Many parts of Canada are experiencing quite the hot and humid summer. This time of year definitely helps to kill the stereotype that Canadians live in year-round wintery conditions. If you’ve chosen this summer to exercise outdoors, you’ve chosen a good one. However, it’s incredibly important to keep something in mind when you’re out in the heat. You have to stay hydrated! In other words, drink that water!
It may sound like a no-brainer. It’s hot outside, so you’re bound to get thirsty, right? Drinking water, however, does a lot more than simply quench your thirst. Hydration plays a big role in weight loss. So if you’ve been hitting the sidewalk for your daily jogs and walks, it’s imperative that you bring a water bottle along with you. Again, it’s not just to keep you from being thirsty. Staying hydrated will help you shed those pounds.
Here are three ways that drinking water helps weight loss:
1. Drinking water burns calories. Have you ever considered the fact that your body has to use energy to either heat up or cool down what enters it? This is certainly true for water, as explained by Vicky Weiler on FitnessBlender.com. She writes that the way our bodies absorb water entails the burning of calories. In fact, she notes that this is the most direct way that drinking water helps with weight loss goals.
“The body must first warm (or cool) fluids that enter the body to 98.6°F (body temperature) before they can be utilized,” she explains, “This process requires energy (calories) to either create heat (if drinking something below body temperature) or remove heat (when drinking something above body temperature). The calories required to do this are not a lot, but over time it can make a big difference.”
2. Drinking water helps to avoid overeating. A good weight loss regimen involves the eating of nutritious foods. Significantly cutting back on carbs and sugars while getting healthy helpings of proteins and vegetables is a great way to start shedding some pounds. However, you’ll also want to ensure that you are eating proper portions. The more water you drink, the better you’ll be at preventing overeating.
Alison Goldman of Women’s Health Magazine quotes Dr. Keri Peterson on the subject: “’A lot of people confuse thirst for hunger,’ says Peterson. ‘So they’ll tend to eat rather than drink water.’ If you’re craving a midday snack and want to make sure your pangs are caused by hunger, not hydration, have a glass of water first. Then see if you’re still hungry 30 minutes later, says Peterson.”
3. Drinking water helps you to exercise better. According to Weiler, “lean muscle in the human body is made up of around 80% water and it needs that water to function properly. When you start to become dehydrated your muscle tissue starts to lose water and it makes it harder for that muscle to contract effectively, reducing your strength and endurance.” Therefore, staying hydrated is actually a necessity when it comes to getting the best exercise possible.
“It has been stated that as little as a 1% drop from optimal hydration can reduce your physical ability by up to 5%,” reveals Weiler, “You could actually see your caloric burn from your workouts drop by 5%, not to mention that you will feel weaker and less capable, which can slow your exercise progress in many ways.” As you can see, working out without a water bottle is simply bad for business. So if you’re in the business of losing weight this summer, drink up!