Drink Water All The Time

Many people ask themselves, “How much water should I drink?”  The Life Plan gives the answer to this question.

One of the key factors to my personal fitness success isn’t just my workouts or optimizing my hormone levels. Instead, I have been able to meet my goal of slimming down to a new level by drinking lots of water.

Water has long been one of the best aids for weight loss and dieting–but only in recent years has it been getting the recognition it deserves. Even though it contains no nutrients, it works with other molecules in the body to suppress appetite, reduce sodium buildup, and help maintain toned muscles. What’s more, water actually helps improve the metabolism of stored fat and turn it into fuel, which helps your liver accelerate its fat-burning speed even further. Drinking water also promotes kidney function, helps you maximize your enzymes/hormones and eliminate waste and toxins ( keeping your skin healthy), and, somewhat counterintuitively, stops fluid retention.

When we are properly hydrated our heart and blood vessels work much better, along with all our other bodily functions–– we think better, our strength and endurance are better, we feel better we are healthier, and we will live longer. Without proper hydration, cells cannot pass along any substance that isn’t water-soluble. Not surprisingly, degenerative disease and aging begin when you don’t get enough water daily. Add Poor Nutrition to that and you’ve got the makings of arthritis, gout, clogged arteries, cancer, and cognitive decline.

It’s also difficult to believe that 70 to 90 percent of your water intake comes from food, yet we still need to drink even more. You don’t have to take my word for it. At a 2011 meeting of the American Chemical Society, scientists reported the results of a study that revealed drinking two eight-ounce glasses of water before meals would enable people to consistently lose weight. Subjects who drank water before meals three times per day lost an average of five pounds more than those who didn’t up their water intake.

The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (JCEM) found that drinking water can also increase a body’s metabolism, helping burn energy in a process called thermogenesis––the calculated energy expenditure that would be required for the water to heat from room temperature to body temperature. According to the survey, people who drank 500ml (two cups) of water increased their metabolic rate by 30 percent, with the increase beginning within the first 10 minutes and reaching its peak after 30 to 40 minutes, and stayed in effect for an average of one hour. This was attributed to thermogenesis.

Adequate hydration has the added benefit of helping us eat less by giving us a satisfied feeling.

Your Ability to exercise at full capacity is directly dependent on adequate hydration. If you are as little as 1 percent dehydrated (1.5 pounds in a 150-pound person), all body functions suffer, and you will have a 10 percent decrease in your aerobic capacity. To make sure you’re adequately hydrated, you should try to drink one-half ounce of fluid per pound of body weight daily. For example, I weigh 185 pounds. That means that I need to drink 92 fluid ounces––11 cups–– of water every day. And don’t forget to drink between 8 and 16 ounces of water for every hour of exercise you’ve completed immediately following your workout.

You’ll be able to accomplish this by drinking small amounts of water throughout the day. For example, drink one tall glass full before you have your first cup of coffee in the morning and drink 1 to 2 cups of water 30 minutes before you exercise. Drink a half cup (about three large gulps) every 15 minutes during exercise and 1.5 ups to 3 cups over a one-to two-hour period after you finish exercising. When I really focus on dropping body fat and training hard. I carry around a one-gallon jug of water, and I try to consume most of it every day. The best way to tell that you are getting enough fluids is that you should have to make frequent trips to the bathroom, and your urine will be clear, except for when you first go in the morning.

Unfortunately, few beverages work as well as pure water. A few squirts of lemon juice really help make water easier to drink. To mix thing up, you can take you water in the form of sparkling water, tea, or coffee. However the caffeine found in tea and coffee and even in diet sodas, does exactly the opposite of what you want, creating a diuretic effect––meaning it actually results in less water in your body. The same can be said for alcoholic beverages.

I’m also hesitant to recommend increasing your coffee intake because of the caffeine. I know that many people use caffeinated beverages when they are trying to lose weight for the extra energy they provide and their ability to inhibit hunger. But many men are “caffeine sensitive,” which means that not only are they adversely affected by caffeine, it can actually act as a food trigger.

Caffeine interferes with phosphodiesterase, an enzyme that prevents the overproduction of epinephrine. Epinephrine is the “fight or flight” hormone, causing glucose to be mobilized from the liver and an increased production of glucose from protein reserves (your muscle tissue). It spikes your blood sugar and signals your brain that you aren’t hungry. As blood sugars increase, the pancreas is stimulated to secrete insulin in an attempt to bring your blood sugar back to normal. But when too much sugar is removed and blood sugars crash, you’ll feel hunger and quite possibly crave sweets to fight off fatigue and irritability. My advice is: If you have trouble controlling eating and are plagued with intermittent craving for sweets and high-glycemic-index carbs (such as bagels, white bread, and white rice), wean yourself from coffee and see if it helps. My guess it that it will.

My last bit of advice is to can the diet soda. You may think switching a sugary soda option for a diet version is more heart healthy, but research says otherwise. A recent study comparing soda/diet soda consumption with no soda consumption food that subjects who drank diet soda daily had a 61 percent increased risk of stroke, heart attack, or vascular death as compared with those who drank no soda. Even more surprising, the diet soda risk was almost 50 percent greater than the risk of the regular soda. The upshot: Stay away from both––drink water!