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Would you like ice with that?

By the time you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated and even a tiny degree of dehydration has noteworthy consequences.

Studies have found that people who lose as little as two percent of their body weight through sweating have a drop in blood volume which causes the heart to work harder to circulate blood.

Keep Hydrated
A drop in blood volume may also lead to muscle cramps, dizziness, fatigue and heat illness. Here are some of the effects of dehydration at a mild to moderate level (recognise any of them?!):

  • Fatigue
  • Muscle weakness Poor concentration
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness or light-headedness
  • Decreased metabolism

Not only does dehydration affect your everyday performance but it can affect how you look.

The body naturally tries to store water as a survival technique which is truly wondrous and if we were stuck in the Sahara that would be amazingly useful.

However, in a world where, for most of us, water is freely available at the turn of a tap we don't need our bodies to store water.

Stored water obscures muscles, reducing muscle definition and hiding all the good work that you have put in by eating well and exercising effectively.

Consistently drinking plenty of water will teach your body that it doesn't need to store it which will help increase muscle definition and reduce your overall size.

Also, fat metabolism slows without sufficient water.

Your liver is the organ that metabolises (burns) fat. Fat is burned in the liver into usable energy for the body. This is the process of burning fat and is the major process for losing weight.

When you don't drink enough water, it is actually your kidneys that can't do their job due to the lack of water.

Your kidneys are the organs that filter waste products from your blood and they require a lot of water to work properly. So when you are low on water (dehydrated) the kidneys slow down and the liver has to pick up the slack to filter out the waste. This means that the liver now has to do the kidney's job of ridding your body of toxins and is now too busy to metabolise fat, thus fat metabolism slows down and you lose less weight.

So when you are low on water, you aren't burning as much fat!

Not so great eh?

Fortunately, it's easy enough to avoid this.

Drink 2l water a day. Ice optional.