The Benefits of Staying Hydrated

The Benefits of Staying Hydrated

Maryann Walsh, SlimFast Plan Consultant and Registered Dietitian shares the following advice about staying hydrated.

You may have heard that water makes up about 60% of the human body and that water is crucial to numerous essential bodily functions, and it’s all true! In fact, water consumption can be an important element in your weight loss journey as well.

 

One particular study showed that those who drank two glasses of water prior to each meal had greater weight loss over those that did not consume the water prior to their meal1Another study found that overweight, dieting women who increased their water intake had significant loss of body weight and body fat over a twelve month period2. This means increasing water consumption may very well be an effective addition to your weight loss plan.

So what about daily water recommendations? 8 glasses a day? Half your body weight in ounces? There are many reasonable recommendations out there. The Institute of Medicine provides a general recommendation of 2.7 liters of water per day for women (about 11 cups) and 3.7 liters per day for men (about 16 cups) from both beverages and foods, but most health professionals and researchers agree that the average healthy individual can let thirst be their guide for adequate hydration3.

The key is to drink water throughout the day to avoid thirst in the first place (this is ideal!) or to have water readily available for when thirst hits. Some tips for staying hydrated throughout the day:

  1. Find a snazzy water bottle you’ll want to carry around and keep it with you at work, school or on the go.
  2. Track your water intake on a nutrition tracking app to see just how much you are really drinking.
  3. Fill a pitcher with water to keep in the refrigerator and add your favorite cut up fruit to make your own infused water.
  4. If plain old H2O isn’t your thing, then try unsweetened iced teas or unsweetened flavored sparkling water.
  5. Remember that the food you eat can contribute to your hydration! Summertime favorites like watermelon, strawberries, and peaches can contain as much as 85-90% water.

Need some additional motivation for kicking up your H2O intake? Adequate hydration can contribute to supple skin, improved cognition and mood.  It can also help with joint lubrication and muscle recovery, and improved digestion (and the list goes on!) Plus, drinking lots of water helps you feel full, which makes it the perfect pair to your weight loss journey.

One last thing to note is that athletes and those with medical conditions may have higher or lower water needs, and elderly individuals can often have a blunted thirst sensation, so consult a physician or healthcare professional if you are concerned about your hydration status.

Cheers to having a hydrated summer!

Maryann Walsh, MFN, RD, LDN

 

Studies/ references in links:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2859815/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18787524
  3. http://www.nationalacademies.org/hmd/Reports/2004/Dietary-Reference-Intakes-Water-Potassium-Sodium-Chloride-and-Sulfate.aspx

ABOUT MARYANN

A consultant of the SlimFast® Plan, Maryann is a Registered Dietitian with Bachelors degrees in Biological Sciences and Dietetics and a Masters of Food and Nutrition. She has extensive experience working with clients of all ages and from all walks of life, helping them to achieve their wellness and weight-loss goals.  Learn more about Maryann.