On average, our bodies are made up of around 65% water. We are created in water and thrive on water, yet still a large percentage of people don't drink enough water.
How often do you feel the sensation of thirst on a daily basis? You may actually be feeling it as you read this article. That sensation is actually your body is already signaling to you brain that it is becoming dehydrated.
Common symptoms of mild dehydration are:
- Dry mouth
- Feeling sleepy
- Feeling thirsty
If you begin to feel these symptoms, you should immediately hydrate with water.
Not only is water essential to your overall health and avoiding the uncomfortable symptoms of dehydration, it's an excellent resource for losing weight and staying healthy.
Water will keep you full throughout the day. Drinking enough water throughout the day can keep you fuller for longer. A lot of the time, the sensation of hunger that we feel is actually a sensation of thirst. Confusing the two is very easy for our brains to do, and can lead to us eating instead of drinking water.
Water aids in digestion. Your body uses water to break down and absorb water, soluble fats, and fiber and move food through your body easily. Without sufficient hydration, it takes water from other sources in your body. So the lack of water can actually increase your chances of constipation, leaving you uncomfortable and bloated.
Water helps your kidneys function. Our kidneys have a few main, crucial purposes in our body and that is to remove the waste from our blood, balance body fluids, and create urine. Without water, our kidneys are unable to function properly and do its important jobs.
However, even with these incredible benefits of water, many people often reach for these flavored, yet unhealthy drinks. In order to avoid dehydration and stay on your weight loss path, there are a couple of drinks you should avoid.
Avoid diet soda at all costs. It's loaded with artificial sweeteners and tons of extra sodium. Diet soda will cause you to gain more weight for a couple of reasons. Firstly, its fake sweetened chemicals trick your taste buds into thinking you are drinking something sweet, which only makes you crave more sweet foods and drinks instead of curbing your cravings. Secondly, the extra amount of sodium in the diet soda will actually dehydrate your body instead of hydrating it. This will cause you to consumer more and more diet soda, sending you on a vicious cycle of artificial sweetener and sodium overload.
Another popular drink you should steer clear of is alcohol. There are quite a few reasons to keep your alcohol consumption to a minimum. If you've ever had a few glasses in your life, as I'm sure most of us have, then you know that alcohol makes you hungry. This is because alcohol suppresses the leptin hormones in your body that are used to communicate to your brain that you are full and no longer need food. It will cause you to eat more than your body needs for the day, veering you off your weight loss path. Also, alcohol has been proven to cause significant dehydration. This is because alcohol decreases the important anti-diuretic hormone you naturally produce that allows your body to absorb water. So instead of absorbing water, your body just loses hydration.
Next time you're deciding what to drink, ditch the diet soda and alcohol, and opt for water instead. Making sure you drink enough water is crucial. There is no "one-size-fits-all" amount of water each person should be drinking. In general, the average adult should drink anywhere between 8 and 24 cups of water a day, and more if they are exercising.
So how do you make sure that you are drinking enough water? Here are the best ways to make sure you stay hydrated throughout the day:
- Keep a pitcher of water at your desk/work station - Whether you work at a desk or are on your feet all day, make sure to have a water bottle or pitcher of water readily available at your desk.
- Drink before you feel thirsty - In order to ensure you will stay sufficiently hydrated throughout the day, make sure to drink water even when you are not necessarily thirsty. You can even set alarms on your phone to remind you to drink water.
- Drink water with every meal - Instead of a cup of soda at the dinner table, have a cup of water. Making water the only drink available will force you to hydrate, and quench your thirst the healthy way.
- Drink a cup of water before bed - Try to have a cup of water before bedtime. This will help keep you hydrated throughout the night and curb the midnight snack cravings.
If you don't enjoy the taste of water, or are craving some flavor in your water, then that's completely fine. But, you flavor must be natural! Do not use any flavoring packets – they are unhealthy since filled with unnatural ingredients and loads of sugar.
Try adding natural flavors from everyday foods into your water. Add your favorite fruits, veggies, and herbs to a pitcher of water and let the flavors infuse for at least an hour before drinking. What's great about these flavored waters is that after you finish drinking the water, you can eat the fruits and vegetables!