The Significance of Water
Water increases our muscles’ strength by as much as 15% and our capacity for prolonged aerobic exercise by as much as 30%!
It helps the body burn fat more efficiently and contributes to better muscular development.
This is the very reason why since we were young, we have been told to drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water everyday.
Even slight dehydration can make anybody feel tired! Common side effects or manifestations of dehydration are headache, fatigue and tiredness.
Most people usually correlate these effects with being overworked or lack of sleep but not with dehydration; the main reason why the importance of water is often overlooked.
Our Body Processes Depend on Water
The importance of drinking plenty of water daily and keeping adequately hydrated is very important because almost all of our body’s physiological processes depend on water.
Water is the body’s most abundant nutrient; our body is contains approximately 60-70% water: blood is of 90% water; muscles are 70% water and bones are 20% water. The body can not and will not function properly without adequate water.
Every physiological process of our body either takes place in water or depends on water. Water regulates our body’s temperature, transports nutrients and helps build tissues.
Our body needs water to lubricate our joints, digest, enhance blood circulation, perform respiratory functions, and absorb nutrients and to eliminate toxic waste from the body. We can go without food for more than 10 days but without water, we would die in less than 5 days. Water is the most important nutrient in our body.
Dehydration causes our body’s core temperature to increase significantly affecting our cardiovascular function and reduces our capacity for physical activity. Medical studies show that even a minimal dehydration of 3% of body weight decreases strength by as much as 10%. If dehydration reaches more than 10-12% of the body’s weight, death becomes a possibility.
Water is Necessary to Lose Fat
Since one of the more important functions of the kidneys is to eliminate toxic waste from our body through urination, adequate water supply in the body is of utmost importance. When we are in a semi-dehydrated state, our body’s instinctive reaction is to hold on to whatever water there is in the body in order to survive.
When this occurs, the body’s toxic wastes are not eliminated regularly and begin to accumulate causing the liver to help out with the overload. When this happens, the liver fails to perform one of its tasks efficiently: burning stored body fat for energy. The body then becomes unable to burn body fat as efficiently as normal.
A lot of people refrain from drinking plenty of water because of the misconception that it will lead to fluid retention. The exact opposite is true. Dehydration causes the body to hold on to all the water that’s available in the body. Consuming plenty of water causes the body to feel hydrated and enables the kidneys to flush the water out as they normally and regularly do, resulting in less water retention.
The general rule for water intake of 8 to 10 eight ounce glasses (1920ml to 3000ml) of water daily is only a guideline. A more accurate calculation of daily water requirements should also include physical activity levels and caloric expenditure in order to achieve a more realistic estimate of individual water needs.
To get a more accurate estimate of your particular water needs, it is recommended to factor in your activity level using your daily calorie expenditure (DCE). The recommended dietary allowance for water is 1.0-1.5ml per kilocalorie expended per day. The following chart lists the required water amount based on your daily calorie expenditure.
A 200 pound man with a daily calorie expenditure (DCE) of 2800 calories daily needs a minimum of 2800ml to 4200ml of water every day. The eight to ten glasses (1920ml to 3000ml) of water guideline should be used as the baseline minimum regardless of daily calorie expenditure.
Never rely on thirst as an indicator or signal to drink water; we feel thirsty when we are already dehydrated, therefore, continue drinking water throughout the day even when you are not thirsty. If in doubt, drink more water, you can never drink enough.
Make it a habit to drink water all day long, especially before, during and after your workout program.
Other Sources of Hydration
Almost all of the foods we eat contain water; in fact, fruits and vegetables contain as much as 75 to 90% water while meat is at least 50% water; milk, fruit juice and sports drinks are mostly water, however, the water intake recommendations in the preceding chart is for pure water not beverages or water-rich foods.
Remember, since your goal is fat/weight loss it is never recommended to drink a large portion of your calories because liquids do not have the thermic property as solid food.
Besides, if you drink your calories in the form of fruit juices, milk, food substitutes, meal replacements, etc. it would be almost impossible to monitor your calorie intake and make the necessary adjustments to compensate for the extra calorie.
Be on the lookout on what you drink especially sports drinks because most of them are nothing more than sugar water. Nothing comes close to water in providing hydration for the body. And if you are really serious about fat and weight loss, then there is no reason to drink liquids that contain extra calories except water which is totally calorie free!
Alcohol and Fat and Weight Loss
Alcohol is the nemesis of any fat and weight loss program unless it is taken in moderation (two drinks at the maximum). The best recommendation is to totally refrain from drinking alcohol but if it is unavoidable, moderation is the key. A drink or two can be beneficial to health because it can help increase good cholesterol (HDL) but it can lead to disaster in excess.
Alcohol and the Human Body
Alcohol’s Calorie Density is Second only to Fat! Alcohol contains 7 calories per gram. Drinking alcohol therefore raises your calorie intake over and beyond your optimal calorie intake level. It is high in calories has very little or no nutritional value at all! Its nutrient property is almost the same as refined sugar – calorie dense but nutrient empty!
Alcohol is Toxic and Causes Health Problems. Alcohol is a toxin that must be flushed out by the body. It is also associated with several health problems and degenerative diseases like heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms and liver disease. It is also responsible for the decrease of the body’s production of testosterone.
Alcohol Depletes the Body of Essential Nutrients. Alcohol causes irritation to the intestinal tract and stomach lining and interferes with proper digestion and absorption of essential nutrients. It also depletes the body of vitamins and minerals because the liver uses up niacin and thiamin to metabolize alcohol.
Alcohol Dehydrates the Body. Alcohol is considered a very effective diuretic. It is responsible for increasing the loss of water through the kidneys causing the loss of water soluble minerals and dehydration.
Alcohol Hampers the Body’s Fat Burning Process. Since the human body can not store alcohol like it does carbohydrates and fats, alcohol intake requires the body’s detoxification as quickly as possible. To do this, the liver must put in queue all the other processes until after it is finished metabolizing alcohol. This means instead of processing the proteins, carbohydrates and fats in your system, they will all just be converted into fat to the detriment of your nutrition and cardio-exercise-workout program!
Follow These Guidelines When You Drink
Do Not Drink Often. Drink moderately and only on special occasions.
Moderate drinking is 1 or 2 drinks but do not drink daily otherwise you are setting yourself up for a major setback in your nutrition and aerobic/exercise/workout program!
Factor Alcohol Calories into your Optimal Calorie Intake.
When you simply have to drink, makes sure to count your alcohol calories towards your daily calorie intake and make sure you keep within your calorie limits. When you drink it is better to have light beer or low calorie alcohol instead of mixed drinks that include high calorie additives like milk, juice or tropical drink mixes.
Stay Hydrated. Alcohol is a diuretic so remember to keep yourself hydrated in order to preclude its effects on your metabolism. For every alcoholic drink you have, drink an extra glass of water to be on the safe side!
If at all possible, it is best to simply not just drink! Think of the setback drinking may cause to your fat and weight loss program.
… … Discover More Topics In “Life Is Beautiful” Online Community,
Being Your Higher Self With The Worldwide Highest Level Professionals and Thinkers.