Is being thirsty making you fat?

That may sound like a strange statement but did you know that by being dehydrated the body will actually hold on to fat more than if you are properly hydrated?

95% of people I meet and carry out Body Composition Analysis on are dehydrated.

Water is ranked second only to Oxygen as an essential component of life yet many people only drink when they feel thirsty, simply forget to drink altogether or drink the wrong types of fluid. 

The Biology

Water has numerous roles within the body. On average we are 50-60% water with lean people having more water than obese and men holding more than women.  Blood consists of 92% water, bone 22% and the brain and our muscles 75%.

Virtually nothing takes place in the body without water being present;

  • Digestion—from making food easier to swallow to diluting food to aid along the digestive tract
  • Lubrication— water acts as an important lubricant to cushion joints (synovial fluid) and organs i.e.cerebrospinal fluid protecting the brain.
  • Eliminating waste— water also serves as a solvent for waste products such as urea, carbon dioxide and various electrolytes that the body excretes.

How is this relevant to fat metabolism?

The kidneys need water to function properly, if they do not have enough they don’t work to full capacity and off-load some work to the liver.

One of the livers primary functions is to metabolize stored fat into energy to be used by the body, if the liver is busy doing some of the kidneys work it doesn’t operate at the right pace and therefore metabolizes less fat!

This means that by being dehydrated the stored fat in your body doesn’t get converted to usable energy and remains as fat.