Improper hydration is not usually the first thing you think about when determining why you have gained weight. While your diet, stress level, lifestyle, physical inactivity and heredity are large factors in weight gain, adequate hydration does play an important in keeping the weight off.
Grabbing a quick cup of coffee or a sugary drink or soda are common habits for many people. What you may not realize is that these drinks actually contribute to dehydrating you further. Drinking coffee, in particular, leads to greater dehydration and fatigue if not supplemented by adequate water or similar healthy drinks throughout the day.
Benefits of Drinking Water
Pure water carries out many important functions in the body. It clears toxins from your system, reduces your appetite, lowers sodium levels, increases your metabolism and assists in maintaining muscle tone.
As you go about your day, you may find yourself feeling hungry, but the reality may be that you are dehydrated and need to drink water rather than eat. Bloating and swelling are also issues for people who are struggling with weight gain. Drinking water actually helps to relieve these issues because it regulates sodium levels and eliminates toxins.
Fat metabolism is also impacted by water. If you do not drink enough water, your kidneys cannot flush out impurities. This, in turn, impacts other organs such as your liver. A liver that is not in optimal functioning cannot properly metabolize fats.
Another challenge brought on by dehydration is fatigue. When you are suffering from low energy, you feel less motivated to exercise and adhere to your exercise routine. Drinking water will help to energize you and keep you active.
Ways to Stay Hydrated
If you suspect that your weight gain may be linked to inadequate hydration, drink more water. Carry a water bottle with you. Instead of gulping water, use a straw and sip small amounts continuously throughout the day. Gulping water allows air to get inside your system, leading to bloating. Sipping small amounts continuously allows your organs to retain water in the amounts necessary to carry out cleansing and elimination functions.
Additionally, if you are someone who does not like the taste of water, replace sodas and caffeinated drinks with healthier beverages. Fresh fruit juice, herbal teas, and water with lemon are all healthy options. Be sure to also replace high amounts of carbohydrates and fats with fruits and vegetables. These foods will not only provide necessary nutrients, they contain water and will add to your daily water intake.
In short, inadequate hydration may be behind some people’s weight gain. Dehydration contributes to a range of factors that keep your body imbalanced and unable to perform its vital functions. The best way to determine if dehydration is the culprit in your particular situation is to make a conscious decision to stay hydrated at all times. Do not wait until you are thirsty to drink water. Drink it regularly and see if it makes a difference for you.