By Daphne Baldwin Kornrich, MS, RD, CDN
Water composes about 70% of our body and is so vital that we cannot survive more than a week without it. We know it’s important to drink water, and we have all heard that we need to drink at least eight glasses a day.
So why is water so important to consume?
- Plays a role in weight loss, metabolism, and digestion
- Regulates body temperature and cool off your body during exercise
- Lubricates joints and protects vital organs
- Aids in flushing body waste products
- Needed by the brain to manufacture hormones and neurotransmitters
- Helps deliver oxygen and nutrients to our entire body
We need to be conscious of drinking even prior to being thirsty because that signal may be telling us we are already on our way of becoming dehydrated. This is especially important during exercise and when it’s hot outside. Dehydration leads to muscle fatigue, muscle cramps and loss of coordination.
Water and Weight Loss:
Water is necessary to burn calories and to have our bodies function. Without proper hydration our fat-burning process slows. Most of us don’t drink enough water and studies show there may be a link between being overweight and not consuming enough water.
- A study published in the Annals of Family Medicine (2016), Chang et al. found that 33% of the study population wasn’t adequately hydrated. This study also found a direct relationship between dehydration and higher body weights. In addition, people who are overweight need to have more water than people within the normal weight range, making it more difficult to meet their hydration needs.
- Research suggests that water can play a role in weight control; a recent study in the journal of Obesity found that the study group who drank 16 oz. of water 30 minutes before meals lost almost three more pounds after 12 weeks than the control group.
Replacing high calorie beverages such as soda, juices, energy drinks and flavored coffee with water and zero calorie alternatives can provide an important first step of slashing calories, leading not only to weight loss but to a new healthy lifestyle change.
- Put reminders on your phone that it’s time to take a sip (try apps such as My Water Balance or Waterlogged-Daily Hydration Tracker).
- Keep a bottle by your nightstand and finish the bottle right when you get up so you already have a head start.
- Hydration does not only have to be water – you can try herbal or decaffeinated teas.
- Flavor water naturally with a slice of citrus, fresh mint leaves, or try a water infusion bottle with berries or melons to change up the flavor.
URL: http://water.usg s.gov/edu/propertyyou.html
Daphne Baldwin Kornrich has been a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for the past 30 years, working in a wide variety of clinical and outpatient settings. Daphne currently specializes in Bariatrics and Weight Management.