I mean water, of course! I was reminded of the importance of water recently.
I've started working with a new trainer and he asked me if I drink enough water… "Of course I do!" I thought…
Until I started tracking it. At which point I found that I averaged 1.2 litres, far short of the 3 litres, my trainer was expecting.
So my questions to you:
Studies have shown that a decrease in water will cause fat deposits to increase, whilst an increase in water intake can actually reduce fat deposits. It is not clear exactly why this happens but the thinking is that a reduction in water decreases the efficiency of the kidneys. This results in some kidney functions being shunted to the liver. One of the liver's primary functions is to metabolise stored fat into usable energy for the body, but because it is too busy doing the kidneys' job, the liver metabolises less fat when you are dehydrated.
Another study found that after drinking about ½ litre of water, the metabolic rates of the study's participants increased by up to 30%. Also the researchers estimated that if a person drank 2 litres a day, they would burn an extra 96 calories.
Yet another study showed that dieters who drank 500 ml of water before meals lost 44% more weight over a period of 12 weeks, compared to those who didn’t.
Convinced yet? So how much should you drink?
I’m aiming for 3 litres per day but then my job / life is probably more physically active than most. I find 3 litres is quite challenging. I recommend that you start by logging a typical day and aiming to increase it by 1-2 glass per day until you're comfortably drinking more than 2 litres.