How Much Water To Drink

In this post we'll look at how much water to drink when looking to maintain your health, perform exercise and manage weight.

You may be surprised to hear, that you already have one of the best weight loss supplements in your home!

Confused? Forgotten that you purchased it?

Well, it comes straight out of the tap....

​Adequate water consumption is often overlooked as a weight management tool. In this article we'll address this by looking at how water can be used to aid fat loss.

Before we get into that specifically, here's what we'll cover in this one:

  1. The 7 main functions that water performs in the body
  2. The impact of not drinking sufficient water
  3. How water helps with weight management and weight loss
  4. Just how much water should we drink each day.

​7 Main Functions Of Water In The Body

how much water to drink

​Most people have heard the surprising statistic that the human body is made up of over 60% water but what is all that water actually being used for?

​Water has 7 main functions within our bodies:

1. Water as a TRANSPORTATION agent in the body

Water is required for the transportation of nutrients and oxygen during cell growth and repair.

Water is involved in transferring messages from our hormones.

Water in involved in the transfer and disposal of cell waste.​

2. Water as a DISSOLVING agent in the body

Water is a solvent and the body uses this property to aid with the breaking down of materials.

3. Water as a CLEANING agent in the body

Water is used as a flushing and cleaning agent, helping our important filtering organs: the kidneys and liver remove toxins from the body.

4. Water as a REACTING agent in the body

Water is an important molecule used in lots of the body's natural chemical reactions.

5. Water as a LUBRICATING agent in the body

Water is used for lubrication in the body's fluids and joint cartilage.

6. Water as PADDING in the body

Water acts as a shock absorber between our joints and bones. Helping to absorb impact and avoid friction.

7. Water as a REGULATING agent in the body

At the surface of the skin, water helps to keep us cool and rid the body and organs of excess heat.

The Impact Of Not Drinking Enough Water

How Much Water To Drink

All of us will have experienced the effects of not drinking enough water from time to time. Whether it’s just the pace of life that has distracted us from drinking, being in a hot climate or unforeseen circumstances like being stuck in roadworks…

When water consumption is too low, our body lets us know in several ways:

  • Increased level of thirst
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Dry skin
  • Increased body temperature
  • Muscle cramps
  • Light headedness, nausea and headaches
  • Dark coloured urine
  • Dry mucous membranes (mouth, nose and eyes).

It should be pretty clear from this list that getting enough water is crucial to our good health and the day to day functioning of our bodies.

The effects of even mild dehydration can result in: headaches, constipation, dry skin, lethargy, low energy and overall sour mood!

Infographic Summary

For a FREE downloadable Infographic summary of this article - just click on the image below.

how much water infographic

How Water Helps With
Weight Management & Weight Loss

How’s this for an attention grabber:

Drinking two cups of water before a meal will
keep you: hydrated, feeling fuller and even boost your metabolism for an hour afterwards.

All you need to do is pour!

So, before you head over to your favourite supplement store, to purchase a worthless 'fat burner', make sure you are using the cheap and simple option of drinking enough water each day! 

How Does Water Help With Weight Loss

Firstly, it increases the volume in your stomach which provides an increased feeling of satiety. This in turn, means you need less volume from food in your stomach to feel full.

Secondly, drinking water, instead of fluids containing calories (loaded coffee, fruit juice, soda, sports drinks, coconut water etc.) provides the bonus of saving those calories from hitting your daily total. This can be significant when you consider that the average daily calorie consumption from these types of drinks is 400 calories!

Thirdly, a 2007 study also found that drinking 500mL of water, would cause the body to use 24% more calories for an hour after drinking it. This was attributed to changes in osmolarity and the body having to expend additional energy to re-establish a balance.

Do you need help implementing good habits to achieve health and wellbeing?

The Food The Facts Nutrition Coaching course works to implement a set of scientifically proven nutrition habits.
Once ingrained these provide a framework for sustained healthy eating - no fads, no gimmicks, no quick fixes
- just scientifically proven methods.

How Much Water Should We Drink A Day

how much water to drink

Here are some recommendations for the amount of water you should consume on a daily basis, depending on activity level and location:

  • For those that are mostly sedentary, drink at least 2 litres of water
  • For athletes in normal climates, drink at least 3 litres of water
  • For athletes in hot climates, drink at least 4 litres of water

A lot of people won't consider themselves to be 'athletes' but if you are engaged in any sort of exercise activity that moves you from sedentary, then you should increase your water intake. Even low impact exercise like walking - can quickly deplete fluid levels through the additional sweating and cooling required.

How Much Water When Exercising

how much water to drink

About 30 minutes prior to exercise, athletes should consume 500 mL of fluid.

During high levels of exercise an athlete, should consume 250 mL every 15 minutes.

Hydration Indicators

​Pee Test

When you've achieved a good level of daily hydration, you should find that your second pass of urine of the day is near clear. If it's darker, then you are likely in need of additional water intake.

Skin Pinch

A good indication of overall hydration can be established by pinching the skin on the back of one of your hands between thumb and index finger. Once you've pinched a fold of skin, release it and observe how quickly the skin returns to it's natural position. If it's a slow process its a strong indication of dehydration.

How Much Water To Drink - Conclusion

We've established what water is used for in the body and the issues associated with insufficient intake. We've also looked at the level of hydration you should aim to achieve when sedentary and also when exercising.

Over to you now
Go pour yourself a tall, calorie free, glass of the clear stuff!!

Do you need help implementing good habits to achieve health and wellbeing?

The Food The Facts Nutrition Coaching course works to implement a set of scientifically proven nutrition habits.
Once ingrained these provide a framework for sustained healthy eating - no fads, no gimmicks, no quick fixes
- just scientifically proven methods.

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