Many studies support the theory that drinking water is beneficial for weight loss. In addition, hydration is essential for many factors that play a role in weight loss, including digestion and muscle function. However, the medical community is still unsure about the effect of water intake on weight loss. In this article, discover six reasons why drinking water can help you lose weight. We will also look at how much water a person should drink daily.
Six reasons why drinking water can help you lose weight
Scientists still don’t know why drinking more water helps a person lose weight, but many studies show a positive correlation between increased water intake and weight loss.
Below are six reasons why water can help with weight loss.
1. Water is a natural appetite suppressant
When the stomach feels full, it sends signals to the brain to stop eating. Water can help take up space in the stomach, leading to a feeling of fullness and reducing hunger.
A person may also think they are hungry when they are actually thirsty. Drinking a glass of water before eating can help reduce unnecessary snacking. In a 2014 study, 50 overweight women drank 500 milliliters (ml) of water 30 minutes before breakfast, lunch, and dinner, in addition to their usual water intake, for 8 consecutive weeks. Participants experienced reductions in body weight, body fat, and body mass index. They also reported appetite suppression.
2. Water increases calorie burning
Some research suggests that drinking water can help burn calories. In a 2014 study, 12 people who drank 500ml of cold and room temperature water experienced increased energy expenditure. Within 90 minutes of drinking the water, they burned 2-3% more calories than usual. Water can also temporarily increase the body’s resting energy expenditure, i.e. the number of calories burned at rest. Drinking cold water can further increase the calorie-burning effects of water, as the body expends energy or calories by heating the water to digest it.
3. Water helps eliminate waste from the body
When the body is dehydrated, it cannot properly excrete waste products in the form of urine or stool. Water helps the kidneys filter toxins and waste while the organ retains essential nutrients and electrolytes. When the body is dehydrated, the kidneys retain fluid. Dehydration can also lead to hard or lumpy stools and constipation. Water allows waste to flow by softening or loosening hard stools. Water also helps the body recover from digestive problems such as diarrhea and indigestion. When waste builds up in the body, people can feel bloated, bloated and tired. Bloating can add inches to a person’s height. Staying hydrated is a good way to avoid retaining waste, which can add a few extra pounds.
4. Drinking water can reduce total liquid calorie intake
Water is a calorie-free alternative to energy drinks or fruit juices. It’s easy to pile on liquid calories by drinking soda, fruit juice, or sweetened coffee or tea.
Most people are also unaware of the number of calories they consume in sports drinks or alcoholic beverages. Replacing even a few high-calorie beverages each day with water or other zero-calorie beverages, such as herbal teas, can have long-term weight loss benefits. The authors of a 2012 study found that replacing at least two high-calorie beverages with low-calorie beverages each day for 6 months resulted in an average weight loss of between 2 and 2.5% in a group of obese women. In a 2015 study, participants drank 250 ml of water after lunch each day while following a 24-week weight loss program. They lost 13.6% more weight than women in the same program who drank the same volume of diet drinks after lunch.
5. Water is needed to burn fat
Without water, the body cannot properly metabolize stored fats or carbohydrates. The process of fat metabolism is called lipolysis. The first step in this process is hydrolysis, which occurs when water molecules interact with triglycerides (fats) to form glycerol and fatty acids. Drinking enough water is essential for burning fat from food and drink, as well as stored fat. A 2016 mini-review found that increased water intake led to increased lipolysis and fat loss in animal studies.
6. Water makes exercise easier
One of the most important parts of any weight loss plan is exercise. Water helps muscles, connective tissues and joints to move properly. It also helps the lungs, heart and other organs to work efficiently as they increase their activity during exercise. Staying hydrated reduces the risk of problems that can interfere with a good workout, such as muscle cramps and fatigue. Always drink water before, during and after exercise to avoid dehydration. It is essential to have water on hand, especially if you are exercising in hot, humid or very sunny weather.
How much water should you drink?
Recommended water intake is related to factors such as age and health.
There is no standard recommendation for how much water to drink. Some people need more or less water depending on a number of factors, including:
Most health authorities offer ranges of daily water intake:
2700 ml/day for adult women
3700 ml/day for adult men
Tips for increasing water intake:
drink at least one glass of water with each meal
carry water in a reusable bottle
drink more water during exercise or physical activity
drink more water when it is hot, humid or very sunny
keep a glass of water by your bed
eat more soups and foods with a high liquid content
eat fruits and vegetables with a high water content, including berries, grapes, melons, watermelons, tomatoes, celery, cucumbers and lettuce.
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Girona, M., Grasser, EK, Dulloo, AG, & Montani, JP (2014, June). Cardiovascular and metabolic responses to tap water ingestion in young people: Does water temperature matter? Acta Physiologica, 211(2), 358–370
Madjd, A., Taylor, MA, Delavari, A., Malekzadeh, R., Macdonald, IA, & Farshchi, HR (2015, December 1). Effects on weight loss in adults of replacing diet beverages with water during a hypoenergy diet: A 24-week randomized clinical trial. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 102(6), 1305–1312
Pan, A., Malik, VS, Hao, T., Willett, WC, Mozaffarian, D., & Hu, FB (2014, April 1). Changes in water and beverage intake and long-term weight changes: Results from three prospective cohort studies. International Journal of Obesity, 37(10), 1.378–1.385
Tate, DF, Turner-McGrievy, G., Lyons, E., Stevens, J., Erickson, K., Polzien, K., … Popkin, B. (2012, February 1). Replacing caloric beverages with water or diet beverages for weight loss in adults: Main results of the Choose Healthy Options Consciously Everyday (CHOICE) randomized clinical trial. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 95(3), 555–563
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