This Is How Much Water You Need To Drink For Weight Loss
Losing weight requires a consistent commitment to several lifestyle choices: Eat healthier, exercise more, get 6-8 hours of sleep a night, and drink lots of water. Not only will choosing water over caloric and sugary beverages save you calories, but water is also essential for sharp brain function, keeping your organs working properly, and exercise recovery to name a few important reasons. And if you’re reaching for detox water, it can help boost your metabolism and flush out toxins.
But just hearing that you need to drink “lots” of water can be confusing. For some people that could be the standard eight 8-ounce glasses, but others could need a lot more . We tapped dietitian Jim White, RD, ACSM, and owner of Jim White Fitness and Nutrition Studios, to find out just exactly how much water you should be drinking for weight loss. And while you’re making some changes, be sure to try out any of these 21 Best Healthy Cooking Hacks of All Time.
Role Of Water In The Body
Although we can survive for weeks without food, we cannot survive for more than a few days without water. Body water allows us to regulate our core temperature to get neither too hot nor too cold. Body water is also critical for many body processes, including:
- Lubrication of joints and tissues
- Transportation of nutrients and oxygen
- Helping rid cells of waste
- Aiding digestion
I Drank Half My Body Weight In Water For A Month The Results Were Completely Unexpected
Weve all heard that eight glasses of water per day is ideal for a bunch of different health benefits. Its vital to human survival and over half our body is composed of water. Its been studied and refuted and new claims about the benefits of water are made almost weekly. Ive been told to drink more water for as long as I can remember. Unfortunately, I have never liked water. While that is probably the most classist, privileged thing Ive ever written, its true. As a kid, when I would tell my mother that I was thirsty, shed say, Drink some water, and I would get upset. I saw it as a punishment. Why would I want to drink water when there is so much liquid deliciousness out there? I wanted my water to share space with food coloring, lots of sugar and some bubbles.
As a fat kid, my mom worried about my health and would try to come up with creative ways to get me to drink water, or shed refrain from buying the soda and juice I loved. Most times, all I had to choose from was milk or water. I always chose milk. Even when I was a sweaty mess from playing outside all day, water was not appealing. The only time I remember being excited to drink water and doing so voluntarily was when Id drink it straight from a garden hose in the yard. Yes, it was gross but at the time, especially when I was one of half a dozen kids drinking from that same hose, it was somehow sweet and satisfying.
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How To Calculate How Much Water You Should Drink
: Jennifer Stone, PT, DPT, OCS, Clinic Supervisor
Summer is right around the corner and with it, summer activities, warmer temperatures and an increased risk for dehydration. Here are some tips to help you make sure you are drinking enough fluids to maintain good levels of hydration.
You are probably all aware of the cardinal rule that says adults should drink six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. The truth is, this is an estimate and the actual amount you should be drinking per day can vary quite significantly. There are multiple factors that can impact how much water you should be drinking.
How Much Water Do You Really Need
At the most basic level, you should be drinking enough water every day that you do not show any symptoms of dehydration and that your body is functioning well. There is no exact number for everyone since it varies based on your body, activity level, diet, climate, and more.
Generally speaking, doctors recommend that you get at least 6 cups of water daily at a minimum but most people should be drinking more than that. One easy indicator is urine. Your urine should be fairly frequent and like yellow or clear in color. Darker or smelly urine is an indicator of dehydration and usually indicated you should be drinking more water.
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Plain Water Consumption Varies By Age Race/ethnicity And Socioeconomic Status
- During 20152018, US children and adolescents drank an average of 23 ounces of plain water daily, and US adults drank an average of 44 ounces.
- Among US children and adolescents, plain water intake is significantly lower in younger children, non-Hispanic Black children or Hispanic children , those living in lower-income households, youth whose head of household had less than a high school education , and those who are underweight or normal weight .
- Among US adults, plain water intake is significantly lower in older adults, non-Hispanic Black adults , adults with lower income and lower education, and adults without obesity .
Bottom Line: Shoot For 64 Ounces Of Water
Although everyone has their own individual hydration needs, shooting for 64 ounces is a good place to start. Let your thirst be your guide if you’re still parched after 8 glasses, feel free to drink more .
Another indicator for if you’ve had enough water is the color of your urine: A pale yellow or almost clear color means you are properly hydrated. Anything darker than a pale yellow, and you need to drink more H2O.
“Remember the signs of dehydration: Thirst, dry mouth, headaches, and in extreme cases dizziness and feeling lethargic,” White explains. “Just a 2% dehydration in the body can negatively impact athletic performance.”
There are other factors that could impact just how much water you should be drinking: Sweating more, being outside in the heat, taking certain medications, or drinking alcohol. White recommends to drink one 8-ounce glass of water for every alcoholic beverage you consume, and get plenty of hydrating foods such as watermelon, cucumbers, and celery.
Regardless, a weight-loss program should include around 64 ounces of water more if you’ve got a lot of weight to lose or your program involves a lot of working out. So grab a reusable, BPA-free water bottle, keep refilling it, and sip your way slim.
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What Is Half My Body Weight In Water
The basic equation for determining this is by dividing your body weight in half. So, if you weigh 200 pounds, you would need 100 ounces of water per day if youre not doing anything strenuous. If youre working out, hiking, at a high altitude or outdoors a great deal, youre going to need to add to those 100 ounces.
Why Is It Important To Track Your Water Intake
Tracking your water intake helps you see where you stand compared to your goals. If you are curious where you stand in regards to hydration, consider tracking.
When you know that you’re getting enough water, you realize what experts already know. It helps you feel energized, helps your skin to appear more youthful, and it can help you feel full without adding extra calories.
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What Are The Signs Of Dehydration
Dehydration and its accompanying health problems are particularly risky for people exercising or working in hot, humid weather.
Likewise, being physically active in dry heat means your perspiration will evaporate more quickly, speeding up the loss of fluids and making you more vulnerable to dehydration.
Chronic health problems, such as diabetes and kidney disease, increase your odds of dehydration because of increased urination. Even being sick with a cold can make you less likely to eat and drink as much as you normally do, putting you at risk for dehydration.
While thirst is certainly the most obvious sign of dehydration, your body is actually becoming dehydrated before you feel thirsty. Other symptoms of dehydration include:
The Six Benefits That Drinking More Water And Staying Hydrated Has On Your Body
1. Drinking water can improve focus and cognitive performance.
Dehydration can produce negatively affected your mood and cognitive function. This may be of special concern in the older people, young children, hot weather, or during an athletic performance such as running a race, playing tennis, and other sports that rely on focus and a strong mindset.
In a study by a group of nutritionists who compared age and cognitive function against mild dehydration, the results found: “Mild dehydration produces alterations in a number of important aspects of cognitive function such as concentration, alertness, and short-term memory in children , young adults and in the oldest adults, 5082y. As with physical functioning, mild to moderate levels of dehydration can impair performance on tasks such as short-term memory, perceptual discrimination, arithmetic ability, visuomotor tracking, and psychomotor skills.”
When you’re taking a test or studying for an exam, make sure to have water at reach so you can stay focused and accomplish your goals.
2. Drinking water can help you lose weight by lowering total energy intake or altering metabolism.
Drinking water may promote weight loss. In a study conducted by researchers at the Obesity Society, they tested for “associations between absolute and relative increases in drinking water and weight loss over 12 months.” Data was collected from “173 premenopausal overweight women who reported l/day drinking water at baseline.”
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Will I Lose More Weight If I Drink More Water
If you replace a caloric beverage with water, then you will consume fewer calories. This could help you lose weight gradually, even if you changed nothing else in your diet. Suppose you stop drinking one 20-ounce bottle of root beer and replace it with 20 fluid ounces of water. Savings = 250 calories per day = 1750 calories per week = 7500 calories per month = two pounds per month!
Even if you simply add water to your daily intake, you might benefit from enhanced weight loss if drinking water prevents you from overeating.
Factors To Consider With Water Intake:
Before we get into how much water you should drink, it’s important to recognize that there are many factors to consider, meaning it’s hard to pinpoint a one-size fits all equation.
- Sex: Recommended water intake levels depend largely on body size, muscle mass and sex. Males typically require more fluids than females because they tend to have less fatty tissue, although studies show that females may have better water intake patterns than males.
- Body weight: Typically, the greater a persons weight is, the more water they will require to be properly hydrated. It has also been shown that higher overall consumption of water and water containing foods, such as fruits and vegetables, may help in weight management.
- Climate: Living in a hot or humid climate, or at a higher altitude can require consuming more water. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention , drinking water is one of the most important things you can do to prevent heat exhaustion.
- Activity: Anyone who works out on a regular basis should drink more water than someone who’s sedentary. Not upping your fluid intake to match your exercise schedule can lead to some unpleasant consequences, especially in warmer weather.
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How Much Water Should You Drink Based On Your Weight
The old formula one size fits all seems to be outdated in the current scenario. Currently, the size, weight, activity level, or area of living can influence your water need. In general, you should try to drink between half an ounce to an ounce of water per day for each pound you weigh. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds you should drink between 75 to 150 ounces of water a day. If you live in a hot climate and exercise a lot, you need to drink around 150 ounces of water. Alternatively, if you live in a cold climate and lead a sedentary life, you would require less water.
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine have recommended daily fluid intake for healthy individuals living in a temperate climate, which is:
- Around 15.5 cups of fluids for men
- Around 11.5 cups of fluids for women
There is a quick way to check if you are dehydrated or not:
- If the urine is clear or very light yellow and has little odor, you are well-hydrated
- The darker and more aromatic the urine, the more dehydrated you are
- You do not feel thirsty, you probably are well hydrated
More For Men Than Women
“The adequate intake for men is about 2.7 liters of fluid per day and 2.2 liters for women, because women have more fat mass than men which does not require water,” said Monica Heather Auslander, registered dietitian. “The adequate intake is defined by the IOM as the amount generally accepted to meet most healthy peoples’ needs. Water needs vary greatly from person to person and should be adjusted for age, gender, weight, body fat percentage, any medical/metabolic conditions, exercise, and external temperatures.”
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Your Workouts Improve On A Cellular Level
“In terms of fitness,” says Kara Griffin, a personal trainer, holistic nutritionist, and health coach, “water is the key to healthy, well-functioning cells. So drinking enough is going to help with exercise on a cellular level.” Studies have shown dehydration most negatively affects endurance exercise, so make sure you are hydrated during a long run.
Proper hydration also helps you maximize workouts just don’t down your entire water bottle immediately before your sweat session. “Strength and power workouts are less affected by dehydration, but studies have shown some detriment to or lack in performance. Staying hydrated will increase performance across all exercise forms, but chugging water before a workout can not only cramp you up but also make you feel more sluggish and less focused on the task at hand. Drink a glass of water 20 to 30 minutes before your next workout, and take little sips throughout to get you closer to your personal peak performance.”
Additionally, water helps your body maintain and regulate its energy stores. “You need water to bond to glycogen to create an energy reserve in your muscle ,” adds Drew Logan, fitness expert and author. “Without water, you are less capable of storing energy because there is less oxygen in the muscle, less blood flow when you’re dehydrated, and less delivery and bonding of glycogen to create the energy needed.” In other words, drink up to power up.
How Do I Maintain A Healthy Water Percentage
Getting enough water depends on the food and beverages you consume each day. The ideal amount of water you should consume varies greatly, depending on factors such as age, weight, health, and activity level.
Your body naturally tries to maintain healthy water levels by excreting excess water in urine. The more water and fluids you drink, the more urine is produced in the kidneys.
If you dont drink enough water, you wont go to the bathroom as much because your body tries to conserve fluids and maintain an appropriate water level. Too little water consumption raises the risk of dehydration and possible harm to the body.
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Body Water Percentage Charts
For the first few months of life, nearly three-fourths of your body weight is made up of water. That percentage starts to decline before you reach your first birthday, however.
The decreasing water percentage through the years is due in large part to having more body fat and less fat-free mass as you age. Fatty tissue contains less water than lean tissue, so your weight and body composition affect the percentage of water in your body.
The following charts represent the average total water in your body as a percentage of body weight, and the ideal range for good health.
Water Input And Its Regulation
Water input comes from food and beverage ingestion, and normal metabolic processes . There are regulated or physiological and non-regulated factors that influence water intake and fluid balance. The thirst sensation is triggered with a body water loss of 12% a range where physical and cognitive performance may decline . Typically, plasma osmolality is tightly maintained between 280290mOsm/kg however, an increase of approximately 13% creates a drive to drink .
Fluid water intake generally accounts for ~7080% of total water consumed , and ~2030% of total water intake comes from solid foods . In a typical sedentary adult, this represents ~7 cups from beverages, ~3 cups from foods, and ~1 cup from normal metabolic processes . Despite popular myths, coffee can be considered a source of fluid , and although alcohol may increase fluid losses short-term, it is not believed to result in significant water loss over a days time .
When fluid is consumed, osmoreceptors in the mouth are stimulated, which reduces AVP secretion. This allows the kidneys to release excess water, and preserve water balance. If plasma osmolality decreases and blood volume increases, the thirst sensation fades. The desire to drink may cease before achieving water balance , however plasma osmolality will remain elevated and thirst sensations may return until water homeostasis is achieved .
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