Good hydration is important in so many ways, but do you really need to drink eight glasses of water every day? Drinking more water can help with weight loss, but you might not need eight glasses. This article explains the myths and facts around drinking water and how it helps with weight loss.

Importance of good hydration

Staying hydrated is important. It helps to maintain the function of your body organs, flush out waste products, keep joints lubricated and prevent constipation. But you don’t necessarily need to drink eight glasses of water a day to stay hydrated.

What about weight loss

You may have heard that drinking lots of water helps with weight loss. There is some truth to this, but it is not specifically about drinking more water. There are two important area when it comes to weight loss.

You should replace high calorie beverages with water. Beverages usually don’t fill us up, but they account for an alarming percentage of our daily calories. High calorie beverages include fruit juice, specialty coffee, soft drinks, and alcoholic beverages.

Sometimes a glass of water can help to appease us when we really want a high calorie snack. When you feel like you need a snack (not necessarily hunger, but a need) start with a glass of water. Drink it slowly. Chances are you will not feel like you still need a snack, or maybe a healthier choice will sound better.

What if you don’t like water?

Many women tell me they don’t like water. You can drink an unsweetened herbal tea instead. Or add a little lemon juice, or slices of lemon to your water. Some women find that carbonated water feels more like a beverage when everyone else is having soda, but check the sodium content. I don’t like vitamin water. My feeling is that you are better off with a multivitamin and a glass of water.

Does coffee count?

You may have heard that coffee and tea don’t count towards hydration since they are diuretic. Diuretics make you pee more, so cause you to lose some water. They generally don’t make you lose more than you are drinking so you still get some hydration from coffee or tea. Just remember that specialty coffees and teas can be quite high in calories.Try a herbal tea, if you are looking for more hydration in a hot beverage.

Eating fruits and vegetables

You can actually eat your water. If you are eating several servings a day of fresh, or frozen fruits and vegetables then this counts towards your water intake, so you may not need as much water. Foods like soup also contain a lot of water, just watch the sodium content. For tips on eating more vegetables, check out this article.

Exercising or in a hot climate (or experiencing night sweats or hot flashes)

If you are sweating excessively whether from exercise, being in a hot climate or from hot flashes or night sweats you will need to drink more water.

How to tell if you are drinking enough

Thirst is not always the best indicator of dehydration. It may sound gross, but the colour of your pee is the best indicator of your hydration level. It should be pale yellow. Bright yellow indicates you are dehydrated. Clear indicates you may be drinking too much water.

Your three takeaways are: Snack on fruits and vegetables. Replace high calorie beverages with water or unsweetened herbal tea. Drink enough so that your pee is pale yellow.

If you found this helpful you may want to download my guide to weight loss for menopausal women or join my Facebook group to discuss how better fitness and nutrition helps with symptoms of menopause.