Are you drinking enough water this summer in Houston?

Your body is composed of 60% water. Staying hydrated keep your body functioning properly. Water facilitates the transfer of electrolytes across cell membranes, promotes nutrient and oxygen circulation, and helps your kidney and liver flush out waste and toxins. You are constantly loosing water especially in the hot summer temperature of Houston. When water intake does not match water losses you become dehydrated. Dehydration results in a sluggish metabolism that may put you at risk for weight gain.

Indeed, a study published in 2003, in the journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism, showed that drinking 2 liters of water per day increased the energy expenditure by approximately 100 calories. That doesn’t sound a lot, but over one month this is equivalent to 3000 calories or almost one pound of fat. So over a year you may lose up to 10 pounds. Not all research studies agree on the ultimate effect of increased water intake on weight loss among dieters. However, many people go throughout their day a little or a lot dehydrated without realizing it. Daily total water intake recommendations depend on your age, gender, size, and physical activity… If you are cycling in Houston these days you probably need more water than a sedentary person living in North Dakota. The best way to know that you are well hydrated is by checking the color of your urine. If it is clear or light yellow then you are doing well. If it is darker in color you need to drink more water.

Many individuals feel hungry when in fact they are thirsty. It is difficult for the body to differentiate between hunger and thirst. Quenching your thirst with water before grabbing a snack may save you a few extra calories you would have consumed when not needed. Have a glass of water 20 minutes before each meal. Several studies have shown that you will end up consuming fewer calories. Drink water instead of soda, sweet tea, juice or coffee. For years, I developed the habit of drinking coffee every time I felt thirsty. Coffee is a diuretic. This means that coffee promotes water loss in urine leading to dehydration. Coffee is obviously not a hydration beverage. Worse is drinking sweetened beverages throughout the day ending up with hundreds of extra calories in the form of simple sugars. The best beverage to drink is simply water. To stay hydrated, I keep a glass of water on my desk at work, and I sip on water throughout the day. When I workout I always carry with me at least 2 large insulated sports bottles of water. Before I go for a workout, I drink a cup of water and when I wake up in the morning a drink a cup of water before breakfast. You can add a fruit like a banana or an apple to replenish your electrolytes during intense workout but remember the best hydrating fluid is water.