If you’ve been scouring the news, devouring as much information as possible regarding weight loss, you’ve likely heard all the buzz about the relationship between weight loss and drinking water. It has been well documented that the liver is able to metabolize more fat if you help out your kidneys by drinking plenty of water each day.
What is not often explained is water’s relationship to salt and how to tell when you are drinking enough water. The purpose of this article is to focus on these two issues.
First of all, let’s take a look at how our bodies deal with salt! Salt (sodium, at least) is a necessary ingredient to regulate blood pressure and fluid volumes in our bodies. Additionally, it is a top notch preservative and it tastes good! Salt is — well — the salt of the earth. Sorry … Like everything else, we can have too much of a good thing, though.
If you’ve ever seen an ocean disaster movie where people are adrift in the sea hoping for rescue, you’ve probably heard the warning to not drink salt water. This warning is true and must be heeded if you find yourself adrift at sea, or on a diet. The reason is that the body can only handle a certain concentration of salt.
If you eat a really salty meal, you may notice that your body will experience some swelling. This swelling is retained water which is being kept by the body in order to keep the salt in solution.
So how do you get rid of retained water? Well, believe it or not, the answer is that you drink water to get rid of water! That’s right. It’s counterintuitive, but true. By drinking extra water, it will allow your body to “flush” the excess salt out and to release the retained water.
Think of it this way, your body grows to “expect” a particular amount of sodium and a particular volume of water. It “reserves” water in your body knowing more salt is to come. When you drink a gallon of water over the course of the day, your body “learns” that you are providing plenty of water. Eventually it begins to “trust” that you’ll continue doing so and it lets go of the surplus. At seven pounds per gallon, it can add up to a lot of weight quickly.
Secondly, we want to discuss how to tell if you are getting enough water. The first step toward turning yourself into a human water meter is to get on a regimen of drinking more water each day.