We’re all aware that water is an amazing and often underestimated drink, but are you drinking enough?

First let me explain that by dehydration I’m not just referring to extreme cases (like the images that pop in to your head when you think of dehydration); dehydration is actually simply put, when your body loses more fluid than it takes in.

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When the normal water content of your body is reduced it upsets the balance of minerals in your body, which affects the way your body functions.

Water makes up over two-thirds of the healthy human body. It lubricates the joints and eyes, aids digestion, flushes out waste and toxins and keeps the skin healthy. Because so much of your body is water it can actually be affected even just by losing a small amount of water.

The problems experienced with severe dehydration obviously involve hospitalisation, but for this post I’m referring to everyday dehydration that can occur simply by not quite drinking as much as your body needs.

glasses-of-water

Water plays a key role in helping us to maintain a healthy weight by suppressing our appetite. Dehydration, however, can cause you to feel hungrier, which ultimately could result in a higher intake of calories.

Dehydration can even cause food cravings because dehydration is often misinterpreted as hunger; so if you’re craving sugar when you perhaps wouldn’t normally, it could just mean that you’re thirsty. When cravings occur frequently it can (obviously) lead to weight gain.

So it’s good to get in to the habit of drinking a glass of water before meals; that way you will know that you have satisfied any ‘thirst hunger’ and when you begin to eat, you’re purely fulfilling your actual hunger.

The recommended daily water intake is an average of 2 litres but this amount will vary from person to person depending on a variety of factors, such as body size, temperature and how active you are as sweat deducts a large amount of water from the body.

Being fully hydrated regulates the body’s temperature and helps the muscles to work well, which in turn leads to a more productive workout. Water intake directly affects energy levels, and the higher your energy levels, the easier it is to stay active…and workout.

Your metabolism is also affected by water because your body is able to operate at optimum levels when fully hydrated. Dehydration, however, does the opposite; severe dehydration can actually slow your metabolism.

Dehydration causes the body to store toxins in fat cells and the body won’t release the fat until it’s adequately hydrated to safely remove the toxins, so by keeping your body adequately hydrated you are actually helping it to remove toxins more efficiently.

If you’re struggling to lose weight, think about your daily fluid intake. Could that be what’s hindering your efforts?

If dehydration isn’t what’s affecting your weight loss but you’re still finding it hard to shed the fat, check out my recent post about why you’re not losing weight.