You usually feel better, work out harder, and see better results when you are hydrated. This is because more than half the body is composed of water, and that water is vital for important functions like temperature regulation, waste disposal, and transport of oxygen to cells. By getting enough water throughout the day, especially after a rigorous workout, you are helping your body function at its optimum level.
The most common recommendation is to drink 8 glasses of water a day. This is a great general goal, however your target should be based on your body and lifestyle.
For example, if you are active then you need to drink more to replenish what you lost through sweat.
Quick hydration tips:
- Create a personal hydration base or goal; meaning a minimum amount of water you gulp each day.
- Drink at least one glass of water before exercising.
- Sip on ¾ – 1 ½ cups (or more) of water every 15-20 minutes of exercise or during breaks.
- Try to drink 2-3 cups (16-24 ounces) for every pound you lose after working out. That rapid weight loss is likely due to sweat, not fat loss, and you want to make sure you get the lost water back into your body.
Finding water too bland?
You can mix it up with different combinations of water fusions. You can add fresh fruits, veggies, herbs, and spices to add extra flavor without a lot of extra calories or sugar. A classic water combination is cucumber and lemon, but there are so many ways you can zest up your water. It’s absolutely okay to reach for frozen fruit during the off-season. Actually frozen fruits has an added benefits since they can act as a flavor additive and ice cubes. To make these fusions just place your desired mix right into your water, let it sit for a bit, and enjoy!
Here are some great flavor combinations:
- Orange-cinnamon (with a cinnamon stick)
- Cranberry-ginger (with fresh ginger)
- Cucumber-citrus (mix up this classic with other citrus fruits like oranges and limes)
While a glass of water is a quick way to stay hydrated, you have other options. In fact, foods with high water content can also help add to your body’s water bank. You can think of these foods as extra water sources for yourself, and it’s even better when they are eaten with a water-based drink.
Great ways “to eat” your water include:
Can water help you lose weight?
Water will NOT burn fat, but it does seem to help with weight loss and weight maintenance. People tend to feel fuller when they are hydrated, and are actually more prone to overeating or indulging in cravings when dehydrated. This is because it’s common to confuse the feeling of thirst for being hungry. Drinking water helps you feel fuller faster, which saves you calories, especially if you are actually hydrating with water versus a caloric beverage.
Whenever a weight loss client of mine feels stuck, we work together to increase their water intake for the week. This could mean setting a reasonable water target, as well as cues to help them remember to drink. With more water they get back on track, feel more energized, and see new weight lows.
If you are concerned about not drinking enough water or are looking to ramp up your intake, try to set specific goals for yourself.
Small goals could include:
- Carrying a travel bottle, and trying to drink a certain number of refills each day.
- Drink a glass of water with each meal and snack.
- Set alarms throughout the day to remember to drink.
- Make rules on when to drink, like have a glass of water after every bathroom visit.
By making hydrating a part of your regular routine you are helping establish a healthy foundation for yourself.
It’s just too simple not to do!