When it comes to nutrition and healthy dietary changes there is no one-size-fits-all equation. That being said, if you aren’t adequately hydrated it can negatively impact your weight loss and overall health. It is estimated that 75% of adults consume less water and hydrating fluids on a daily basis than their body requires to work at its optimal level. Here are just a few reasons why staying properly hydrated is essential.
Our bodies require water to perform a variety of functions related to overall health and weight loss. For best results spread your water out throughout the day, drinking 8 to 16 ounces in the morning. Stop drinking water at least 2 hours before bedtime as to not disrupt your sleep. While you may not be clinically dehydrated you may not be consuming enough water to perform all internal tasks with efficiency. This includes:
The general rule of thumb is to follow the 8×8 rule of 64 ounces of water divided into 8-ounce servings. This actually falls a bit short of the amount of hydration required by the average adult, which is closer to 91 ounces for women and 125 ounces for men. With a well-balanced diet you can make up the remaining ounces. Hydrating foods include fruits, vegetables, soup, milk, yogurt, and fresh smoothies and juice. However, factors such as the weather, level of physical fitness, prescription medications, or your profession may increase the amount of water you need each day.
Water is considered an appetite suppressant by many, but in truth—you may just be mistaking your thirst craving as hunger. If you feel hungry but have recently eaten, try drinking 8 ounces of water to see if you are really just thirsty. If you are having a hard time focusing your attention or feel physically or mentally tired it may be a sign of dehydration. This is an easy fix, often resolved shortly after giving your body the water it requires.
It is important to understand that not all fluids can be counted toward your daily water or hydration intake. This includes soda, processed smoothies and fruit juice, and syrup sweetened café coffee. These beverages are minimally hydrating and are also high in sugar and empty calories. However, water doesn’t have to be your only source of hydration. Unsweetened herbal tea, black coffee, milk, sparkling water, and electrolyte beverages in moderation can be counted toward your 64 ounces per day. If you don’t enjoy or get bored with the taste of water, flavor it with lemon, cucumber, mint, or other fruit and herb infusions.
Achieving optimal health requires you to do more than just count calories, but to make a series of personalized nutritional changes. Reach out to PNC today to discuss an individual approach to health. We have an office in Scottsdale, AZ serving the Phoenix Metropolitan area—and are available via Skype globally.