If you’re trying to lose weight or eat healthier, drinking a little more water could make a big difference. A recent study found that adults who increased their water consumption by 1% ate fewer calories and less sugar, salt, fat, and cholesterol.
According to researchers at the University of Illinois, drinking 1 to 3 more water glasses a day helped participants cut out 68 to 205 calories, along with the other positive changes. To put that in perspective, you’d have to jog for about 25 minutes or walk for about 45 minutes to burn 200 calories.
For such significant results with so little effort, you may want to try this yourself! Use these tips to help you drink more water and make other quick and powerful changes.
Water’s importance: drinking lots of water is key to health—mostly when you eat a high-fiber diet. Water helps fiber do its work of effortlessly getting rid of waste. Every part of your body depends on water to function optimally, so it’s vital to hydrate all through the day. 2 liters of water/day is the recommended level – but do remember that the fresh vegetables and fruit in the alkaline diet also contribute significantly towards the daily intake.
When you drink enough water, the cells in every part of your body get hydrated through the blood. The skin is the largest organ of your body. The skin needs hydration, even as the impurities and toxins get flushed out at the cellular level.
Drinking the proper amount of water will improve your skin tone, give you tighter skin and reduce puffiness.
The Surprising Link Between Sleep and Dehydration
You probably know that you need adequate sleep and hydration to stay healthy. However, you may not realize how closely the two are connected.
Adults who sleep 6 hours or less each night are up to 59% more likely to be dehydrated than those who get a full 8 hours of sleep. That’s according to a recent study by Pennsylvania State University.
Researchers believe one underlying cause is vasopressin. This hormone maintains your water balance and rises during the later sleep stages. If you miss those hours, your kidneys won’t retain enough fluid.
This is just one example of how fluid intake and sleep affect each other. Find out more about daily habits that can help protect your mental and physical wellbeing.
Drink More Water
Individual needs vary, so the old rule about drinking eight glasses of water a day is just a suggestion that may or may not work for you. Talk with your doctor if you have any questions about how much water would work best.
Use these guidelines to add more water to your diet:
- Carry a bottle. Bring a bottle of water along with you wherever you go. That way, you can take sips throughout the day.
- Add flavor. Plain water can taste great, but maybe you want a little more excitement. Add cucumber slices, ginger, or limes. You could also brew a cup of green tea or drink sparkling water.
- Buy a filter. If your tap water has an unpleasant aftertaste, invest in a filter.
- Eat your water. Many foods have a high water volume. Good choices include celery, cabbage, spinach, broccoli, watermelon, oranges, and strawberries.
- Limit alcohol. On the other hand, alcohol is dehydrating. Most experts recommend up to 1 cocktail a day for women and 2 for men.
- Measure your intake. If you have a hard time keeping track of how many glasses you’ve had, you can use the latest technology or old fashioned methods. Browse online for free apps that will measure your total or use a water bottle with markings on the side indicating the number of ounces.
Other Ways to Make Your Diet Healthier
Staying hydrated isn’t the only easy way to quickly transform your diet. Many minor daily changes add up to a significant impact.
Try these simple strategies:
- Read labels. Processed foods are the most common source of excess sugar and salt. Check the label first.
- Eat more fiber. Fiber fills you up with fewer calories. Indulge in plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
- Enjoy nutritious treats. Speaking of indulgences, you can still satisfy your sweet tooth. Bake an apple with cinnamon and nutmeg or
- Control portions. Diets that are too restrictive can leave you feeling deprived and vulnerable to binging on junk foods when you have a lapse. Stay in control by enjoying smaller servings of the foods you love.
- Cook more. Preparing your food lets you decide on the ingredients. You can modify any dish by using less sugar or salt.
Smart lifestyle choices will help keep your mind and body healthy and fit. Drinking more water is one easy habit of working into your healthy living plan.