How Much Water Should I Drink To Lose Weight?
Everyone talks about the importance of drinking water. This isn't groundbreaking news. What is important is understanding why you should be drinking more water and how it can help you lose weight.
Up to 70% of the human body is made of water. Water is quintessential to all organisms and we as humans need to drink a certain amount each day to survive. Roughly 3 days without water and the human body will go through a painful process of dehydration, fatigue, organs shutting down, and then death.
As a general rule of thumb, an average human should be drinking roughly 2-3 liters of water per day. However, this can vary greatly depending on your level of activity, the climates you live in, and body requirements.
Why do we need water?
Water is crucial to our well being because it aids our bodies to control and regulate lots of different mechanisms.
Regulating our internal temperature through breathing and sweating
Lubricating our joints, as well as our spinal cord
Producing saliva, which breaks down food and helps digestion
Delivers oxygen throughout our bodies
Helps the brain make certain hormones
How much weight should I be losing?
The National Health Service recommends no more than 0.5kg - 1kg per week (1-2lbs). This is a healthy amount of weight to be losing and any more can be dangerous to our bodies in that we become more fatigued and have less energy, we're putting too much pressure on our organs and muscles, and it doesn't give our bodies enough time to recover and rejuvenate.
Additionally, it's important to understand what type of weight we're trying to lose. Ultimately our goal is to strip fat off our bodies to look better, be leaner with more definition, and perform better in training and fitness. We've covered in great detail how to get shredded with our Ultimate Cutting Plan 2019.
Have you ever tried a diet and noticed how quickly you've dropped 10lbs? Or after eating a huge pizza (by yourself) that the scales jumped up way more than you'd wished. That's not fat - it's water weight.
What is water weight?
Water weight in relation to fitness and dieting is water that is stored in the cells of our bodies - usually joined up with glycogen. We all understand that glycogen is a form of glucose - the molecule stored in our livers and muscle cells. Each gram of glycogen that is stored in your body has 3 to 4 grams of water.
Our good friend glucose is the main source of our very sudden fluctuating weight during spells of over or under eating. This typically happens when you're on a low carb or Keto Diet and your glycogen levels are depleted and therefore you quickly lose weight. The opposite happens when you indulge in too many carbs. Your glycogen molecules hold onto as much water as possible.
We want to avoid fluctuating levels of water weight - there is no fat loss in this method. We'll only be tricking ourselves on the scales.
3 benefits of drinking more water today for weight loss.
Lets jump into the facts
1) Drinking water helps your body burn fat.
As previously mentioned, your body uses water to ensure your bodily functions work in sync. A 2003 study showed that 500ml of water can have a 30% increase in your metabolism in 10 minutes. If you aren't drinking enough water then your body will be dehydrated, which slows down your metabolism as it's trying to compensate (survival mode). A slow, compromised metabolism will not burn fat as quickly as a fast one.
2) Impact on your physical performance
During exercise and training, our bodies can lose between 6-10% of body weight through sweat which will lead to dehydration if it's not replenished quickly. Studies have shown that even a drop in our water levels by 2% can lead to a decrease in physical performance. If you're not well hydrated then you won't be able to burn as many calories in training.
3) Mind, mood, and brain functions.
We've already covered how exercise benefits the brain, but what about water? Our moods and important brain functions are impacted by the amount of water in our bodies. If we aren't functioning at an optimal level mentally then we're more likely to make poor choices when it comes to diet and fitness. Have you ever been so stressed you've eaten a party size bag of M&M's...
A study showed profound results that even mild dehydration can lead to headaches and migraines - this can have a drastic effect on willingness to eat well and exercise for weight loss.
We all understand that water is as close to a humans life as the stars are to the sky. We need water to function, to live, and to perform optimally. Weight loss is not always easy but getting the basics right can be. Drinking more water is an easy way to ensure your body is well oiled and functioning well.
For more great fitness tips head over to our Daily Fitness Tips page