Whether it’s summer or winter in Calgary, Canada, I make sure to drink plenty of water and focus on hydration. While drinking cold water during the winter isn’t nearly as enticing as it is on a hot summer day, it’s important for good health. It can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, keep your skin moist, while helping with acne, prevent or eliminate water retention and help eliminate toxins from the body. It increases your energy level, can aid with dehydration that causes headaches, slow aging, improve eye health and improve cognitive functioning and mental health. Adequate hydration is also important for weight loss.
When you get dehydrated, it affects your workout.
Trying to workout without adequate hydration can be a real drag. Dehydration, even mild dehydration, can make you feel tired and reduce your energy level. Several studies showed that dehydration reduced physical activity in some people, both during exercise times and throughout the day. That slowing down can have a cumulative effect on the number of calories you burn.
Your body burns calories even as you rest.
Dehydration can slow down that process. The amount of calories you burn at rest is your resting metabolism rate. It effects the hormone arginine vasopressin that regulates blood pressure and fluid levels, plus the amount of fat the body burns and metabolism. When you drink cold or cool water, another function boosts your metabolism. It’s the body burning calories to warm the water to body temperature. It takes 33 calories to heat a liter of water to body temperature.
Drink water before a meal and reduce how much you eat.
A big tall glass of water with a meal is important, but drinking it 15 minutes before a meal may be more important. If you fill your stomach with water, it’s one signal that you’re full. The nervous system sends a message to the brain, which makes you less hungry. Drinking it with a meal can also slow down eating and allow the feeling of fullness to reach the brain before you eat too much.
- If you’re thirsty, some times your body confuses it with hunger. Try drinking water before you reach for a snack. If your craving is for something juicy, like fruit, but aren’t sure what you want, the chances are good you’re dehydrated.
- Just switching out soft drinks or sugary drinks and replacing it with water can save tons of calories. It might not seem like much, but most soft drinks and juices contain about 100 calories. Eliminating two a day will allow you to lose one pound in 15 days without making any other changes.
- If you hate plain water, try making your own infused water. It’s simple and versatile. Just add some fruit, herbs or vegetables to plain water, put it in the refrigerator and allow the water to absorb flavors. Strain and enjoy.
- Studies show that weight loss efforts are improved when you drink more water and improve hydration. Put a timer on your cell phone to remind you to drink water and make sure you drink 8 eight ounces a day.
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