Why is water so important for fat loss? First, let’s look at what role it plays in our body. Water makes up close to 70% of our body, and our organs contain an even higher percentage of water. The liver, for example, is nearly 95% comprised of water.
Water shuttles nutrients throughout our body and helps rid it of toxins. It helps to assimilate the water-soluble vitamins, and it regulates our body temperature. Water lubricates joints, helps with digestion, and promotes healthy skin. There are too many benefits to drinking water to list. It plays a role in every chemical reaction within our cells.
Drinking Water Reduces Water Retention
When your body doesn’t get enough water, it holds onto what it has. Water retention is the result. This is a simple survival mechanism. Your body has a tendency to hold onto and store what it doesn’t think it will get in the future.
Once you start drinking more water, your body recognizes that it is getting a steady external supply, and it starts letting go of the water weight it’s been holding. That water retention in your waist, face, and ankles is released because there is no longer a reason for your body to store it.
Water Makes You a More Efficient Fat Burner
Do you remember that fact earlier that your liver is nearly 95% water? I can’t emphasize how important your liver is to your body. The liver breaks down toxins and removes them from the body.
It stores fat soluble vitamins. And most importantly for the purpose of this article, it has a huge role in carbohydrate, protein, and fat metabolism. Your liver is responsible for breaking down fatty acids and transporting them to the blood to be metabolized.
What does water have to do with the liver? With the liver being so important for fat oxidation, it is imperative that we are keeping it running at 100% efficiency. When you don’t drink enough water, your kidneys, which are also responsible for removing toxins and waste material, cannot fully function. As a result, your liver has to pick up the slack. If your liver has to work twice as hard to remove toxins, fat metabolism is not going to be able to function 100% efficiently.
Studies have shown that just slight dehydration can hugely impact exercise performance. Sometimes being hydrated is the difference between getting those last two reps, putting an extra five pounds on the bar, or running that mile 30 seconds faster.
It may not seem like much of a difference, but that better workout you just had as a result of being fully hydrated, just built you some muscle. In return, that muscle is now burning more fat for you, even while you rest.
How much water should you drink to lose weight?
So make sure you are drinking enough water to support your fat loss goals. Aim for 1 gallon of water a day. If it makes it easier, fill up a 1 gallon jug of water, and make sure it’s gone by the end of the day. This might seem like a lot, but that is only 8 – 16 ounces glasses.
If you drink a glass at each of your five meals, you only have a few left to go, and you can probably knock out the rest during your workout. My family uses the water bottle to the left to sip on throughout the day. You may not be thirsty at first, but as your body starts to let the water go that it’s been holding onto, you’ll notice that you’re thirsty more often.
Add a lemon, lime, or orange slice to your water if you need some flavor. Just make sure you are drinking enough of the most important liquid in the world.