Drinking water can help with weight loss in several ways.
Increased Energy Expenditure: Drinking water can temporarily boost your metabolism, which increases the number of calories you burn. Some studies have found that drinking cold water may even enhance this effect because the body uses energy to heat the water to body temperature.
Appetite Reduction: Drinking water before meals can make you feel more full, which can help reduce the amount of food you eat. This can be especially useful if you're on a weight-loss diet. In one study, people who drank water before a meal ate fewer calories and lost more weight than those who did not drink water before meals.
Replacing High-Calorie Drinks: High-calorie drinks like soda and juice can contribute significantly to daily calorie intake. Replacing these drinks with water reduces the total amount of calories you consume.
Promotes Hydration: Proper hydration is important for many aspects of health, including metabolism and physical performance. Your ability to perform well during workouts can be hindered by dehydration, so maintaining adequate water intake is essential for exercising effectively and burning calories.
Helps with Detoxification: Water assists the kidneys in removing waste products from the body and helps maintain healthy digestion, which can indirectly aid weight loss.
Let us look at each and see how drinking water can help you lose weight.
Increased Energy Expenditure
Drinking water helps to boost the body's metabolism. Metabolism is the process by which the body converts food into energy. When the body is well-hydrated, it can metabolize food more efficiently, which can lead to increased calorie burning.
There is scientific research indicating that drinking water can increase energy expenditure or the rate at which you burn calories. This effect is often referred to as water-induced thermogenesis.
Water-induced thermogenesis (WIT) is the process by which the body burns calories to heat up water after drinking it. WIT is a small but significant source of energy expenditure, and it may play a role in weight loss.
A study published in the journal "The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism" in 2003 found that drinking 500 millilitres (about 17 ounces) of water increased resting energy expenditure by 30% for about an hour. The increase in metabolic rate occurred within 10 minutes and reached a maximum at 30-40 minutes after drinking. This means that drinking water can help you burn an extra 80 to 100 calories per day.
Boschmann, Michael, et al. "Water-induced thermogenesis." The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 88.12 (2003): 6015-6019.
In addition, a study in children found that the resting energy expenditure was increased by 25% for 40 minutes after drinking 10 ml/kg of cold water.
Dubnov-Raz, Gal, et al. "Influence of water drinking on resting energy expenditure in overweight children." International journal of obesity 35.10 (2011): 1295-1300.
Water can help to fill you up. When you drink water, it takes up space in your stomach, which can help to make you feel full. This can help to reduce the amount of food you eat at meals and snacks.
Water can help to suppress your appetite hormones. When you're dehydrated, your body releases hormones that make you feel hungry. Drinking water can help to keep your body hydrated and reduce the levels of these hormones.
There are multiple studies indicating that drinking water can lead to a reduction in appetite, particularly when consumed before meals. Here are a few examples:
Before Meals: A study published in the journal "Obesity" in 2010 found that people who drank about 2 cups (500 ml) of water before each meal while dieting lost more weight than those who didn't increase their water intake. The researchers hypothesized that water aids in weight loss by providing a feeling of fullness, therefore reducing the amount of food and calories consumed.
Dennis, Elizabeth A., et al. "Water consumption increases weight loss during a hypocaloric diet intervention in middle-aged and older adults." Obesity 18.2 (2010): 300-307.
A study from 2008 in the "Journal of the American Dietetic Association" found that when adults drank water before breakfast, they consumed roughly 13% fewer calories compared to a group that did not drink water before eating.
Davy, Brenda M., et al. "Water consumption reduces energy intake at a breakfast meal in obese older adults." Journal of the American Dietetic Association 108.7 (2008): 1236-1239.
An earlier study in 1996 in "Physiology & Behavior" also suggested that drinking water before meals can decrease the energy intake in older adults. However, this was not the case for younger individuals.
Rolls, Barbara J., et al. "Water incorporated into a food but not served with a food decreases energy intake in lean women." American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 66.4 (1997): 647-654.
Replacing High-Calorie Drinks
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average American consumes about 22.5 teaspoons of added sugar per day. This is equivalent to about 71 grams of sugar or 210 calories. The majority of this added sugar comes from sugary drinks, such as soda, juice, and sports drinks.
A single 12-ounce can of soda contains about 10 teaspoons of added sugar, or 39 grams. This is more than half of the recommended daily intake of added sugar for adults. Other sugary drinks, such as juice and sports drinks, can also contain a significant amount of added sugar.
The consumption of sugary drinks has been linked to a number of health problems, including obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. The CDC recommends that adults limit their intake of added sugar to no more than 6 teaspoons (24 grams) per day for women and 9 teaspoons (36 grams) per day for men.
There is substantial research indicating that replacing high-calorie, sugary drinks with water can aid in weight loss and overall health improvement. Here are some examples:
A study published in "The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" found that substituting water for sugar-sweetened beverages reduced total energy intake. This study suggests that replacing sugary beverages with water or unsweetened beverages could help people maintain a healthy diet, manage weight, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
Pan, An, and Frank B. Hu. "Effects of carbohydrates on satiety: differences between liquid and solid food." Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care 14.4 (2011): 385-390.
Research published in "Pediatrics" found that school children who switched from sugar-sweetened beverages to water saw a decrease in BMI, indicating a potential reduction in the risk of obesity.
James, J., et al. "Preventing childhood obesity by reducing consumption of carbonated drinks: cluster randomized controlled trial." Pediatrics 127.5 (2006): 1302-1309.
A study published in the "Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics" found that replacing diet beverages with water after a main meal may cause moderate weight loss.
Madjd, A., et al. "Effects on weight loss in adults of replacing diet beverages with water during a hypoenergetic diet: a randomized, 24-wk clinical trial." The American Journal of clinical nutrition 104.6 (2016): 1657-1664.
These studies indicate that replacing high-calorie drinks with water can help in weight loss by reducing the total daily caloric intake.
Water is crucial for nearly all bodily functions. It makes up about 60% of your body weight and is involved in many important functions, including:
Regulating body temperature: Water is essential for maintaining your body's temperature. Sweating helps your body stay cool, but this means you lose a significant amount of water, which needs to be replaced to maintain a healthy temperature.
Protecting tissues and joints: Water helps lubricate and cushion your joints, spinal cord, and tissues. This will help you enjoy physical activity and lessen the discomfort caused by conditions like arthritis.
Aiding digestion: Water aids in the digestion of food and helps prevent constipation. Adequate water intake ensures the proper functioning of the gastrointestinal tract.
Removing waste: Your body uses water to sweat, urinate, and have bowel movements. These processes are essential for removing waste products from your body.
Assisting in nutrient absorption: Water helps dissolve vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients from your food. It then delivers these vitamin components to the rest of your body for use.
Promoting cardiovascular health: Dehydration decreases your blood volume, so your heart must work harder to pump the reduced amount of blood and get enough oxygen to your cells, which can make everyday activities more difficult.
When you're well-hydrated, your body can perform these functions effectively, and this can lead to improved physical performance, mental alertness, and overall well-being. On the other hand, not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration, which can cause symptoms such as fatigue, headache, low blood pressure, and dry skin.
Remember that individual water needs can vary based on various factors, including age, sex, weight, physical activity level, and overall health. While the "8x8 rule" (eight 8-ounce or 240 ml glasses of water per day, of eight ) is a common guideline, some people may need more or less. Always consult a healthcare provider for personalized advice.
When you don't drink enough water, you can become dehydrated. Dehydration can cause a number of problems, including:
- Muscle cramps
- Dark urine
- Dry skin
- Rapid heartbeat
- Thats why its essential to stay hydrated
Helps with Detoxification
Water plays a significant role in the detoxification process. Here's how it works:
Kidney Function: The kidneys are crucial organs for detoxification. They filter out waste products from the blood and eliminate them from the body through urine. Proper hydration is necessary for the kidneys to function optimally. Water helps your kidneys by diluting these waste products and making it easier for your kidneys to flush them out. When you're not properly hydrated, the kidneys can't do their job as effectively.
Digestive System: Water also aids in digestion by helping break down food and absorb nutrients effectively. Furthermore, it prevents constipation by softening stools and helping move waste through the digestive tract. Regular bowel movements are important for removing waste from the body.
Liver Function: The liver also plays a key role in detoxification by processing and removing toxins from the bloodstream. Water is needed for these processes to occur efficiently.
Sweating: Sweating is another way the body excretes waste products, and staying hydrated ensures the body can produce enough sweat.
In short, while your body has its own complex detoxification systems (including the liver, kidneys, and sweat glands), staying properly hydrated helps these systems function more efficiently, aiding in the removal of waste products and toxins. It's also important to note that while staying hydrated is important for supporting detoxification, water alone is not a "detox" solution and cannot compensate for a poor diet or unhealthy lifestyle choices.
When to drink water to lose weight
Drinking water can aid weight loss efforts, and while there isn't a definitive "best" time that applies to everyone, research suggests certain timings can be beneficial:
- First thing in the morning. Drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning can help to flush out toxins and rehydrate the body after a night's sleep. It can also help to suppress appetite and make you feel fuller before breakfast
Before Meals: Drinking water before meals can help reduce your appetite. A study published in Obesity found that drinking water before meals resulted in an average reduction in intake of 75 calories per meal. This may not seem like much, but over the long term, these calories can add up (Dennis EA, et al., 2010).
Throughout the Day: Staying hydrated throughout the day is important for your metabolism and energy levels, which can indirectly impact weight loss by affecting your ability to exercise and burn calories.
Before and After Exercise: During workouts, your body loses water through sweat. Staying hydrated before, during, and after exercise can help replenish lost fluids, ensure proper muscle function, and prevent dehydration, which can impair your performance and recovery.
When You're Hungry: Sometimes, the body can mistake dehydration for hunger. If you feel hungry, try drinking some water first to see if that satiates your hunger.
Replacing High-Calorie Drinks: If you tend to consume sugary drinks, alcohol, or high-calorie beverages, replacing them with water can reduce your overall caloric intake, aiding weight loss.
I do hope this article has shown you how important drinking water is to the body and to maintaining a healthy body weight. Don't forget that it's just one part of the puzzle that goes to making you healthy and fit.