In my opinion, no natural resource is undervalued as much as water and nothing will have a greater immediate impact on your energy levels.
Inadequate hydration contributes to lack of energy and your brain will misinterpret this tiredness as a need to eat more food. Stress, air conditioning and different types of jobs and working environments can all affect our hydrations requirements.
Research estimates that 30-40% of us are mildly to moderately dehydrated and need 1ml fluid per calorie of energy we consume. So, if your average daily intake is 1,600 calories, you need to drink a minimum of 1.6 litres of water. Whilst a balanced diet containing lots of fruit and vegetables can provide a proportion of this fluid, it should be balanced with drinking water itself.
Feeling devoid of energy is one of the biggest challenges we face, especially when we are changing our diet. So often we blame lack of food or sleep for our tiredness and reach for an instant sugar fix and energy boost. STOP! Ask yourself, “have I drunk enough water for the body to create the right environment to it's metabolism to work effectively?”
WHY IS WATER IMPORTANT?
Water is crucial to EVERYTHING that happens in our bodies. It is especially important in weight management because it swells food cells and helps our body intake vital nutrients. Water also makes us feel more satisfied with the food we have eaten. It bulks up food, stretching the stomach wall and sending messages to the brain to tell us we’re full.
The water content in our blood helps the absorbtion and transportation of all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals in the body and flushes all the waste products away.
When you make the change to a healthier way of eating, your body will initially produce more toxins, needing to be flushed away with water. Almost two thirds of our body weight consists of water. Every single cell in our body is bathed in it and every action and chemical reaction requiries its presence and yet this vital nutrient in the one we most often overlook.
If you rarely drink water, and instead quench thirst with tea, coffee and colas you are probably in a constant state of dehydration. Not only does this prevent your body functioning optimally, it can also hamper weight loss efforts as fat can only be broken down in the presence of water.
Adequate water consumption is even more important if you regularly drink caffeine or alcohol as these both have a diuretic effect (the cause your body to LOSE water). A study found that drinking 6 cups of coffee a day increased urinary excretion by 750ml – 3⁄4 of a litre! A good rule of thumb is to consume one glass of water for every cup of caffeine or alcohol – and keep these to a minimum. Still, we’re not food heroes and I love starting my day with a cup of freshly ground coffee, but I also know that I love and need water and when I’m dehydrated it’s not just my energy that’s effected but my mood too. Without it, I’m irritable and short tempered so I stay hydrated not just for my energy – but also for my sanity!