Drink up, guys!
Staying hydrated is one of the easiest ways to take care of yourself in all the right ways! Hydration is essential for fat loss, energy, clear skin, and your immune system. Dehydration causes fatigue, slows your metabolism, and promotes unhealthy cravings. Your entire body chemistry and metabolic functions depend on getting adequate hydration. Keep in mind that beverages such as coffee and tea are diuretics that cause you to lose water, which speeds up the dehydration process. When you are thirsty, and use iced tea, etc. as your hydration, it is counter productive. When I sit down with a client during a nutrition consultation, hydration is the first nutrition goal I want them to work towards.
Water and Weight Loss:
You want to be in a position metabolically where the liver is converting stored fat to energy. The liver has other functions, but this is one of its main jobs. Unfortunately, another of the liver’s responsibilities is to pick up the slack for the kidneys, which need a lot of water to work properly. Actually, your kidneys need a lot more water than most people realize. If the kidneys are water deprived, the liver has a double duty assignment. It has to do the work of the kidneys along with its own work. This double time assignment only serves to lower the actual productivity of the liver. It then can’t metabolize fat as quickly as it could when the kidneys do their job with efficiency.
A good guideline is to drink half your body weight in ounces each day (so, a 150-pound person would need to drink at least 75 ounces per day). Keep in mind to increase that number depending on diuretics consumed or if you've worked out. Seem like a lot of boring water? Keep it interesting by adding fruit or mint to your water with an infuser, grabbing some bubbly mineral water, or tossing in an electrolyte tablet for an extra boost on these long summer days coming in hot. Electrolyte and pH=balanced waters are also great at rebalancing your alkalinity, and coconut water contains natural electrolytes to replenish after a workout!
Once the weather turns warmer, many of the foods that come into season are high in water content as well, making them pack a double punch with all the vitamins and antioxidants they contain! Some research shows that water-packed fruit helps rehydrate twice as effectively than a glass of water post-workout! Pineapples, cranberries, oranges and raspberries are all 87% water and easy to throw into a quick smoothie after the gym. Summer on with these 15 hydrating foods that are all at least 90% water, and check out this article for fun ways to incorporate them into your daily:
Green Peppers: 93.9%
Star Fruit: 91.4%
Baby Carrots: 90.4%