The Most Forgotten Lean Body Nutrient

There are many lifestyle changes that go along with the decision to get healthy and lose weight. For example, a new diet that consists of a lot of vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats replaces the processed carbs. Also, sitting around is no longer an option, as there are weights to lift and intervals to sweat through. However, an element of fat loss that is rarely spoken about, but can have a drastic effect on weight loss, is water.
Just like protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals, water is a nutrient. Approximately sixty percent of our body is composed of water and it is essential for just about every function in the body including maintaining body temperature and transporting other nutrients. Water is so important that even a three percent loss will result in decreased performance of the body and death occurs when the losses reach seven percent. In addition to these vital purposes, water also plays an important part of many processes that cause and support fat loss.
First of all, burning calories requires an adequate supply of water to operate effectively and dehydration will significantly decrease fat metabolism. Also the chemical reactions that occur during metabolism produce many toxins, water removes these from the body. Water is required by the muscles and joints to move properly and without pain and is a main component of blood, which carries oxygen and nutrients to these working structures. Therefore, dehydration can severely decreases the ability to exercise intensely and expel energy. In addition, water can aid in satiety (feeling full) when included with meals resulting in eating less and assisting in creating a negative calorie balance.
The most common, blanket recommendation for water consumption is sixty-four ounces (eight, eight ounce glasses). An individualized recommendation is to drink, in ounces, half of one’s bodyweight, in pounds, per day. However, these recommendations are for those at rest in a controlled climate as exercise and heat can easily double the body’s hydration needs. A minimum of eight extra ounces will need to be consumed for every fifteen to twenty minutes of intense exercise and all recommendations, both at rest and during activity, should increase by fifty percent in higher temperatures.
Ingesting the amount of water needed for optimal weight loss and healthy functioning will require daily conscious attention. Just as breakfast is extremely important to break the overnight fast and jump start the metabolism, consuming at least one glass of water (and preferably two) immediately upon waking will greatly impact everyday hydration. There are many tips on ensuring adequate water intake through the rest of the day such as drinking a glass at every transitional point during the day (i.e. leaving the house, arriving at work, every meal, etc.), drinking a glass every hour during the work or school day or drinking a glass after every trip to the restroom. The key is to find a system that works within your lifestyle and focus hydration around workouts (one glass fifteen to thirty minutes before, one glass every fifteen minutes during and two to three glasses after).
Water is an essential nutrient for weight loss. This zero calorie beverage is an important part of fat metabolism and burning calories as well as improving feelings of fullness during meals. Building a routine to drink an adequate amount of water throughout the day with focused replenishment surrounding physical activity is a fundamental lifestyle change to achieve the lean body you desire.
 

Omar J. Nasouri

Omar has been a personal fitness trainer and weight loss consultant since 1997. He is currently certified through the NSCA as a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and holds a Bs degree in Kinesiology (emphasizing in fitness, nutrition and health) from SDSU. If you're interested in personal training in the San Diego area, visit Fitness 4 San Diego

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