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Future Health

Water Helps Shed Pounds

November 21, 2016 

Medical professionals have long recommended that people who are trying to lose weight should stay hydrated, but until now they have not had the research to back up that advice.


Two out of three Americans are overweight or obese. Researchers now can show the correlation between obesity and hydration. But the amount of water needed for hydration varies from person to person depending on factors such as body volume, body weight, age, activity level, and climate.


There is no definite test of how hydrated you are, but some obvious signs of dehydration are if you a thirsty, your urine is dark, or you crave salty foods.


Benefits of staying hydrated:

  • Makes you feel more full
  • Helps your heart pump blood more efficiently to muscles
  • Allows muscles to function more efficiently


The explanation behind why staying hydrated may help obese people eat less food is simple: the mechanism of the body for feeling hunger and thirst are similar, so when they think they are hungry they often are really thirsty. Some individuals eat when they should drink, and once they eat they do not feel the need to drink.


Another explanation could be that people who are heavier tend to need more water to stay hydrated. Water requirements vary among individuals based on body weight, metabolic rate, and body volume.


A third reason that less hydrated individuals might have a higher Body Mass Index is because less water intake has been linked to lower mental functioning and emotional stability, which may lead to binging on food for comfort or coping.


A final reason may be that adequate intake of water combined with physical activity may help increase fat oxidation, or the conversion of fats to energy.


In one study there was a direct correlation between the amount of water in the urine, which indicates hydration, and BMI. The researchers found that individuals who had BMIs over 25 were more likely to be less adequately hydrated and were more likely to be obese.


Education on proper water consumption and reduction of sugary beverages may be the key to lowering obesity levels in the United States, which currently cost over 0 billion a year according to the Harvard School of Public Health.


A few good ways to make sure you are adequately hydrated is to make sure you drink 8-12 ounces of water every two hours, and make sure you include in your diet fruits such as watermelons and apples and green vegetables that contain water.


For fluid intake, experts recommend that you stick with water because alternative drinks are not as effective for hydration. Your body has to break down the ingredients of the drink to produce water, so water is the most efficient method to hydrate.


So the next time you start eating, make sure you are properly hydrated first so that your body is not tricked into focusing on hunger when you are actually thirsty.