Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Weighing up the role of water

What's the deal with drinking water and weight loss?

Pretty much every 'diet' you read about stipulates that you must drink 6-8 glasses of water a day. It seems like a lot.

I don't mind drinking water. I can easily tuck into a litre or so a day, most of the time. 1.5L - 2L is a little out of my league though.

In the spirit of unlocking the science, I did a bit of a 'google' search on water and weight loss. Here are some of the facts that I discovered:

  • Your brain can't detect the difference between hunger and thirst. If you are 'peckish', have some water first and then see how you feel.
  • Dehydration causes water retention which causes bloating and can make you weigh a kilo or two more.
  • Water maximises weight loss because it allows your kidneys to function properly which means that your liver doesn't have to take over the role of processing fluids which means the liver can do what it is supposed to do, convert fat to energy (metabolise fat).
  • Water helps activate fibre in your body which means that toxins and fats are 'flushed' rather than stored
  • Water helps 'flush' toxins and fat in its own right
  • While your body can manage upwards of 20 Ls of fluids per day, your best bet is to drink slowly and frequently rather than ingest large quantities in fewer intervals. Stop about 3 hours before bed. You know why.
  • In the first few days when you increase your water intake and you are running to the toilet constantly, remember that this is a good thing. Your body is being released from 'survival mode' and excreting the fluid you have retained (in your ankles, hips and thighs), trusting that the water will keep coming. You will eventually reach 'breakthrough point' where all the flushing settles.
  • Drinking water can decrease your appetite.
  • 8 glasses is excessive for healthy and certainly not overtly ill people. Large intakes of fluid, equal to and greater than 8 × 8oz, are advisable however for the treatment or prevention of some diseases and certainly are called for under special circumstances, such as vigorous work and exercise, especially in hot climates. Some studies indicate that caffeinated drinks, alcohol and 'sports drinks' may be counted in the fluid count for the day.
  • Water has a positive impact on your skin.
I'm working on my water intake. How is yours?

References:
1. http://theultimateweightlosssecret.com/healthy-eating/how-drinking-water-can-help-your-weight-loss/
2. http://www.shapeupshop.com/weightloss/water-weight-loss.html
3. http://ajpregu.physiology.org/cgi/content/full/283/5/R993

10 comments:

Kelly said...

Fascinating post, I didn’t know that water could do all that. Time to drink more of it I think!

MMBB said...

Hell yes I'll be upping the anti on water intake! Goodbye Cankles!

Rachel said...

Hmmm, Im not keen on water...vodka goes down better...lol.... ye I do drink it but maybe not as much as I should... I will try harder

Be A Fun Mum said...

HA! How interesting! In winter my water intake goes way down. I needed this reminder. Thank you! And thanks for visiting my blog beafunmum.com

Maxabella said...

Mine is really good... I've always been a big drinker (!) and I have about 2 litres every day. It's good that you are looking to increase yours. Many people feel 'ill' with headaches, stomachaches and the like and really they are just mildly dehydrated.
x

MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

Great info! I drink a lot of water each day, and very little caffeine. If I don't get enough water one day, I sometimes feel a little hung-over the next day...without having had any fun the day prior! :)

Jane said...

Hello! Stumbled across your blog on the Fat to Fit blog hop. Great post!

I'm a massive advocate for water drinking! I preach it to everybody and really think its the best thing you can do for your health.

Keeping a drink bottle handy at all times makes it a lot easier to reach your water quota. I probably drink about 3L a day, and have never had any health/weight/skin troubles. Yay for water! x

Lucy said...

Thank you for linking up - and this is a very timely reminder for me to simply drink more water......

Good Golly Miss Holly! said...

Woweeeee! I've been making out with a 1.5L bottle of water for 3 weeks now ... but I didn't realise just how much good it's actually doing for my body. I just rejoiced because it means I've cut down the Coke intake by 90%!

eenni meeni me said...

This is one of my goals for this week. I am embarrassed to say that I barely get in 2-3 glasses a day, it is more when I exercise which is rare these days. Thanks for the link as I may have to print it out and stick it on my fridge to motivate me. I like water just I like soft drink better- my thighs do not though :-)

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