So far we’ve talked about the diet, the exercise, the importance of emotional health on weight loss diets as well as the dealing with cheating on the diet. Another important aspect of a health journey, whether it is general fitness or weightless, is hydration.
Hydration, specifically, drinking enough water, is one of the keys to sustainable healthy eating. Drinking water has multiple benefits for the body. Among them –
1. Quenching thirst
This is one we all know – we consume liquids to alleviate dryness in the mouth. Sadly, these days, this is often through consumption of sweet drinks. But the best way to satisfy thirst is water. Now there are different opinions about whether it should be warm water or cold. That is a function of multiple things – the weather, one’s own disposition, where one is in her health journey.
2. The weather
Weather plays an important role in how thirsty we feel. If it is a perfectly balmy 25 degrees out with a partially cloudy sky, you are unlikely to feel very thirsty. On the other hand, any kind of extreme weather – hot or cold or rainy – typically makes one want to drink more water, because the body has to work harder to maintain a comfortable body temperature.
3. One’s own disposition
Each person has a preference for the way they like their liquids – some prefer ice cold water (or soda), others will take a boiling hot cup of soup/coffee/tea over anything else. This may change with the season for some, for others, like me, no matter the weather, the body can only tolerate liquids a certain way. Personally, I find my body prefers having warm/hot liquids – even water needs to be warm if not actually hot. Otherwise, it rebels – a few weeks of continuously drinking cold water, and I’ve come down with a horrible sore throat. So, I’m forced to go back to having hot water, even in 30+ degree weather!
4. One’s fitness status
For the past three months I’ve been training with a sports trainer. He recommended I drink cold water while working out as it causes the body to burn more calories. Personally, I can’t do this, but perhaps people’s body’s capacity and preference changes with their level of fitness. While mine has improved considerably since I first started working out, I’m far from being at an athletic level. That is the point at which one’s body might start to change in terms of its preference/tolerance.
Satiety, or, that feeling of “being full” is a huge benefit of drinking water. If you sip water throughout the day, you are less likely to give in to the temptation to eat junk food. Often what we perceive as hunger – that mid-afternoon hunger for specific things like chips or cake, is actually the body asking for water. If you keep giving it water, you are less likely to feel these pangs as well.
6. Moisturising action
Try upping your water intake for a week or so. Compare the way your skin looks and feels before you start to the way you look and feel on the 8th You will find it feels softer, less irritated, perhaps even looks younger – taut, radiant.
7. Helps the various biological processes work better
A large percentage of our body mass and weight is from water – blood, sweat, tears are just some of the forms in which the body uses water. Each of these serves a vital function – blood helps distribute nutrition to cells, sweat helps cool the body off when it over heats such as in hot weather conditions and during and after exercise and tears help keep the eyes lubricated. The body needs a certain amount of water (how much depends on the size, age, gender and physical activity the person is involved in) to function effectively. Water is also needed to excrete waste from the body, in the form of urine and feces. That last point bears repeating because that is one benefit we don’t think about but without proper excretion the waste will remain in the body and cause discomfort or increasingly serious medical issues
Benefits of drinking water
These are just a few of the benefits of drinking water, but it does point a light at its importance. As one journeys toward fitness it is important to keep this in mind and make a conscious effort to get at least a litre or two of water in. If one is on a low carb or keto diet, this is especially important because as the fat cells “deflate” they release water, resulting in more frequent urination, therefore loss of water and minerals.
So as you start or continue on your journey, eat smart (at least low carb), drink plenty of water, exercise in a way that you enjoy, get a decent amount of good quality sleep and just enjoy living the process. The resulting weight and inch loss is simply the cherry on the cake, but the way your body will feel – lighter, healthier, stronger, younger will make you feel great every minute of every day.