You have likely heard that drinking 8 glasses of water each day is a must if you’re looking to be healthy and to maintain a healthy body weight. But who came up with that number? Is there any merit to drinking that much water per day?
Let’s take a closer look to find out how much water you really need to drink each day.
Do You Need To Drink More Water?
Recent research has shown that most adults are chronically dehydrated. In fact, estimates reach as high as 75% when describing how many people simply aren’t drinking enough water to optimize their health. Staying well-hydrated is especially important if you are looking to lose weight. Why?
1. Boost Your Metbolism
Your body’s metabolism cannot function at full throttle when your cells are lacking water. Your body is built to survive, and when there is a shortage of water your body copes by slowing down many internal processes that would otherwise use up plenty of energy. In other words, you stop burning as many calories as you would if you were hydrated.
2. Replace Sugary Drinks
Drinking more water generally means that you will be drinking less high-calorie-drinks. Less soda, juice, and sweetened coffees and teas is always a positive move for weight-loss.
3. Feel Full, Reduce Food Cravings
The more water you drink, the less hungry you will feel. There is actually a good likelihood that you mistake signs of dehydration for hunger – This leads to more eating even though your body doesn’t actually need those extra calories.
How Much Water Do You Need?
The 8 glasses per day is a very general rule of thumb, and can often leave you lacking even if you hit that goal. Three factors can affect the amount of water you really need: Your gender, the size of your body, and your activity level.
As you might have guessed, men need more water than women, primarily because they are larger and have more muscle mass, which consumes water more quickly than fatty tissue.
People who are physically active also need more water than those who live a sedentary lifestyle. If exercising regularly, you need to replace the fluids that you lose through sweating.
The following video explains appropriate water guidelines for men and women. Are you drinking this much?
Putting It All Into Practice
Since most people drink far less water than they realize, it’s important to have “triggers” to help you remember that it’s time to drink up.
The above video mentioned one example of a water trigger (i.e. use a large pitcher and empty it each day), but there are others you can try as well.
For example, for dinner each night it is important to prepare a healthy meal that will fuel your body with the nutrients it requires. But, before you take your first bite, why not commit to drinking a full glass of water?
Even better, you can set a bottle of water beside your bed each night. When you wake up in the morning your first task can be to drink the entire bottle. This is an easy way to get a jump-start on hydrating before you do anything else in your day.
However you approach it, drinking water is crucial for maintaining a healthy body weight and staying healthy in general. So fill up your bottle right now and get drinking!
About the Author
Dave Smith is a professional fitness and weight-loss coach who was chosen as “Canada’s Top Fitness Professional” by CanFitPro in 2013. You can learn more of his weight-loss tips at makeyourbodywork.com.