Does Hydration Play A Role in Weight Loss?

Why Water Is So Important for Weight Loss

In a recent Today Show episode discussing the best way to lose 10 pounds, Dr. Natalie Azar puts proper hydration at the top of her list when it comes to weight loss. We hear it all the time, “Drink water to lose weight!” Why is that? Well, it really is pretty simple. Water fills the belly and helps you feel full, even when you aren’t. Did you know that it is common to feel hungry when your body is actually screaming for fluids? It’s easy to confuse hunger for thirst and water is great for quenching any real hunger pangs. It’s a win-win.

If you want to get more scientific, look no further than the Annals of Family Medicine. Not too long ago, they released a groundbreaking study that confirmed the effectiveness of hydration for weight loss. The study was comprehensive, looking at nearly 10,000 adults between 18 and 64 years old. They measured the body mass index (BMI) of these participants who were categorized as obese or not and their urine osmolality to determine hydration levels. Here’s what they concluded:

“We found a significant association between inadequate hydration and elevated BMI and inadequate hydration and obesity, even after controlling for confounders. This relationship has not previously been shown on a population level and suggests that water, an essential nutrient, may deserve greater focus in weight management research and clinical strategies.”

Water just might be the secret weapon to weight loss.

How Much Water Is Enough?

A CNN article featured Dr. Tammy Chang, an assistant professor in the department of family medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School. She says, “Water consumption is not an ideal measure of hydration. The amount of water it takes to stay hydrated depends on your body size and many factors like your activity level and the climate you live in.”

We believe this wholeheartedly, so much so, we built our business on it. Drinking 64-ounces of water may be easy to remember, but it isn’t accurate. A larger person needs more water than a smaller person. An active person needs more water than a sedentary person. A person working outside in 100-degree heat will need more water than someone working in an air conditioned office. Everything from activity level and traveling to climate and medical conditions can influence how much water someone needs throughout the day.

Related: How Travel Changes Your Hydration Needs

Related: Drinking Alcohol and Its Effects on Hydration

If you want to stay hydrated to optimize weight loss (and feel better), you’re going to need to know what hydration means for your particular body. That’s where technology can help. A smart water bottle keeps track of your fluid intake for you so you don’t have to count ounces, look at your urine color, or worry whether you’ve had enough. Our smart water bottle comes with a cap that uses sonar technology to accurately measure how much fluid you’ve consumed, down to the smallest sip.

That information is then sent to our mobile app to be combined with your personal data, such as gender, height, weight, location and climate. Users can also input their activity throughout the day or integrate a fitness tracker, such as a FitBit, to automatically track activity 24-hours a day.

The information is constantly being updated and the app sends the user hydration recommendations and reminders when it’s time to drink. With all of the calories, fat, carbohydrates, protein and sugars you’re likely counting, isn’t it nice to know you don’t have to count the ounces of water you’re drinking all day?

Related: Who Needs A Smart Water Bottle?

A note about water intake. You may believe you don’t need a smart water bottle because you plan to just drink as much water as you can tolerate. This isn’t a good idea. In fact, it can be dangerous. Overhydration is often called water intoxication or hyponatremia. When you take in too much water, it upsets the electrolyte balance in your body. This causes a cascade of problems, such as confusion, nausea, vomiting, and even seizures, coma and death.

Beyond Water for Weight Loss

Most nutritionists and weight loss experts will tell you to begin your day with a glass of water. This gets your metabolism going and hydrates your body after a night of fasting. Reach for higher protein, low carbohydrate breakfast items as your blood sugar peaks in the morning and adding sugars (even in the form of carbs) raises it even more.

There are other ways to get your water besides drinking it, however. Plenty of foods contain high amounts of water, such as cucumbers, celery, raw broccoli and carrots, apples, watermelon, and tomatoes. Soups and broths are also good options. Incorporating 5-8 servings of fruits and vegetables a day is a great way to not only get the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy, but they keep you satiated so you aren’t as inclined to snack on unhealthy foods.

Sweeter fruits and vegetables are smart options when you get a sweet tooth. Instead of reaching for baked treats or ice cream, for instance, try a ripe peach or a baked apple with cinnamon. When you feel like something salty, reach for salty nuts or crunchy vegetables sprinkled with chili powder and lime instead of a bag of chips.

Protein and fiber are also important for weight loss as they help you feel fuller for longer than simple carbohydrates and sugars. Complex carbohydrates, such as quinoa, contain lots of fiber and protein so unless you have a medical condition where you cannot eat grains, be sure to include them into your diet. You can get your protein from plants, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds, and whole grains and/or animal sources. Choose lean proteins, such as fish and chicken as these have less saturated fats and cholesterol.

It’s little changes like these that can help you lose weight faster than you may think. Just be sure you look at hydration not as a sidenote to your diet plan but as its foundation. It’s not just another theory or fad, it’s science.

Tags: health equation, hydration, nutrition, smart water bottle, trago, water, weight