I posted an article last week about hydration, and we’re going to revisit that topic now. Hydration isn’t just important when you’re talking about survival or strenuous activity, it’s a critical factor of total-body health and weight loss!
We’re going to cover this concept pretty quickly – because it’s actually very simple. You don’t need a formula to determine how much water to drink. You definitely don’t need an app, a light-up water bottle, or any of that other goofy crap.
All you need is to have water close at hand and a desire to treat your body a little better.
Here’s the simplest thing you can do:
- Buy a 1 liter bottle of water (or a bottle of that size that you can fill with water.)
- Cultivate the habit of keeping it with you at all times.
- Fill it up every day and drink it by the end of the day.
- Repeat. You may also want to increase your intake to two of those bottles a day if you’re active or sweat a lot.
Incredibly simple, and it requires no batteries, no math, and no contributions to Kickstarter.
Now I’m going to quickly explain why this little behavior modification is going to be critical to your health, and helpful if you’re trying to get into shape for some high-activity adventuring.
Water helps metabolize stored fat.
If you’re dehydrated – which an alarming number of people are without even realizing it – then your body will have a harder time metabolizing stored fat. Of course, if you’re trying to lose weight, this is a major issue.
Our bodies confuse hunger and thirst.
Sometimes when we feel hungry, we’re actually thirsty. Our bodies have a hard time differentiating between the two, so our urges can get confused. If you train yourself to chug a bit of water every time you feel hungry, you might find yourself fighting off more food cravings and taking in fewer calories.
Water takes up room in your stomach.
Drinking water before (and while) you eat helps fill that void in your belly without adding calories.
Cold water burns calories.
Now you’re not going to burn 1000 calories a day by drinking cold water, but you will be able to burn an extra 100-200 calories a day if you drink a liter of ice-cold water. Why? Your body has to warm the cold water before it can process it, and that requires energy. It might not be a huge bonfire of caloric incineration, but everything adds up in the long run!
Those are just the weight loss benefits! You’re also staving off the creeping effects of mild dehydration which can cause lethargy, headaches, and other unwelcome effects.
I’m going to come clean and admit that I don’t really like drinking water. I grew up drinking soda and that’s a habit that I’ve never broken (although I drink diet soda now.) The way I get around it is by making deals with myself. Once I finish a can of soda, I’m not allowed to open another one until I polish off a bottle of water. Knowing that, the bottle of water is usually gone in a couple of minutes.
Do you have any tips or suggestions related to hydration? I’d love to hear them, so add them in the comments below!