There is a strong connection between dehydration and health.
If you’re struggling to lose weight, increase your energy and eat healthier, you may need to drink more water.
Did you make a resolution this past New Year’s Eve to improve your health? If so, you’re in good company. One of the most common resolutions, year after year, is to get healthy and stay fit. However, 92 percent of us who established health goals this past New Year’s Eve will fail. Yikes!
If you feel like you’ve tried everything to finally reach your goals, drinking more water may be the simple step you’re missing that’s preventing you from achieving them.
Here’s a look at the top five most popular New Year’s health goals and how increasing your hydration can help you achieve them:
Dehydration and Health: Is It Impeding Your New Year’s Goals?
According to Gallup, 63 percent of Americans are overweight or obese, and more than half of Americans are trying to lose weight. Year over year, those statistics increase, showing us that although most of us are not at our ideal weight, we are gaining, rather than losing, more each year.
When most of us set out to lose weight, we focus on improving our nutrition, which is, of course, essential to weight loss. But in our haste tossing the cookies from our pantries, buying superfoods and trying to change old habits, we often forget to do what might be the single best way to accelerate weight loss – drink water.
Although not a new recommendation, in July a new study of nearly 10,000 adults ages 18 to 64 showed that staying hydrated and eating more water-loaded fruits and vegetables could help with weight management.
And it doesn’t have to be all about drinking plain water (that’s boring!)
Dr. Barbara Rolls, PhD, who directs the Laboratory for the Study of Human Ingestive Behavior at Penn State University, encourages people to embrace the Volumetrics Diet, an eating plan that focuses on increasing consumption of low energy density, high water content foods like soup. By incorporating more high water foods into your diet, you will feel fuller quicker, and with fewer calories, than with calorie-dense foods.
In addition to headaches, loss of focus and a poor mood, dehydration could be the reason why you’re tired all of the time. If you’re feeling down, unable to focus and just overall blah, you may simply need to drink more water. Most people don’t realize that dehydration can also cause kidney problems and joint pain. And if your joints hurt, you’re exhausted, and you feel like you just want to crawl back into bed, there is probably no way you’re going to set out for a 5k run!
Netting out in third place on this year’s list of top resolutions, exercising more is something most of us know we need to do but aren’t exactly sure how. Remember that it doesn’t have to be complicated:
- Take your dog on a 30 minute walk
- Chase your kids around the playground
- Dance to your favorite music while you vacuum (don’t worry, we won’t tell anyone!)
That all counts as exercise! Tomorrow, try to drink about half your body weight in ounces of water and see if you finally can muster the energy to visit that gym you just joined.
Imagine this: You just walked in the door after a long day at work and an hour commute. You’re starving. You quickly place your computer bag down, go into the kitchen and grab the first thing you can find — maybe it’s crackers in your pantry or cheese sitting on the top shelf of your refrigerator. Before you know it, you’re pretty full. When it comes time for dinner — which is pizza tonight because it’s been a long day — you’re no longer hungry, but you eat it anyway. Now you’re stuffed!
Our bodies often mistake hunger for thirst. You can avoid mindless eating and overeating simply by trying to first satisfy your body with a big glass of water with lemon or some herbal tea.
There are 1 billion smokers in the world, and each year quitting smoking makes the top 10 New Year’s resolution list. Sadly, it can be one of the hardest resolutions to keep – three in five people who set out to quit will start smoking again by the end of January.
By drinking more water, you can:
- Reduce the severity of headaches that often accompany cigarette cravings,
- Calm your nervous system,
- Balance your body, and
- Replace an old habit with a new one all at once.
To start, increase your hydration and incorporate some of these tips on how to outsmart cigarette cravings. You will be well on your way to being one of the two out of five people who are able to finally kick their smoking habit for good.
Be a better person
According to Marist Poll’s annual survey, being a better person was the No. 1 New Year’s resolution this year. For the first time since 2014, it beat weight loss for the top spot on the list.
So how is setting out to be a better person a health goal, and what does water have to do with it?
Think about the last time you felt great (hopefully it wasn’t too long ago!). Maybe you had just left the spa, were on vacation at the beach and were well rested, or took the time to practice some self-care at home. Chances are you were nicer to people throughout the day, kinder in difficult situations, and had more energy to do something thoughtful for someone else. Studies show that if we feel well – our blood sugar is balanced and our mood is elevated – we act well.
“Drink water, stay hydrated and sleep. It’s so boring, yet so simple,” Jennifer Aniston has said.
Drinking more water can make your skin glow, help you feel more energized and might even prevent aging. Doesn’t knowing that make you a happier person already?
Ready to get started?
Need some help drinking 64 ounces of water each day? Pick up one of our stainless steel water bottles and let us know what you think!
What do you think?
So, have you tried drinking more water in order to reach your health goals? Has it helped? Let us know in the comments below!