The percentage of Americans on a diet has increased by three percent over the past decade, while obesity rates rose eight percent. Weight loss often gets hindered by slow metabolisms, reduced energy, and poor lifestyle behaviors. Recently, there has been some speculation on the effectiveness of daily water intake for weight loss. Is the solution really that simple? Unfortunately, no.
Water intake plays a key role in weight loss and overall health. It can’t be neglected when you set out to achieve your weight loss goals, and water can even impact how much you eat and your energy levels with exercise. Luckily, we have a must-read article for you.
In our complete water intake guide, we will go over how water impacts weight loss and the ideal daily water goals you should be aiming for. Keep reading on for more information!
Table of Contents
The Importance of Drinking Enough Water
While many might turn to flavored drinks, sodas, or other caffeinated beverages, the importance of hitting your daily water intake cannot be understated. Drinking water prevents dehydration and helps reduce caloric intake. Some other benefits of drinking enough water are:
- Maintaining normal bodily temperatures
- Joint health
- Spinal cord protection
- Waste elimination
Water also encompasses the majority of your body weight, making it even more critical that you get enough water through foods or drinks on a daily basis. Hitting daily water intake goals helps your kidneys, brain, and other organs function properly.
Kidneys help filter waste by urination, and too little water intake can lead to kidney stones and other issues. It also benefits your gastrointestinal system, allowing for more regular and healthy bowel movements.
In addition to bowel regularity, it aids in nutrient absorption. Adequate water intake can help prevent:
- Urinary tract infections
- Exercise-induced asthma
Water also boosts metabolic rates by nearly 30% and helps with alertness and memory. On the contrary, inadequate water can lead to feeling sluggish and increase confusion or anxiety.
Daily Water Intake Goals
Have you wondered, “how much water should I drink?” It comes down to a few different factors:
You should also aim for approximately 80% of your water intake to come from beverages. For most adults between 19 and 50, here are some general water intake benchmarks:
- Men: 13 cups
- Women: 9 cups
- Pregnancy: 10 cups
- Breastfeeding: 13 cups
Breastmilk primarily consists of water, making it essential that women increase their daily amount after pregnancy. Yet, these averages do not include other factors that contribute to dehydration, such as:
- Humidity or hot weather
- High elevations
- Medical conditions or sicknesses
- Alcohol consumption
For example, people who reside in warm climates where temperatures rise above 90°F could require nearly double the amount of water intake. The same concept holds true for illnesses or if traveling to higher elevations. When you exercise, aim for around one cup of water for every fifteen minutes of activity.
Does Water Help With Weight Loss?
Yes, water intake and weight play a key role in your weight loss journey. Drinking water aids in the following weight loss components:
- Suppresses appetite
- Improves metabolism
- Improves ease of exercise
- Improves the efficiency of exercise
Experts predict that around 60% of your body is composed of water, and drinking adequate water can facilitate moderate weight loss. Other factors, including genetics and lifestyle behaviors, also impact weight loss.
Let’s look at the science these experts found to back water’s importance in weight loss. First, water can suppress the appetite by stretching your stomach and giving a sense of fullness.
In one study, participants who drank two glasses of water before meals consumed 22% less food. It also boosts metabolic rates by instigating thermogenesis, although this effect is less pronounced than some other benefits. Proper hydration during exercise maintains appropriate blood volumes, reducing fatigue and helping you have more efficient workouts.
A meta-analysis study performed in 2019 found multiple research articles that showed a positive correlation between water intake and weight loss. On average, the mean weight loss percentage was 5.15%.
Daily Water Intake for Weight Loss
When drinking water for weight loss, how much should you increase your daily rate? In most instances, you should look at what you are drinking. It could be likely that you are drinking enough fluids, just the wrong kind.
Globally, around 1.9 billion individuals are overweight, and sugar-sweetened beverages, along with poor dieting, can be one of the causes. Some examples of sugary drinks you may be getting too much of include:
- Fruit drinks/juices
- Energy drinks
- Sports drinks
- Sweetened water
- Coffee or tea
If you add artificial sweeteners to your coffee, you eliminate some of the key benefits of drinking black coffee. One of the most common associated conditions added sugars are linked to is obesity. Other health risks include:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
- Renal disease
- Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
- Oral health issues (e.g., cavities, tooth decay)
Simply swapping these sugary beverages for plain water helps you target your water goals without changing fluid intake. There has been much confusion over how much plain water you should drink versus total fluid consumption.
While you have already read some baseline measures above, you should aim for 64 ounces of water daily, including from your food. Drinking 64 ounces of water without justification (e.g., exercise, high temperatures) could be too much water.
How To Tell if You Are Drinking Enough Water?
Identifying dehydration symptoms is a quick and easy way to determine if you are drinking enough water. In adults, some of the signs of dehydration include:
- Low urine output
- Dark-colored urine
- Dry skin
- Increase in headache frequency
- Heart palpitations
- Decreased blood pressure
- Poor concentration
Dehydration can occur from simply not drinking enough fluids daily. However, other causes of dehydration could be medication use or over-exercising.
Can You Drink Too Much Water?
Yes – you can drink too much water, which also poses several health risks. This condition is also known as water intoxication and involves drinking large amounts of water that dilute electrolytes and reduce blood sodium levels.
When sodium levels within cells drop too low, it causes swelling, leading to impaired brain function. Some of the first signs are headaches and vomiting.
However, more severe cases could impact your central nervous system, resulting in severe confusion, difficulty breathing, or high blood pressure. Typically, water intoxication occurs with extreme exercise and over-compensation with fluids. It is also important that if you want to promote weight loss, you follow medical guidance and direction.
Best Times To Drink Water
The obvious answer here is that it is more important that you drink enough water versus trying to be nit-picky about when you drink. Yet, there are some periods of the day where it is essential, such as:
- Right after you wake up
- Before meals
- When you have headaches
- During exercise
- Before bed
Right after you wake up, many people reach for coffee over water. Coffee still counts toward your daily water goals, but it should not be the first thing you reach for.
Your body is slightly dehydrated after going through the whole night without fluids. Rehydrating with plain water first can jumpstart your day and help you feel more energized and focused.
If you participate in intermittent fasting plans, you should never limit your water intake. During your non-eating hours, you should still consume water. Intermittent fasting also allows for black coffee and tea when you are not eating.
Is Water Enough for Weight Loss Goals?
Ultimately, drinking enough water should be a component but not the primary piece of weight loss. It is an excellent tool that can boost your energy, metabolism, and satiation, but it should also be combined with healthier lifestyle choices, eating behaviors, and exercise.
Many individuals resort to crash dieting or supplements for weight loss. Even weight loss medications come with several risks and side effects and are usually a last-resort option. Medical experts suggest these changes for first-line obesity or overweight treatments:
- Adopting consistent exercise programs
- Improving how and what you eat
- Adopting healthy behavioral changes
Additionally, you should avoid over-the-counter supplements unless directed by a qualified and reputable medical professional. Instead, if you have difficulties with consistent and healthy weight loss, you may need a medical weight loss program.
What Is a Medical Weight Loss Program?
Medical weight loss programs are supervised programs helping you lose weight and develop healthy habits and lifestyle patterns. A high-quality and reputable medical weight loss program will employ qualified professionals, lifestyle coaches, and provide health and wellness education.
You will also receive access to continual support and guidance, ensuring you are not losing too much weight weekly. Medical professionals will monitor weight loss and adapt programs to fit your unique needs.
The best medical weight loss program is also safe. There are many diets that promote fast weight loss, but it can lead to long-term weight gain and several health issues that make it harder to lose weight long-term.
A general guideline is that it is safe to lose one to two pounds weekly. This may change based on your body composition, fat percentage, lifestyle, and more. Medical professionals ensure long-term weight loss and maintenance versus short-term gains, meaning you will have to exercise patience and trust in the program you choose.
For that reason, it is crucial you communicate and discuss these programs with your primary healthcare provider. Medical weight loss programs should also help you with:
- Stress management
- Injury or illness
All these factors can stunt weight loss and make it challenging to keep the weight off long-term. Ask about online or in-person support to help you over hurdles you may encounter during your weight loss journey.
Lastly, inquire about costs related to tests, therapy sessions, medications, supplements, and meal replacements. Upfront costs are likely higher than other dieting programs, but they will provide more support, guidance, and healthy meal replacements.
What Leads To Long-Term Weight Loss Goals?
Drinking water for weight loss is one tool that can lead to long-term weight loss goals and a healthier lifestyle. It eases the burden on your organs, improves brain function, and helps cellular function. Researchers have found two primary reasons people achieve long-term weight maintenance, including:
- Goal setting
- Continuous monitoring
These were also backed by sustained motivation and overcoming challenges that will likely arise during your weight loss journey. There are instances where you might plateau or feel like you aren’t shedding the extra pounds as you would like.
This is where it is important that you have several long-term goals that include healthy lifestyle behaviors. Ultimately, everyone’s body composition is different, and you need to set realistic expectations while staying motivated.
One way you can remain motivated is through lifestyle coaches. These professionals help you look at all the facets of your life that contribute to health and wellness, like work, relationships, hobbies, and sleep patterns.
If you undergo extreme stress from a job change or breakup, lifestyle coaches help you work through these problems, set goals, and remain optimistic.
Start Improving Your Daily Water Intake
Can daily water intake for weight loss lead to long-term success? In short, yes, but there are more pieces to the puzzle outside of water. First, it is vital that you drink enough fluids throughout the day.
Some may argue it is more important what you drink, including plain water, black coffee, or tea. Sweetened beverages can add calories and sugars to your daily caloric goals and make it harder to shed pounds.
Ultimately, you need UnCraveRX. Are you ready to get started with your weight loss journey? Find a provider at UnCraveRx today and start seeing the difference!