The importance of hydration: Water, weight loss and your BMI

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Staying hydrated is a pretty easy way to help yourself stay healthy. It’s not exactly big news that water is good for you. In fact, doctors will generally recommend that you should first drink water when you have a snack craving, as we often mistake thirst for hunger. Recent research has been able to quantify the importance of water in some very important ways. The effects of habitual hydration are numerous and essential to weight loss and weight loss maintenance.

Plenty of water and a healthy BMI

Researchers out of the University of Michigan recently published a study in medical journal, Annals of Family Medicine, in which they examined the correlation between staying properly hydrated, Body Mass Index (BMI) and obesity. While the importance of BMI is by no means absolute, it can be very useful for anyone trying to lose weight and looking for goals/progress markers. A BMI greater or equal to 30 was considered obese by the researchers.

According to the conclusion of the study, researchers “found a significant association between inadequate hydration and elevated BMI and inadequate hydration and obesity.” Basically, the less water participants in the study drank, the more likely they were to have high BMIs and obesity.

Hydration is an essential healthy habit

The first thought you should have now is, “Am I drinking enough water?” Beyond that, the food you eat can be beneficial (or deleterious) to staying hydrated. Saltier, processed foods can make you dehydrated, but eating foods that contain water themselves, specifically many types of fruit and vegetables, will help your body have enough water to function properly.

That’s just an interesting piece to a larger puzzle, though. Getting enough water is easiest when you stick to drinking water instead of sugary stuff, like soda. Water isn’t the only beverage that’s healthy, of course, but it pays to make it your primary one.

How to add more water to your life

The easiest way to increase your water intake to make water more readily available in your life. This means keeping a refillable bottle at arm’s reach throughout the day.

Wean yourself off of soda. Avoiding sugar is important in its own right, so switching to black coffee, unsweetened tea, milk and water will help in more ways than simply hydration. That’s right, even though coffee and tea are known for making you go to the bathroom, drinking 32 fl oz or fewer a day will not cause a problem with hydration. Drink whenever you’re thirsty.

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