There are many reasons why it is important to drink water, especially if you are trying to lose weight. Initial weight loss is largely due to loss of water, and you need to drink an adequate amount of water in order to avoid dehydration. Adults should be aiming for 1 litre per 30 kilos of body weight.
The process of burning calories requires an adequate supply of water in order to function efficiently; dehydration slows down the fat-burning process. Burning calories creates toxins (think of the exhaust coming out of your car), and water plays a vital role in flushing them out of your body.
Water helps maintain muscle tone by assisting muscles in their ability to contract, and it lubricates your joints. Proper hydration can help reduce muscle and joint soreness when exercising.
A healthy (weight loss) diet includes a good amount of fibre. But while fibre is normally helpful to your digestive system, without adequate fluids it can cause constipation instead of helping to eliminate it.
Drinking water with a meal may make you feel full sooner and therefore satisfied eating less. Note, however, that drinking water alone may not have this effect. In order to feel satiated (not hungry), our bodies need bulk, calories and nutrients.
A few good tips for fluid replacement at the gym are;
- Drink during exercise (250 mL every 15-20 minutes)
- Drink cool fluids (more palatable as well as having a cooling effect on the body)
- After exercise, quench more than your thirst, its’ not a true indication of how much water you have lost
- Avoid concentrated beverages (coke and orange juice, the high sugar levels mean that water absorption is delayed)