A couple of you have been asking over the past few weeks why water is so important. Well I came across a good article explaining it.
Water: Essential for Fat Loss,
Muscle Building, and Health
I know that you've heard this before, but drinking a lot of water is actually one of the few bits of conventional wisdom that is actually true for increased fat loss. Many of you will insist that water is bland, boring, or tasteless and that you can't possibly drink 6-8 glasses per day. On the other hand, some of you may wonder what I'm talking about as you naturally drink that much water or more. However you view water, once you realize how essential it is to losing weight, building muscle, and keeping healthy you will definately take every chance you have to drink more of it!
H2O, further known as water is essential for life. It is our most important nutrient surrounding and filling every cell within us. Approximately sixty percent of our body is occupied by water weight and it is needed for nearly every body function. Having enough water is essential for our bodies to operate at their optimum potential. We lose about a liter of water per day just through our skin and lungs (and that amount can easily triple if you are consistently working out). If you're not getting enough, your body will not be metabolizing fat and digesting food as efficiently, your heart may be overworked, and on a hot day, there is danger of heat stroke. This is why your body constantly regulates water. Since water is lost throughout the day by body functions and sweating, it must replenished.
Water is also a very important factor for helping us to build muscle and lose fat. There are at least ten main reasons that make this true.
1. Keytones, a natural byproduct of fat burning, are flushed out of the body through urine. Drinking water helps to flush them out, thereby improving the fat burning process.
2. If you're a bodybuilder on a protein diet, water has an additional importance. One of the chief byproducts of protein metabolism is urea. Water helps to flush this out.
3. While there is question on whether water is anabolic, there is no doubt of its anti-catabolic effects. Dehydration stimulates catabolic (muscle destroying) hormones and increases the cortisol response to exercise.
4. An additional reason to keep your muscles well hydrated is based on the theory of cell-volumization, of which Creatine plays a large role. When your muscles cells are fluid-filled, an anabolic stimulus is generated and more nutrients enter your muscle cells.
5. Your digestion and metabolism--two factors we are concerned with in controlling weight--are greatly impaired without enough water. However, if you are drinking enough, you ensure that your metabolism and digestive system is working to its full potential.muscle requires more water.
6. You can help curb your appetite when you drink 6-8 glasses per day because of water's filling effect. If your stomach is full, it can help you not to overeat.
7. Sometimes dehydration can signal your body to eat because breaking down food releases water. Don't be fooled when really your body is asking for water! This is a phenomenon that can be controlled if you're getting enough water.
8. Increased workout performance results when your body is fully hydrated to meet the physical demands you are placing on it. You may have seen bodybuilders at the gym with a 2 gallon milk carton full of water...they are smart. You can truly maximize your body's potential from this simple addition to your workout, especially if you're doing an aerobic workout where you are sweating a lot.
9. Surprise! Your muscle is 70% water. Fat is only 25% water. By drinking water, you add muscle weight, allowing the muscle to work more efficiently, which in turn burns fat. It only makes since that the more muscle you gain, the more water you require! The higher your activity level, the more calories your muscles burn, and your needs for water become greater to maintain your muscles.
10. When you're more fit, you burn calories at a higher rate because your muscles store more glycogen, a form of carbohydrate that is used for energy. Every gram of glycogen requires and holds about 3 grams of water. So, again, water is essential to your energy and calorie burning.
By the time thirst is experienced, your body is already in slight dehydration. Don't let that happen. Become self-aware of your water needs and drink enough so that your body doesn't have to tell you it's thristy...become so in-tune that you drink water even before you "need it". You can accomplish this simply by avoiding going extended periods without drinking water. In other words, drink it throughout the day and you'll be fine. It's better to drink moderate amounts throughout the day rather than the other extreme of drinking a lot all at once. Too much water at one time and your body will simply flush it out because it doesn't need it at that time. You'll end up not getting the water you need even though technically you drank enough...so spread it out!
Researchers and just about everyone will tell you that you must consume 6-8 glasses of water daily (or more). It doesn't hurt you to drink more water than you need throughout the day, as your body will just do away with the excess. I hope I've convinced you of the importance of drinking enough water! Just remember, you will burn fat and calories more effectively, more efficiently rid the body of toxins and waste, improve your metabolism, and increase the energy available to your muscles by keeping your body's water needs satisfied.
Here's a few tips that may help you accomplish this goal.
Drink your first big glass right when you wake up. Have two glasses while you workout. Have another glass during lunch and a glass between lunch and dinner. Drink a glass during dinner and one more later in the evening. It's easy! As your activity and water needs increase, add a glass or two into your day.
Carry water with you at all times.
Drink large amounts while or after working out and with supplement intake.
Try different brands of bottled water.
Make sure your 6-8 glasses of water consumption is fresh water. Coffee, soda, juice, etc. do not count toward your intake requirements.
Try making your water look more attractive with ice and a slice of lemon or lime.
Try to limit your caffeine intake, as caffeine is a diuretic which will stimulate the release of water. Try herbal tea (remeber this doesn't count toward your 6-8 glasses.)
Try drinking water at different times and in different amounts until you find a system that works for you.
After a few weeks or less you'll find yourself craving water to quench your thirst, so stick with it and just count 'em down!