We have all heard the advice about drinking enough water throughout our day to stay hydrated. It helps to keep our organs hydrated and functioning properly, helps to flush out toxins, and keeps us from getting fatigued and can even increase our energy levels.
While many people drink water throughout the day, perhaps one of the most important and oftentimes over looked reason is for weight loss. Yes, that’s right, drinking an 8 ounce glass of water approximately 10 to 20 minutes before eating, usually results in you consuming fewer calories at meal time.
In fact, a recent study in 2010 by Brenda Davy Ph.D. conducted a randomized study on the impact of drinking 2 cups of water prior to a meal. Middle age and older people, who drank 2 glasses of water before meal time, consumed between 75 – 90 fewer calories. Over the course of 12 weeks, people lost 5 pounds more than those who didn’t consume water right before a meal.
The study went on to suggest women can drink up to 9 cups of beverages and men can drink up to 13 cups. Again, this is a guideline. Let your thirst be your general guideline. If you work in an office, you may find yourself being more thirsty than at home because in many offices, they will keep the humidity down.
So, the next time you start to feel hunger, drink a glass of purified water and see how your hunger subsides. The best part, it requires no prescription from your doctor, there are no known side effects and the cost is almost zero unless you are buying bottled water. However, to be environmentally friendly, please consider using a stainless steel bottle that you can refill from home or at work.
The average amount of water people are recommended to drink is 6 0 8 cups. However, you should really let your thirst buds guide you in this area. If you consume more than 8 cups, it’s fine. However, this is one caveat to this called water intoxication.
This is a condition in which you are consuming way too much water without giving the body adequate time to recover. For example, say you were in a water drinking contest. This could apply to any contest in which you over consume too much of a liquid in an extremely short period of time. This is rare though and if you consume water or liquids in a normal manner, you will be fine.
The main point here, our bodies are delicate eco systems that maintain a balance of minerals, salts and sugar. This is compounded by what kinds of food and how often we eat during the day. For example, say you consumed a large salty meal and then drank a couple large glasses of sugary pop. The body will need to regulate both the extra sugar ingested and salt.
In that case, drinking some extra water throughout the next few hours could be a good thing. Of course, if the opposite happens where you watch the food you eat throughout the day and only consume water, you need to make sure your body does have some electrolytes and a variety of minerals to help regulate the body efficiently.
One tip that I’ve mentioned in another post is to try drinking 1 to 2 glasses of water first thing in the morning after you wake up instead of reaching for the coffee. This will help with hydrating your body and rejuvenate the cells. Of course the other advantage, it will help keep you fuller for an extra hour or two.
Now, if you find yourself feeling light headed around the mid-morning period, it’s probably time to consume a snack of some kind. You could eat an apple, banana or perhaps a better option is to consume a quality protein shake. I have found what works well for me is keeping a glass of water beside the bed. In the morning, I can simply reach over and drink it.
I then wait about 30 minutes or so, then consume a healthy breakfast. Most mornings, I will reach for a meal replacement shake to start my day off right. That way, I can usually go for 3 – 4 hours without feeling any hunger whatsoever.
A Quick Recap
- Drink water before your main meals
- After exercising – drink water or liquid prior to eating
- Upon waking up in the morning – keep a glass of water beside your bed
If you find drinking water throughout the day too boring, then one good option is drinking some herbal teas like green tea or chai tea. I’ve really been into the organic chai tea lately.
Until next time – stay focused on your health goals.