It’s hard to overstate the importance of hydration. Water is essential for function of each cell in the body – it helps transport oxygen and nutrients, cushion joints, regulate body temperature, aid digestion, eliminate waste, etc.
And if you’re trying to lose weight, research suggests Drinking water can also play a role in helping you reach your weight loss goals.
So how exactly does water help you lose weight and how much should you aim to drink each day? Here’s what you need to know.
How much water should I drink to lose weight?
There’s no specific amount of water you need to drink to lose weight, but simply meeting your recommended daily intake can help you reach your weight loss goals in several ways:
How much water do you need to drink to reap these benefits?
You’ve probably heard of the “8×8 rule” — the age-old advice to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day — but there are no science behind this number.
According to the National Academy of Medicine, the actual recommended value total water consumption for men 19 and older is 3.7 liters per day (about 13 cups). For women in the same age range, the recommended total is 2.7 liters per day (about 11 cups).
But before you start filling a gallon jug, keep in mind that about 20 percent of water intake usually comes from food, especially foods with a high water content such as fruits, vegetables, soup or yogurt.
So the amount you actually need drink is a little less.
And every ounce doesn’t have to be plain water — coffee and tea can help with your hydration goals, as well as milk, juice, and other beverages. You can also jazz up a glass of water with a squeeze of lemon or a few slices of cucumber to make it more appealing.
How Drinking Water Affects Metabolism and Appetite
Drinking enough water every day can benefit your metabolism and can help reduce appetiteboth can weight loss aid.
One of the potential benefits comes from thermogenesis – the bodily process of generating heat.
When you drink a glass of water, your body warms that water to your internal temperature of 98.6 degrees.
In a small study, researchers found that temporarily drinking 500 milliliters (about 16 ounces) of room temperature water increased metabolic rate up to 30 percent.
For men, most of this increase in calories burned came from fat; for women, carbohydrates were the main source of energy.
Some have speculated that ice water might burn more calories since your body has to work even harder to warm it up – but alas, research suggests the added benefit is pretty minimal. So stick to the water temperature you like, whether it’s freezing or lukewarm.
Drinking water before a meal can also help you feel fuller. In a 2018 study, participants consumed less food when they drank 500 milliliters (16 ounces) of water before a meal – moreover, they did not report feeling less full.
Another study in middle-aged to older adults found that drinking 500ml of water before each meal – combined with a low-calorie diet – led to greater weight loss than a low-calorie diet alone.
These studies suggest that drinking water before a meal could help control your appetite – and in any case, making hydration before meals a habit can help you stay on track to reach your fitness goals. daily intake.
Factors that affect your water needs
When it comes to water consumption, official guidelines are a solid starting point, but your own personal needs may vary from day to day depending on a few factors:
- Age. Infants, children and adolescents have lower water needs than adults.
- Gender. From the age of 19, men generally have higher water needs than women.
- Lester. Your specific needs may vary depending on your body weight.
- Activity level. After a workout, you’ll need to replenish fluids lost in sweat.
- Location. The people in hot climates and high altitudes may need more water per day.
- Pregnancy and lactation. The recommended daily intake increases to 10 cups per day during pregnancy and 13 cups per day while breastfeeding.
- Overall health. Certain health problems such as fever, vomiting and diarrhea can increase fluid needs.
How to Calculate Hydration for Weight Loss
Do you want to calculate your specific hydration needs?
Start with a daily goal of drinking half your body weight in ounces of water each day. To find your baseline, simply divide your weight in pounds by two. If you weigh 160 pounds, for example, aim for at least 80 ounces a day.
Next, figure out how much extra water you might need based on your training plans.
THE American Council on Exercise (ACE) recommends consuming fluids before, during and after training:
- 17 to 20 ounces two hours Before your workout.
- 7 to 10 ounces every 10 to 20 minutes during exercise.
- 16 to 24 ounces for every pound of body weight lost After A training.
If you’re not in the mood to do the math, you can also estimate your daily water needs using an online tool. hydration calculator.
But keep in mind that these calculators can only provide a rough estimate using a few measurements. Your exact needs may vary from day to day depending on everything from training intensity to the weather.
If you want to easily know if you are drinking enough water, check the color of your urine. If it’s clear or pale yellow, you’re good to go. If it is dark yellow or amber, increase your water intake.
Other warning signs of dehydration include dry mouth, bad breath, fatigue and sugar cravings.
Dropping too much water weight after exercise can also signal dehydration.
If you lose 2 percent or more of your body weight during a training session can affect your performanceso you may need to step up your hydration game.
6 tips to increase water intake for weight loss
These simple steps can help you increase your H2O intake.
- Make hydration part of your daily wellness routine. Start each day by drinking a glass of water before you get up.
- Choose water-packed foods such as melons, berries, apples, grapes, squash, leafy greens and yogurt.
- Make plain water more appealing with refreshing fruit infused water recipes.
- Invest in a reusable water bottle or cup that you love – you’ll be more inspired to keep it with you and drink it throughout the day.
- Set reminders on your phone to take a water break every hour during your working day.
- Practice “habit stacking” by pairing hydration with another healthy habit: drink a glass of water before brushing your teeth or sip a cup of tea during your morning meditation.
Drinking water alone is not the golden ticket to weight loss. You will still need to tighten up your diet, be consistent with your workouts, and get enough sleep.
But staying hydrated can support a healthy metabolism, help you feel fuller at mealtimes, and prevent dehydration from derailing your workouts, which can ultimately help you reach your weight loss goals.