Drinking like a fish but still feeling thirsty? Thanks to unhealthy habits, you could be inadvertently thwarting your own efforts.
With the pre-wedding parties and busy days planning your nuptials, coffee and alcohol can easily become constant companions – but they do more harm than good, especially when it comes to weight loss. ‘Alcohol is full of calories,’ says personal trainer Kristy Robertson. ‘Coffee can be too if milk, sugar and flavoured syrups are added.’ The liver and kidneys have to waste precious energy processing toxins from alcohol and caffeine when that energy could instead be used to break down fat and sugar,’ she explains. ‘These substances disrupt sleep patterns at night and energy levels throughout the day.’ Apart from that, alcohol and caffeine also dehydrate the body and flush out vital nutrients our organs need to function properly. ‘For every cup of coffee you drink, it will take two cups of water to rehydrate.’ Kristy says. To make sure her clients stay optimally hydrated, she usually starts them off on a caffeine and alcohol-free month when they first commit to a programme. ‘After a successful regimen has been established and healthy habits formed, I recommend having no more than four alcoholic beverages per week and one coffee per day.’
When you’re exercising regularly two to three litres of water per day will generally maintain fluid levels. Having said that, water requirements may vary depending on your size whether you consume a lot of water-dense foods such as vegetable and how much you exercise.
To check if you’re adequately hydrated, Kristy suggests weighting yourself before and after a workout. ‘If you’ve lost any weight, say 200g, you’ll need to replace this by 200ml of water.’