You’ve all heard the saying “you are what you eat” but perhaps it’s more accurate to say “we are what we drink”. After all we are predominately water when you consider pure biochemistry. This water comes from our food, from what we drink and from metabolic turnover. Why is this significant? If you are not properly hydrated then you will not be functioning optimally. Part of this optimal function (that is significant for weight loss) is the ability to metabolise fat.
As a ball park figure if you multiply your bodyweight in kg by 25 you will get a figure for your resting metabolic rate (RMR) in kcal. This is how many kcal’s you use at rest over a 24hr period. If you are not that active you can multiply this by 1.5 and that is roughly your kcal needs for a day. An active person can be anywhere is a range from 1.6 through to 2 x RMR. Your water needs are calculated by using the equation 1ml for every kcal used. So if you worked out you energy needs at 2000kcal you need 2L a day. This is a very rough way of working this out but it gives you some idea as to your requirements. You will get approximately 40 to 50% of this water from food, dependent on the make-up of your diet (how much fruit & veg generally). The remainder comes from fluids consumed and metabolic turnover.
So you can see you need to make sure you are consuming enough fluids over and above this. The more active you are the greater your water requirements will be. One crude way to check your hydration status is to look at the colour of your urine. The first pee of the day may be quite strong but after this your urine should be a light straw colour. As I have said this is a crude measure and lots of things will impact the colour of your urine.
Hydration and weight loss
Why is being properly hydrated important for weight loss? We are basically a big chemistry set and most biochemical reactions need an aqueous environment; in other words being properly hydrated. Fat metabolism is one of those processes and correct levels of hydration mean you are ensuring your body is operating optimally, and that includes fat metabolism. Obviously from a weight loss perspective there are numerous other things to consider for optimising weight loss. Water and fluid intake is an easy one to sort out though. It doesn’t cost you anything and is fairly easy to monitor. It’s interesting, but when I get client’s to hydrate properly they often report having better energy levels. Well if you have more energy, you are likely to be more active so more kcal’s burnt. This is just what is required for efficient weight loss. It’s time to fill up your water bottle now.
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