CARDIOLOGY, PRIMARY CARE AND NUTRITION

Blogpost: Dehydration is Not a Weight Loss Hack

While out running on a sunny, humid Florida morning, I passed a fellow walking in a sweat suit.  I have been running in my neighborhood for about 14 years.  I vary the streets and route but see the same few people most mornings with the occasional new person.   Exercisers come and go and only a few seem to be steady daily walkers. You can always tell the person out trying to get the quick fix.  They are working harder, struggling a little more and seem very focused on completing the task.  No time for the sounds of wildlife.  Most are intently trying to focus on the distracting sounds coming from their earbuds.

How does running dressed in a sweatshirt and sweatpants in the middle of the humid Florida summer help you?  It is a good way to get dehydrated.   Muscle stores about 2000 kcal of glucose in the form of glycogen.  Water is stored with the glycogen.  Fat on the other hand is hydrophobic meaning that little water is stored along with the fat.  When exercising we burn a combination of fat and glucose.  The higher the heart rate the more glycogen burned.  A higher core temperature associated with running in heavy clothes also results in a higher heart rate.  Exercising in heavy clothes, in hot humid conditions, results in more water loss but not more fat loss.  Hence not greater weight loss.  Dehydration is not the key to weight loss and will ultimately result in stress to the kidneys and heart.  None of these processes leads to quick weight loss or an instant beach body. 

My advice is to enjoy the outdoors.  Fresh air, fresh microbes, and nature.  It is a chance to say good morning to a neighbor and make someone smile.  It is a chance to adopt a healthy lifestyle that can last well into the future.  Make your morning walk, run, a healthy habit that you can enjoy for years to come.  The health and weight loss will follow shortly.

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