I think I might have been a camel in a former life, or one of those little lizards that scurry through the hot sands of the desert.
And now that I am older, my two boys, are always asking me how much water I have taken in for the day. They walk around with gallon jugs of water, I suspect they may finish off several in a day. In addition to the gallon jugs of water they consume daily, we buy five cases of water a week, all of which are usually gone by Friday evening. That’s a lot of bags of empty water bottles which have be taken to the recycling stations.
Why is it so important to drink water especially while losing weight? I went in search of solid answers. I found the usual ones, it keeps one hydrated. But why the 64 ounces a day? In fact, some sources said one must consume over 100 ounces a day. That is so much water, and so much time spent trotting off to the toilet.
Here are some interesting things I found, about why one should stay hydrated, especially while dieting and exercising.
Drinking water prevents your blood from becoming thick and sludgy, thereby decreasing your bloods oxygen carrying abilities, in turn which leads to fatigue. By drinking water, your blood is capable delivering oxygen to muscles and organs much more efficiently.
By not drinking water, the kidneys do not function correctly and the liver must step in and help. The liver burns fat, and if the liver is busy helping the kidneys, it cannot attend fully to the process of burning fat. I did not know that.
Water regulates your body temperature. If you are dehydrated, your skin cannot properly cool you down.
Staying hydrated helps the transport of nutrients through your system. If you are dehydrated, your blood becomes thick and sludgy, and the lovely nutrients you are eating are not transported correctly thereby leading to exhaustion and fatigue. When exhausted and fatigued, workouts become painful, and you would rather go home and lie down, then go to the gym (not that this has ever, ever happened to me).
Water is a natural appetite suppressant. Drinking water before a meal will curb your appetite and you will eat less (unless you power through the feeling of fullness and eat whatever yummy thing that might be on your plate). Also, many times, when feeling a bit peckish, it may actually be a signal that you are thirsty. I guess the lesson here, is drink water, before reaching for the snackie.
Drinking water can help with water retention. You say “What – how does that make any sense?” Well, I know for a fact this is true. Years and years ago, I tried an experiment. I took a gallon of water and drank it. And then, this is kind of gross, but I am in the medical field, so nothing really grosses me out, well, with the exception of adult mucous. That’s disgusting. Anyway, I drank the gallon bottle of water, then measured the volume of the urine I expelled. The output was significantly higher than the input. The lesson learned here is, if you are retaining water, drink more water, unless you have kidney issues.
Water helps metabolize fat. If you are not drinking enough water, your fat deposits will increase. If well hydrated and drinking water, this will help decrease fat stores. Well, that little piece of information is all I need. I will definitely begin drinking more water. And as far as the 64 ounces of water guideline, some of the bodybuilding sources say your water intake should be triple that – Holy cow. I think for now I will strive for the 64 ounces, and see how I go.
One last thing, drinking enough water, and staying hydrated will also lubricate your joints, maintain and help with skin elasticity, help with digestion and decrease fatigue. That’s most certainly enough motivation to increase my water intake.
And as usual, my Mum was right.