Over seventy-one per cent of Earth is covered by water. Water makes up 75% of the human body. Life cannot exist without water. To say it is critical to health is nothing short of an understatement, and one that we know.
So if drinking water is a necessity for maintaining health, why it is that we as a society seem to be drinking less? Instead, we drink calories, gaining weight and forgetting how beneficial water can be when we’re trying to lose weight.
Brenda Davy, a nutrition researcher at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg gave dieters a 16-ounce bottle of water to drink before all three meals. Twelve weeks later, the water drinkers had lost an average of 15.5 pounds just from drinking water before the meals.
Drinking lots of water helps you feel better when losing weight. The body burns old fat deposits, releasing contaminants and chemicals stored within the fat. These contaminants can even cause you to have flu-like symptoms. By drinking plenty of water throughout the day, you allow the body to flush out those contaminants.
Two very important aspects of hydration that dramatically affect weight gain and loss are water retention and kidney function.
Water retention works contrary to how we would imagine. How do we lose retained water? Drink more water. The body retains water if we don’t supply the right amount on a daily basis – and most of us do not. By drinking more water than our body actually needs, our body becomes convinced that it doesn’t need to retain extra water and it will get rid of the extra water it has stored up in your cells.
In order for kidneys to work properly, they require an enormous amount of water. When water is not supplied, your body goes to Plan B, which is to enlist the assistance of your liver. Because the liver is able to metabolize fat (turn it into energy), every second your liver spends bailing out the kidneys is a second it isn’t burning stored fat. Drinking more water allows the kidneys to run at their optimal level and frees the liver to burn fat.
If you want flavour in your beverage, water can be mixed with low calorie concentrate, such as juice concentrate or green tea extract. When water tastes more like food, feelings of hunger are more likely to dissipate.
Keep water close to you at all times. Buy bottles of water that can be frozen and taken with you if you are not going to be at home or at work. Keep extra glasses and water bottles at work and make sure you always have one full. If it is readily available, you will drink it.
As Barry Popkin, director of the Interdisciplinary Obesity Program at the University of North Carolina says, “Water is by far the healthiest beverage.”