Will drinking more water help you lose weight? Science thinks so! Research supports the theory that increasing your water intake may help you drop some pounds. Consider that 60% of your body is composed of water. Moreover, while good hydration helps all bodily functions, studies indicate that hydration increases our bodies’ efficiency when undertaking just about any task. Even better, water is calorie-free, meaning you can drink as much as you want without guilt.
Although numerous factors will influence body weight, including genetics, activity levels, calorie intake, and health issues, there is increasing evidence that water aids with weight loss in several ways. From boosting your metabolism to suppressing your appetite, water can make a difference when you step on the scale.
Here are some great ways drinking water may drive your weight loss quest.
Water Suppresses Appetite
If you’re hungry, you instinctively reach for food. But thirst can be misinterpreted by the body for hunger. So, a glass of water might better serve your first reaction to a hunger pang. You may feel immediate satiation if you drink more water as the water gets to the stomach and fills it quickly. This, in turn, signals to the brain that you feel full. Many dieticians recommend having a glass of water before meals to decrease food intake thanks to that “full” feeling.
A study from 2016 supports the recommendation. Study participants that drank a couple of glasses of water before meals ate 22% less food than those that did not drink water because the brain received the “full” message. Research with older adults suggested 44% more weight loss than adults that did not drink more water before meals.
Water Stimulates the Metabolism
Does drinking water stimulate your metabolism? The research points in this direction. A 2013 study of 50 overweight girls had participants drink two glasses of water 30 minutes before breakfast, lunch, and dinner without other adjustments to their diet. The results included weight loss and a reduction in body mass index.
The study indicated that water intake stimulates thermogenesis when the body produces heat, especially if the water is cold. The body must use energy to bring the water to body temperature, increasing metabolism. This alone may not be enough to lose weight, but it is a small contribution to a general weight-loss plan.
Water Can Reduce Calorie Intake from Liquids
Let’s face it, H2O is calorie-free. So, choosing water over juice, soda, energy drinks, or coffee and tea with sugar or honey translates into less calorie intake throughout your day. A soda can may contain as many as 250 calories or more, so choosing water means consuming fewer calories. And if you don’t substitute those calories by eating something else, they will add up quickly when attempting to lose weight. If you don’t like the taste of water, try organic-infused water as an alternative.
Water Intake Enables Exercise
Water intake is crucial when engaged in exercise. Drinking water during physically draining activities aid in dissolving minerals like sodium, magnesium, and potassium so that they travel through the body to trigger the muscular contractions necessary for physical movement. If you drink too little during exercise, you may have an electrolyte imbalance that will cause cramping. If your muscles become dehydrated, they break down more rapidly and are slower to increase muscle mass.
Also, your body will lose more fluids during physically taxing activity. This is due to the generation of heat at the skin’s surface. Perspiration is followed by evaporation as a cooling method, aiding body temperature regulation. By drinking and hydrating correctly, blood volume is maintained, and blood vessels present at the surface of your skin expand more quickly to release body heat. Drinking before and during a workout is fundamental for overall health, preventing fatigue, and burning calories more efficiently.
Water Aids Elimination
By drinking more water, you will need to urinate more often. Good hydration also helps with eliminating feces, as stools will be softer. You’ll be less likely to suffer from constipation or bloating. Drinking adequate amounts of water also flush out undesirable bacteria from the urinary tract and aids in kidney function. Proper hydration will prevent the formation of kidney stones due to urine that is too concentrated.
Water Helps Burn Fat
Believe it or not, water may be necessary to help burn fat. A 2016 review of research on animals published in Frontiers in Nutrition suggests that consuming more water may boost the process of burning fat, known as lipolysis. It appears that even mild dehydration reduces lipolysis. More research is needed on humans.
How Much Water Should You Drink Daily?
Health authorities generally recommend that we drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily, although we also get water from foods like fruits and vegetables and meat and fish. Much will depend on the individual. Physically active people, breastfeeding women, and older adults may require more.
Science indicates that drinking more water positively influences your health and is a great tool for weight loss. Drinking more water alone will not account for substantial weight loss. Still, when integrated with other dietary adjustments and increased physical activity, it most certainly can play an essential role in a comprehensive weight loss plan.