As a registered dietitian who regularly meets with clients to help them reach their goals, there are certain aspects of health that must be addressed. These include nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress, and hydration. I ask every single client I meet how much water they are drinking because it is so important for overall health! This post will cover why hydration is so crucial in the first place, the benefits of hydration, and how it’s especially important if your goal is weight loss.
Why is Hydration Important?
Hydration is extremely important for the human body. Our bodies are made up of 60% water, and every single cell in our bodies requires water to function. Hydration also involves electrolytes, which are minerals that carry an electrical charge that delivers nutrients to cells, assist in pH regulation, and more. Not drinking enough water or running low on those necessary electrolytes can lead to dehydration, which can cause fatigue, impaired brain function, headaches, poor mood, and so much more. For these reasons, good hydration is an essential pillar of health and wellness.
What Does Water Do In the Body?
Water plays many roles in the body. Water helps maintain certain conditions needed for everyday living, including temperature regulation and fluid/electrolyte balance. Water also helps protect and lubricate interior and exterior organs, such as the eyes, nose, mouth, plus other tissues and organs. Water is essential to the digestive process, assisting with breaking down food particles for digestion, helping to dissolve minerals and other nutrients for absorption, and aiding in waste excretion. Finally, water flows through your body to carry oxygen and nutrients to the cells.
What are the Benefits of Hydration?
There are many benefits of hydration.
- Adequate hydration is essential to keeping your brain functioning normally - even mild dehydration can lead to brain fog and poor mood.
- Drinking enough water helps keep you regular and can prevent constipation.
- It can also decrease your risk of kidney stones, since more water flowing through the kidneys dilutes the concentration of minerals, making it less likely that the minerals will crystallize and form kidney stones.
- Physical performance is also strongly impacted by hydration - those that are dehydrated may feel more fatigued and less motivated.
- Optimal hydration can help prevent headaches and migraines. Next time you get a headache try drinking a glass of water with Ultima before popping some ibuprofen.
How Are Hydration and Weight Loss Connected?
Hydration supports weight loss goals in a variety of ways. Firstly, drinking enough water helps you physically feel more full. Also, sometimes we mistake thirst for hunger, so drinking enough water can help prevent unnecessary snacking. There is even some evidence to suggest that increasing water intake may slightly boost your metabolism, meaning you’ll burn more calories daily. This is especially true if you drink an ice-cold glass of water in the morning since your body needs to work a little harder to raise its core temperature. Being cognizant about hydration is also a healthy lifestyle behavior that can cause a ripple effect that leads to other healthy behaviors, like walking or choosing an apple over chips.
How Can Dehydration Affect Weight Loss?
Hydration and weight loss go hand in hand. In the short term, being dehydrated may seem to support weight loss goals, since you may be a pound or two lighter on the scale. However, dehydration is actually the enemy of weight loss! Not being adequately hydrated can result in lower energy levels, mood, increased snacking, and being “backed up” for too long. All of these can actually hinder weight loss efforts.
How Do We Adequately Hydrate?
A good rule of thumb for anyone is to drink half their body weight in ounces of water daily. So for someone who weighs 150 lbs, they should drink 75 ounces of water. However, hydration requirements for very active people are higher, since we can lose up to 10% of water weight through sweat. Individuals should drink an additional 16-24 ounces two hours before exercise, about four ounces every 15 minutes during exercise, and replenish with at least another 16 ounces with Ultima after exercise.
How Can Ultima Help You Reach Your Goals?
Ultima is an amazing product to help you reach optimal hydration and support weight loss goals. It contains six different electrolytes and trace minerals, has no added sugar, and tastes amazing. It’s obviously great for easily replenishing electrolytes. But for those that find plain water boring, it’s a great way to add some excitement to hydrating. The hydration packets provide a convenient option for on-the-go or travel, and the tubs are great to use at home. You can add Ultima to plain water or combine it with fresh herbs and citrus for an even more delicious beverage. Cheers!
Hydrating Spa Water
16 oz filtered chilled water
1 scoop or stick Ultima Replenisher Lemonade Flavor
3-4 mint leaves
3 lemon slices
3 lime slices
Combine all ingredients in a large glass and stir until well incorporated.