Drinking Water For Weight Loss: Does It Work?
We all know how beneficial drinking water can be for the body. We’ve been told by all the health experts many times before.
As a quick refresher: as well as ensuring your body doesn’t dehydrate, drinking water helps to maintain your energy levels, stabilise your mood and improve skin complexion.
But can drinking water also aid weight loss? Well, the jury’s still out on that one. There are some studies to suggest this but the medical community is divided.
Even so, here are 5 reasons why drinking water may be handy for losing weight.
1. Water Suppresses Your Appetite
Firstly, a Clinical Nutrition Research study found that people who consumed 300 millilitres of water before a meal ended up eating less than those who didn’t drink any beforehand. Therefore, it was concluded that water is a natural appetite suppressant.
After all, water can help to take up space in the stomach, signalling to your brain that it’s full and reducing hunger. This is why it’s a good idea to drink a glass of water before reaching for a snack to see if this satisfies you first.
2. It Burns Calories
A 2007 study discovered that people who drank 500 millilitres of water had a greater resting energy expenditure by 24% just 60 minutes later. This indicates that drinking water can be an effective calorie burner.
Cold water, in particular, apparently enhances water’s calorie-burning benefits because the body has to expend energy (or calories) heating the water for digestion.
3. It Burns Fat
Without water, the body is unable to metabolise stored fat or carbohydrates, which is a process called lipolysis.
A Frontiers in Nutrition review found that increasing water intake can result in fat loss through reduced food intake. Drinking enough water not only can burn off fat from food and drink, but it can also tackle stored fat.
4. It Improves Exercise Performance
If you’re already trying to lose weight, drinking water can help you train harder and get better results from your workouts. This is because water allows your muscles, joints and connective tissues to move properly. It also increases the functionality of the heart, lungs and other organs during exercise when there’s more activity.
Furthermore, being hydrated before, during and after a workout reduces the risk of muscle cramps and fatigue.
5. It Encourages Long-Term Weight Loss
Lastly, a 2013 review of 11 studies on how drinking water affects weight loss concluded that there was a positive outcome for people who increased their water consumption while actively trying to lose weight. They lost more weight after three to 12 months compared with those people who were solely on a weight loss plan.
Try to swap soft drinks or alcoholic beverages for water, too. These can be high in calories, whereas water contains zero calories. Opting for zero-calorie beverages, such as herbal tea, can also be beneficial for weight loss.
How Much Water Should You Drink to Lose Weight?
Although some experts may not be convinced that drinking water can be linked to weight loss, the evidence outlined above suggests otherwise. That said, how much water do you need to drink to lose weight?
Drinking at least 64 ounces (eight cups) of water every day is the recommended amount, but also keep in mind that 20% of your hydration needs can come from your diet.