Water You Waiting For?
Before diving into this blog, think about how much water you drank today. How much did you drink yesterday? Was this consistent over the last week? If you’re like most people, you might’ve drunk anywhere from 3-5 cups of water/day. The average water intake for adults 20-60 years of age is approximately 4.25 cups. There is no one-size-fits-all prescription for optimal water intake. Your recommended intake level could be higher depending on many factors such as your activity level, age, body size, and climate. However, the baseline recommendation for water intake is approximately 12 cups/day. About 4 cups come from daily food sources, leaving 8 cups of water for you to acquire from drinking. That is almost double the amount the average adult gets, meaning there is likely room for improvement for you to get in more water throughout the day! But don’t worry, this blog will go over tips for easily getting water in and more benefits of drinking water if you aren’t quite convinced.
Our body is over 60% water and many of its main functions wouldn’t be possible without good ole H2O. Maybe Bobby Boucher was on to something after all. Water helps transport nutrients for cell growth and cell waste, flush toxins from filtering organs, lubricate joints and the digestive tract, thermoregulation of the body, and even lose weight! That’s right, you don’t need to head over to your local vitamin store to get the next magic fat-burning pill. If you’re trying to lose weight, one tool often overlooked is the tap! A study on overweight males and females was conducted to determine if drinking 500 mL (about 2 cups) of water before a meal could aid in weight loss. Participants were split into 2 groups, those that drank 2 cups of water before each mean, and those that didn’t. After 3 months, the water group lost 4.4% body fat translating to almost 12 pounds on average. The non-water group dropped 1.1% body fat translating to about 7 pounds on average. Is water the magic pill you’ve been searching for all along? Water can help you lose weight by making you feel fuller, removing excess waste, reducing liquid calorie intake from drinks like soda or juice, aiding workouts, and metabolizing stored fats and carbs.
So how much fluid do YOU need? As I said earlier, if you’ve been lacking on your water intake or are just trying to develop good habits, 8 cups of water is a good goal to shoot for. This is baseline and everyone should at least be here. If you work out or partake in various forms of physical activity, you should aim for an additional 1-4 cups of water per hour during physical activity and an additional 1-4 cups in the hour following physical activity. A good way to tell if you’re hydrated properly is by checking the color of your urine. I’ll attach a reference chart in this blog. If you’re struggling with getting in enough water, try matching two cups of water with each meal. You could also buy a refillable liter water bottle. Some even have time gauges that help you track your pace. Aim to drink two of these a day. Something I’ve done personally, is left a big glass of water next to the sink and whenever I went to the sink, I would drink it and refill it for next time. This helped me even if I wasn’t particularly thinking about drinking water at the time.
So before hopping on the next diet trend, or running to buy the latest fat melting supplement, head over to your tap a little more often and start with a convenient and relatively free solution. Water you waiting for!
Links: Water consumption increases weight loss during a hypocaloric diet intervention in middle-aged and older adults - PubMed (nih.gov)