*This article was written by our lovely friends at BOXD.
If there’s one thing we know, it’s that healthy living is hard! It requires discipline, dedication, and consistency. It’s no wonder there are Instagram and TikTok accounts dedicated to helping people on their own health and weight loss journeys. Some of them good, some of them… let’s just say questionable.
One of the weight-loss tips we hear over and over is that you must make sure you stay hydrated. Most of the time, you will see a plastic or metal bottle, but with the Earth’s resources becoming more and more finite, and the environmental impact of both plastic production and metal mining, we’ve yet to see a bottle that fully addresses this issue to provide not only an eco-conscious option for those wanting to stay hydrated throughout the day, but also one that matches the performance of keeping fluids cold/hot through the insulate properties of metal. But S’wheat is changing that. They have heard the cries of those looking for something fully sustainable, and have created a re-usable, plant-based water bottle. No plastic. No metals. Just renewable, naturally grown plants. With every bottle sold, S’wheat also removes around 20 pounds of ocean-bound plastics, and they also plant a trackable native tree in your name when you buy from them! What’s more, they’ve used their smarts and made the bottle fully insulated, meaning it will keep your cold drinks icy, and your warm drinks toasty. Perfect for keeping you hydrated on the go and keeping your eco-footprint down!
Staying hydrated with an eco-friendly bottle is important for our general health and our environmental health. But one of the personal goals many of us have is to try and reduce our weight. We’ve heard all the weight loss tips before: eat less, exercise more, cut out the sweets, alcohol is a no-go, etc etc. But we rarely talk about how hydration plays a massive part in helping to shed those pounds. Now with all the misinformation out there, sometimes it’s hard to believe something as simple as staying hydrated can help us to lose weight (our bodies are around 60% water after all), we thought we would shed some light on why hydration really is key. So, let’s dive a bit deeper.
It keeps our muscles hydrated
Our muscles are made up of 80% water. We know that sounds crazy. They’re responsible for all our movements. From the big ones like a deep squat, to the small ones such as blinking our eyelids. Because they are made of water, they also require water to remain healthy, and contract and relax in the ways we need them to, not just during exercise, but in everyday life. One of the more well-known tips for losing weight is to exercise, and we need our muscles to work as well as they possibly can. So a lack of hydration can have a negative effect on their performance, meaning we won’t be able to exercise for as long or as efficiently. We’ve all probably felt it before. You’re on a run, everything is going fine but then all of a sudden, you just can’t continue. No matter how much you try to push through, you can’t run a distance that is normally a walk in the park.
The reason for this is that lack of muscle hydration reduces blood flow to the muscle, impedes thermal regulation, altering water movement across cell membranes (which is essential for getting essential molecules and nutrients to the muscle), which can cause the feeling of tightness and muscle fatigue. This would make the weight loss journey a lot longer than it needs to be if we can’t use our muscles to their full potential.
It can help suppress appetite
Putting on weight is much easier than losing it. Our stomachs can only hold so much inside, but when we’re absolutely famished, we tend to eat more than we need to. When this happens, our stomachs stretch, making it just that little bit bigger. Once your stomach expands, it’s able to fit more food inside and is harder to fill to ensure we keep our hunger at bay. If we continually do this, we will be consuming more calories regularly and as we said, the more calories you consume/absorb, the more weight you put on.
One trick to prevent ourselves from doing this is to fill some of that space with water before eating. Although water is a liquid, it will actually take up space in your stomach then you will less space for food, reducing that hunger feeling and preventing us from overeating in those times of overbearing hunger! This is because as soon as we drink water, our stomachs quickly move it to the small intestine where it can be absorbed, that expansion of the stomach doesn’t happen. So, we get that full feeling, without any of the downsides!! This is why many people swear by their BOXD shakes with water!
Water is calorie-free!
There are so many drinks thrown at us, saying they will quench our thirsts. Coca-Cola prides itself as being refreshing and thirst quenching, Sprite had the slogan “Obey Your Thirst”, and Pepsi even had the slogan “Refresh Everything”. These drinks may offer short term hydration, but in the long term, they do little to help, especially in high quantities. Fizzy drinks pack a lot of sugar in them, making them hugely calorific. Calories aren’t necessarily a bad thing, but these drinks will not keep us full due to the lack of soluble fibre, meaning we tend to eat on top of them. So, if you are constantly having an 800 calorie meal with a canned soda drink, you’ll be adding an extra 140 calories on top of your meal. What’s more, drinking sugary drinks will actually dehydrate us later on in the day. Sugar causes our cells to move water out of them, causing us to urinate more. So, an hour or two after your fizzy drink will make you feel thirstier.
Water is one of the few substances (and to the best of our knowledge, the only substance) that is naturally calorie free. So, staying hydrated by drinking water instead of other calorie heavy beverages naturally keeps our calorie intake lower than if we were drinking soft drinks or juices. So, sticking to water will not only keep us hydrated, but will also help to reduce any unwanted calories getting into our diets. There is that age-old question: “What about fruit juices?”. Fruit juice does have some benefits. It contains essential vitamins and minerals that our bodies need. But juices also face the same problem as those fizzy drinks, in that they tend to have high amounts of sugar whilst lacking the fibre we need to keep us feeling full. If you are drinking fruit juices, we would usually recommend sticking to 1 glass per day (max around 330ml).
Water is essential for burning fat/Calories
There are many processes happening in our bodies. We get rid of toxins, we regulate hormones, and we also burn fats for energy at low intensities. When exercising, we tend to use carbohydrates for energy because our body can quickly break these down and use them for energy. Fats are a bit more complex and require a bit more time to be converted into energy. The process of metabolising fat is called lipolysis. The first step of this process is hydrolysis, which occurs when water molecules interact with triglycerides (fats) to create glycerol and fatty acids. Without this without water, our bodies can’t properly begin this process of hydrolysis.
Now water isn’t just useful for burning fat. It’s useful for burning calories in general. As we mentioned earlier, our ability to lose weight depends on how many calories we take in/absorb vs how many calories burned. All foods can be broken down by generating heat/energy through calories we already have, and some foods require more heat/energy than others. For example, protein requires a lot more energy to break down than carbohydrates. This is known as the thermic effect of food, and the process of energy needed to digest, absorb, and dispose of ingested nutrients is known as thermogenesis. And what does thermogenesis need more than anything else? That’s right…water! So, to increase the calories you use to break down the food we eat, try eating a bit more protein and drinking a bit more water. If you need some high-quality protein in a pinch, why not try a BOXD shake. Not only are they full of protein from the best quality sources, but they’re also packed with 16 essential micronutrients proven to boost your energy levels in the long term.
How much water should we drink?
In the UK, the guidance is to drink around 6-8 cups (around 1.2 litres) of water per day to stay adequately hydrated. This can be more or less, depending on various factors such as our muscle mass, exercise levels, age, gender and even the climate you live in. We also get a lot of water from the food eat. Fruit and veg tend to be made up of mostly of water, meaning we can get some of our daily requirement if you’re a salad lover!
So, if you’re going to rehydrate, try to carry a reusable bottle around with you to drink on-the-go or at your desk. And if you want to drink in sustainable style, use a S’wheat bottle.
At BOXD, we’re committed to fighting diet culture and standing up for our environment, so it only makes sense that we’d jump at the chance to collab with our friends at S’wheat. We’re the protein packed, multi-nutrient shake for women that replaces pills by including 16 vitamins and minerals in their recommended daily amounts. All have been scientifically chosen to mitigate what we’ve found to be common nutritional deficiencies in the UK and includes; Iron, B12, B6, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Magnesium and much more! All our packaging is also 100% recyclable and biodegradable and ensures we mitigate negative impacts on our planet.