You are made up of approximately 70% water. Our bones, muscles, blood, organs all contain copious amounts of H20. But lets, focus on the the liver for a minute. It is perhaps the most important organ in the body for the breakdown fat. If you are even the slightest dyhydrated your liver will not be able to work at full capacity. Thirst is your body's way of telling you that you are lacking water. By taking in 5-10 glasses of water per day (the 8 glass rule does not really pan out because of differing body sizes, hydration capacities, intake of water dense foods etc.) you can insure the liver is working properly and breaking down fats productively.
Research has shown increases in water intake are directly in proportion to a decrease in high calorie drinks consumed. That being said, I recommend that the bulk of your beverage choices should be either water, unsweetened tea, coffee (no sugar), and a glass of wine or two. Stay away from everything else including:
• Soda - empty calories and tons of sugar and besides it'll rot your teeth
• Diet Soda - the fake sugar tricks your body and may increase your appetite
• Juice - lots of sugar and no fiber
• Smoothies (unless its low sugar and has lots of fiber) - lots of sugar and calories
• Beer - has maltose sugar which surges your insulin more than white sugar
• Sports/Energy Drinks - lots of sugar and chemicals
It is very common to mistake thirst for hunger. Many people think they need to eat when in fact a tall glass of water is what their body craves. Most food contains water, however if you don't have enough fluids your brain may drive you to eat more. Drinking a glass of water prior to a snack or meal can do wonders for curbing your appetite. This has been show to benefit weight loss and prevent overeating.
A common mistake made by many is to limit one's fluid intake to lose weight and/or reduce water retention. By depriving your body of liquids the opposite effect will take place. Water intake stimulates your kidneys which in turn decreases your water retention and in the process burns more calories. Researchers estimate that over the course of a year a person who increases their consumption of water by 1.5 liters per day will burn an extra 17,400 calories and lose approximately 5 lbs. They note that up to 40% of the increase in calorie burning is caused by the body's attempt to heat the ingested water.
INTERESTING: For every ounce of cold water consumed the body burns 1 calorie. I know it is not a lot but over the course of a year it adds up and lets not forget it'll also lower your appetite, fills your stomach, decreases your water retention, improves your skin, betters your overall health and may even improve your mood. Anybody care for a tall glass of ice water?
1- Journal of Nutrition (2006), "Adults with Healthier Dietary Patterns Have Healthier Beverage Patterns", 136 (11):2901-7.
2- M. Boschmann, Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (2003), "Water Induced Thermogenesis"; Vol. 88: pp. 6015-6019.