How much Water Drinking per Day Is Optimal (to lose belly fat)?
Water is perhaps the most underestimated nutrient when it comes to weight loss and weight loss. Of course, a long-term caloric deficit is necessary for weight loss, but drinking enough water daily is extremely important if you want to lose weight successfully.
The importance of drinking water cannot be emphasized enough. Unfortunately, most people do not drink enough water. A person can weeks without food, but only a few days without water. Water plays a crucial role in almost every vital physical function.
What you will learn about drinking water in this article is:
- How many liters of water you should drink per day
- Whether you can lose weight faster with water
- Drink countless health benefits of water
- How to prevent water poisoning and dehydration
- Which foods are good for the moisture balance
- 5 Tips for preventing fluid retention
- What you can and can not drink during fasting
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How much water do you have to drink every day?
Around 60% of the human body consists of water. We constantly lose fluid from our bodies through urine and sweat.
Water is essential for good health, yet needs vary by individual.
How much water you need depends on many factors, including your health, how active you are and where you live.
Different authorities often give contradictory advice when it comes to drinking water. The Nutrition Center advises people to drink 1.5 to 2 liters of water.
Different health organizations around the world give other advice when it comes to drinking the number of liters of water per day.
The American Health Authority (IOM) suggests that 3.3 to 3.7 liters of water per day are sufficient for men and 2.7 liters for women. This moisture recommendation includes the water contained in beverages and foods.
In addition to various agencies, you still have health gurus who claim that we have to drink water all day long because otherwise, we run the risk of dehydration.
As with most things, it depends on the individual and there are many factors (both internal and external) that ultimately influence and determine our water needs. Something that I will come back to extensively later in this article.
Drink plenty of water helps with weight loss?
Can you lose weight faster with drinking lots of water? This question is regularly asked to my when I am training clients.
There are several health claims when it comes to losing weight and drinking water. It would increase your metabolism and reduce appetite.
I can be quite short about it: drinking glass of water is a healthy and simple way to lose weight.
Since water is calorie-free, it is generally linked to reduced calorie intake and weight loss. This is mainly because you drink water instead of drinks, which are often full of calories and added sugars.
For that reason, it is also important that children are encouraged to drink water from an early age. In this way, it can be prevented that they are at risk of being overweight.
Several studies have shown that drinking 500 ml of water temporarily stimulates the metabolism by 24-30%.
It is best to drink cold water if you want to lose weight as this creates a greater thermal efficiency. The body has to use extra energy to heat the drunk water to body temperature.
Drinking water about half an hour before a meal also stutters the hunger, so you get fewer calories and lose weight in the long run.
A 3-month study shows that participants who drank 500 ml of water before meals had 44% more weight loss than those who did not.
Advantages of drinking enough water:
- Water quenches hunger
- Water temporarily stimulates the metabolism
- Water does not contain calories as a thirst quencher
- Drinking water causes weight loss
- Drinking water helps the kidneys to remove waste products from the body
- Water is cheap (tap water)
- Water gives you energy (healthy fluid balance)
The answer is clear: drinking enough water can help you lose weight faster, especially when combined with a healthy diet.
Moisture from food
But drinking glass of water is not the only thing that ensures a healthy fluid balance.
You also get moisture from your food inside.
In addition to drinking water, the moisture in drinks and food also helps to keep your fluid balance up to standard. For example, a cucumber is largely water. It consists of more than 90% moisture.
Fruit and vegetables in particular are water-rich food sources. They consist largely of moisture. Meat, fish, eggs and especially fruits and vegetables all contain considerable amounts of water.
You sometimes hear people say that you should not count coffee and tea because it contains caffeine. They mean that these drinks would promote urination. However, this is greatly exaggerated.
The diuretic effect (dehydration) of coffee and tea is in fact very weak. So you do not have to worry that you dry out because you drink a few cups of coffee every day.
Drinking too much water is unhealthy
When do you drink too much water?
A student find out in a dangerous way. He barely survived in 2005 a water poisoning during a greening ritual.
The student drank between 5 and 6 liters of water in three hours. Not much later he collapsed and lay in intensive care for a day and a half.
Not drinking enough water can cause symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness and muscle stalls. Conversely, drinking too much water can lead to water poisoning, also known as water intoxication.
Drinking too much water in a short period of time increases the amount of water in your blood. It dilutes the electrolytes in your blood, especially sodium.
We speak of hyponatremia if the sodium content – as a result of drinking too much water – is lower than 135 mmol / l.
The minerals potassium and sodium ensure a balanced fluid balance in and outside our body cells. When the level drops, due to excessive water use, the fluids move from outside to inside, causing them to swell.
If this happens to brain cells, this can lead to life-threatening situations. Water poisoning results from the swelling of cells. When the brain cells swell, the pressure in the skull increases.
This pressure causes the first symptoms of water poisoning, including:
- A headache
In severe cases of water poisoning there may be:
- Raised blood pressure
- Double view
- Difficult breathing
- Muscle weakness and cramps
- Loss of consciousness (coma)
- Brain edema (fluid accumulation in the brain) can lead to damage to the central nervous system and even lead to death
Normally you do not just get water poisoning. Most cases of water poisoning have been reported among soldiers and participants of sporting events who drank away liters of water.
Water poisoning occurs especially in endurance sports (marathon, cycling). Drinking too much water often occurs in sports that want to avoid the symptoms of dehydration.
The symptoms of hyponatremie (drinking a low sodium content through too much water) can be misinterpreted as dehydration.
The US military has established guidelines after diagnosing wrong diagnoses with soldiers. Soldiers did not die because they were dehydrated, but because of water poisoning as a result of repeated oral hydration.
How much water is drinking too much?
The big question is of course: when do you drink too much glass of water?
Let us first say that everything is poisonous in large quantities, even water.
We speak of overhydration and water poisoning when you drink more glasses of water than your body can handle and the kidneys can no longer drain excess water as urine.
But the amount of water you drink is not the only factor in water poisoning. Also how long you take to drink a certain amount of water is important.
You have a greater risk of water poisoning if you drink a lot of water in your short time. The risk is much less if you drink the same amount of water over a much longer period.
A low sodium level as a result of too much water (hyponatremie) can occur if you drink 3 to 4 liters of water in one go. If you drink something like 5 liters of water in one go, you even die.
The kidneys can process about 5 to 7.5 liters of water per day. However, they can not filter more than 1 liter of water per hour.
Of course, it also differs per person how much water you can drink and in which circumstances you are. A man of 2 meters can drink more water than a woman of 1.60. And you also drink more water on average in the summer than in the winter. All these factors affect the amount of moisture that the human body needs.
How many liters of water you really need
A healthy fluid balance is essential for survival. For that reason, evolution has given us complex mechanisms that regulate when and how much we drink. You can compare it with breathing, we do it without consciously thinking about it. As soon as we become slightly dehydrated our body comes into action: we get thirsty.
A good rule of thumb is to listen to your body and drink when you are thirsty.
The thirsty instinct is very reliable and works fine for the majority of people. After all, our ancestors did not have official drinking advice in prehistoric times.
Despite all guidelines and well-intentioned advice, no one can tell you exactly how much water you need. As I wrote earlier, it differs per person. Some people function better when they drink more water.
If you want to keep things simple (always a good idea), this directive should work for 90% of people:
- Drink two glasses of water if you are thirsty
- If you are not thirsty, stop drinking water
- In warm weather and physical effort, drink more water to compensate for the lost moisture
This rule of thumb must in principle be sufficient to maintain a good moisture balance. Just by the color of your urine, you can see if you have drunk enough water. A dark color may indicate that you have received too little moisture.
Under normal circumstances, healthy adults should drink about 2 liters of water per day.
I do not recommend relying on thirst alone and the color of the urine for certain ‘risk groups’. For athletes, elderly and pregnant women, it is wise to drink extra water. This also applies, of course, to people who are ill and lose a lot of fluid (for example due to vomiting or diarrhea).
Daily fixed drinking moments
If you want to lose weight with water and find a way to maintain your fluid balance, then it is advisable to schedule regular drinking moments on a daily basis.
By that I mean that you do not drink sips all day long, but in a few moments (preferably before a meal) during the day two glasses of water in a row.
Tip: Are you afraid that you will forget to drink water? Set daily fixed alarm times in your phone on which you drink two glasses of water in one go.
In principle, eating is the body’s wear, which makes intermittent fasting so healthy. Fasting intermittently not only causes more fat burning, but it also slows down cell aging. Possibly this also applies to frequent drinking water, although little research has been done about it.
Acid base in balance with water
Have you ever considered that we come into contact with acids and bases every day?
The foods we consume today contain many more acids than the food that our ancestors received.
As a refresher, I tell you first about the pH-value (Latin term for potentia Hydrogenii).
The pH value says something about the acidity in our body. This numerical scale goes from 0 to 14, where 0 is completely acidic and 14 basic (this is also called alkaline). A pH value of around 7 is considered neutral, which is often the case with clean drinking water.
So if you read that something has a high pH value, you actually mean low acidity.
More than half of our body consists of water (roughly 60%). As you know, there is water in and around all body cells, where metabolic processes continually take place. When we talk about the acid-base equilibrium, we mean the balance of the pH value of the blood.
The pH value of a healthy person’s blood is around 7.35 and 7.45. The acidity depends on the number of acidic and basic substances in the blood.
However, the body has different pH values:
- Stomach: The stomach is the most acidic area of the body, with a pH value of 1.35 to 3.5. The acid is needed to digest the eaten food.
- Urine: The pH value of the urine can vary widely, from 4.6 to 8
When people talk about nutrition that can influence the pH value of the body, they actually mean the pH value of the blood. For your health, it is important that the PH value of the blood remains in balance.
Now back to the food products that we eat and drink. Especially fast food, soft drinks and an unhealthy diet in general make us sour.
And acidification is unhealthy. It affects, among other things, the immune system and digestion. The result of acidification is that you get all sorts of health problems in the long term.
Certain foods acidify your body, while other foods, such as potassium rich fruits and vegetables, make the body alkaline.
That is why drinking water is so important for a healthy acid-base balance, because with water you dewater (basic).
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Drinking a glass of water good for the skin
Daily drinking several glasses of water is not only effective for losing weight, but it is also important if you want to keep your skin young and tight.
A good moisture balance ensures a better circulation and keeps the elasticity of the skin optimal.
Moreover, it also ensures that waste products are disposed of much faster.
Excessive alcohol consumption, in fact, ensures a drier skin. Alcohol extracts moisture and blocks hormones and vitamins that ensure that your skin does not dry out. The production of collagen is also slowed down, causing wrinkles and coarsening existing wrinkles.
Drinking enough water ensures healthy and hydrated skin and maintaining a healthy fluid balance.
Drinking water during fasting
Intermittent fasting, also known as periodic fasting, is a term for a diet that is aimed at fasting, in which you limit the time in which you consume food to a number of hours.
Short periods of fasting provide optimal fat burning because your body uses the energy storage (fat reserves) of the body during the fast period.
This burns your body fat and you fall off.
Some people wonder if they can drink during fasting? The answer is ‘yes’ if you drink water. Sufficient drinking water is very important during fasting, as long as you do not drink high-calorie beverages. Coffee (such as bulletproof coffee) and green tea is also not a problem because they contain no calories and temporarily accelerate the metabolism.
Bodybuilders who are preparing for a competition and want to get a lower percentage of fat, often drink bulletproof coffee in the morning, whereas they start eating at 4 o’clock in the afternoon.
If you drink coffee, it must of course be black, without sugar or milk. You can use artificial sweets if you want.
Perhaps unnecessary to mention, but avoid all coffee varieties in popular coffee chains such as Starbucks or Costa coffee if you fast or want to lose weight. These are full of milk products and added sugars.
How you can lose water weight (fluid retention)
For most people, excess fluid retention is not a serious health problem.
However, retaining moisture can be extremely annoying and unattractive.
Both men and women can suffer from fluid accumulation in the face, abdomen, feet, hands and other parts of the body.
Your body can hold water for various reasons.
It can be caused by food intolerance, a poor diet or diseases such as kidney failure. Women can also experience fluid retention during the luteal phase of their menstrual cycle and during pregnancy.
Do you suffer from water weight and fluid retention? Do not worry, I’ll give you some simple tips.
First of all, you have to start drinking more water daily. This sounds a bit contradictory, but it is necessary to lose water weight. Let me explain to you why. Your body tries to achieve a healthy balance.
So if you are constantly drying out, for example as a result of drinking too much alcohol, your body will do everything to retain moisture. Drinking enough liters of water every day prevents water retention.
Other well-working tips are:
- Start exercising
- Swallow the dandelion herb (alternative medicine that prevents fluid retention)
- Reduce the amount of salt in your food
- Follow a low-carbohydrate diet
The most important health benefits of drinking water
Except that drinking several glasses of water every day helps with weight loss, there are more health benefits that I naturally do want you to remember.
# 1: Water improves physical performance
If we do not drink enough water, our performance may suffer. In the worst case, we become dehydrated.
You already notice the symptoms of dehydration if you lose 2% of the amount of fluid in the body. This can lead to temperature increase, fatigue and reduced physical and mental effort.
Drinking enough water and staying hydrated can all occur. This is not surprising when you consider that 80% of your muscles are water.
So with intensive efforts, it is important that you drink enough water to perform optimally.
# 2: Drinking more water is good for the brain
A good fluid balance is important for the brain. The brain is strongly influenced by a lack of fluid. Studies show that even mild dehydration (1 to 3% fluid loss of your body weight) can disrupt important brain functions.
For example, alcohol has a strong dehydrating effect. This creates a lack of moisture in the brain in particular. This is the main reason that you have a hangover after drinking a number of alcoholic drinks.
Therefore it is always recommended to drink a lot of water after a night out.
# 3: Drinking water prevents constipation
With constipation or constipation, also known as constipation, we mean a laborious or delayed bowel movement and irregular bowel movements.
Drinking more water is recommended as a component to correct constipation. Drinking less water poses a risk of constipation in both young and older people.
Research shows that soda water (sparkling water) in particular helps well against blockages, although the reason for this is not entirely clear.
# 4: Water drinking helps against headaches
Headache and migraine is terrible. The cause is often not always clear.
But drinking water can help prevent and treat headaches.
Dehydration can cause headaches and migraine in some people.
Several studies have shown that water drinking can relieve headaches in those who are dehydrated
In conclusion, drinking water is a very important thing to our bodies’ health. Not only human, but also all of the organisms need water to survive.
The importance of drinking water for our bodies is paramount to our health, because it makes up to 70 percent of our bodies’ weight. There are four fulfilling benefits of drinking water to our bodies, such as it can speed up our metabolisms, make our skins healthier, lose our weight, and stay alert.
So, we have to consume water as much as we can to keep our body in a good condition.
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