Body Hydration

Along with balanced nutrition, adequate body hydration is important in helping you lose weight.  Since 60% of your body is water, you need to keep keep watering your body just as you would water plants that you might be growing.  In addition, continuous hydration during the day helps keep your stomach full and can help fend of those hunger pangs until your next scheduled meal.

You will be putting your body through a lot of changes.  Water is critical just for survival even when you aren't making changes in your lifestyle.   Imagine, with the increased activity, how much more water you will need to consume to keep your body properly hydrated.

How Do You Lose Water?

Your body hydration level drops just through its normal biological process:

  • Going to the bathroom
  • Sweating
  • Breathing (that's how your breath fogs a mirror)

When it's hot outside or you increase your body temperature via exercise such as weight training, you lose water more rapidly.   If you get the flu and vomit or have diarrhea (sorry, but I had to bring it up) you can dehydrate in a hurry, too.

Body Hydration

Adequate Body Hydration

The obvious next question is, "how much water do I need to consume each day?"  There is no specific agreement on this.  As you might expect, everyone is different.  Still, there is a general range of 6-10 cups (8 oz. each) of water per day.  This sounds like a lot and it is.  As Lee Labrada suggests in his book, The Lean Body Promise, drink 2 cups of water at each of your five meals.  That's 10 cups.  If that is too much at one sitting, be sure to drink small amounts throughout the day.  In no time, you'll get all you need.

If you are not getting enough, you may feel one or more of the following symptoms

  • Little or no urine, or urine that is darker than usual
  • Dry mouth
  • Sleepiness or fatigue
  • Extreme thirst
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • No tears when crying

Non-water Hydration Sources

Personally and to be honest with you, I've been focusing on drinking lots of water for so many years that there are days that I just can't stand the taste (or lack thereof) of plain water.  I need some flavor.  My fall-back on those days is a sugar free/reduced sugar sports drink.  Gatorade G2 and Powerade Zero are examples.  I always have several bottles at work and at home.   I also like to drink these during a workout.  They help me keep electrolytes that get lost in sweat.   I will always start each day with a 16 ounce glass of water along with my morning vitamin, however.

I have other after-workout beverages that I like, too, such as flavored amino acid/electrolyte mixes that I add to water.   I will cover these on another page. 

In addition to sports drinks, there are fruit drinks, sodas, tea and coffee that all are mostly water.   They all help.  But be cautious with sodas.  The sugar versions should be avoided and the caffeine can be counter-productive because it can make you urinate more frequently.  This goes for coffee and tea, too.

Eat right, exercise and drink plenty of liquids.  Sounds like something your mother would tell you to get rid of a cold, doesn't it.  Seems like Mom was right a lot!!

See you an the next page.

› Body Hydration