Can drinking more water actually help you lose weight?
If you’re trying to lose weight, making simple changes to your lifestyle, such as heading outdoors for longer walks, reducing your stress levels, and drinking more water, may seem like the least overwhelming, and perhaps most sustainable, course of action. But can upping your H2O intake really help you achieve your goals? And, if so, how much water should you drink to lose weight? Here are the answers to your questions
While no one’s saying you’ll wake up lighter simply by sipping water before bed (or any other time of day), evidence supports the water–weight loss connection: After all, 60% of your body is composed of water, meaning that the clear, calorie-free liquid plays a role in just about every bodily function. The more hydrated you are, research suggests, the more efficiently your body works at tasks that range from thinking to burning body fat.
Seven reasons why you might lose weight if you drink more water:
1. Drinking water may help you feel less hungry.
When you feel hungry, your first impulse may be to look for food. But the sensation of hunger can often be confused with the need for hydration. By drinking a glass of water, you may be able to decrease your appetite and feel less hungry.
Drinking water before meals can help you eat less. In a study, people who drank two glasses of water before eating in a small 2016 study ate 22% less than those who didn’t drink any water prior to eating. About two cups should fill your stomach enough for your brain to register fullness.
2. Drinking water may boost your metabolism.
Drinking water may help with weight management.In a 2013 study, when overweight girls drank about two cups of water half an hour before breakfast, lunch, and dinner for eight weeks without making any other dietary changes, they lost weight and saw reductions in their body mass index (BMI) and body composition scores.
Drinking water when it’s cold can help you burn more calories. This effect is due to a process called thermogenesis, or heat production. When the body warms up the cold water to its normal temperature, it burns extra calories in order to do so. In one study with 14 healthy adults, researchers found that drinking about two cups (16 oz.) of 71°F (20°C) water increased their metabolic rates by about 30%.
Keep in mind that the effects of thermogenesis probably won’t create substantial calorie deficits that result in weight loss, even if the effect is negligible. It is important to stay hydrated
3. Drinking water can help you reduce the amount of liquid calories that you consume.
Drinking water instead of calorie-rich alternatives such as juice, soda, or sweetened tea or coffee can help you cut calories. For example, if you typically drink a 500ml vending machine soft drink, switching to water will save you 250 calories.
As long as you don’t “make up” for the calories you’ve saved by walking out of the coffee shop with a muffin and water instead of your usual flavored latte, you’ll see a difference on the scale.
Diet soda contributes no calories, but replacing it with water may help some people lose weight. A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that overweight and obese women who replaced diet beverages with water after their main meal lost more weight during a weight loss program than those who drank diet beverages. The extra weight loss could be attributed to consuming fewer calories and carbohydrates, but further research is needed. All that said, since many diet beverages still hydrate and reduce calorie intake when used as a replacement for sugary drinks, they may help certain individuals lose weight.
4. Drinking water can help you stay hydrated during exercise
Drinking plenty of water during your workout can help prevent muscle cramping and keep you from overexerting yourself. But that’s not the only reason to stay hydrated during exercise. When your body gets hot, it produces sweat to cool off. And when you sweat, you lose fluids—especially electrolytes like sodium, potassium, and magnesium that help your muscles contract. An imbalance of these minerals can make your muscles cramp up, but it can also slow down muscle growth over time because the body uses protein (aka muscle) as an energy source when it is dehydrated.
It’s important to stay hydrated in order to keep your blood volume up, which means that you’ll be able to maximize the expansion of blood vessels at the skin’s surface. As a result, you’ll be able to release heat more quickly and avoid overheating. If you don’t have sufficient water in your body, then you’ll be less able to get rid of excess heat through sweating. Drinking plenty of fluids before and during your workout will help to keep you cool by decreasing fatigue and allowing you to exercise more efficiently.
5. Water helps the body get rid of waste
Drinking water helps your body produce urine, which is mostly water, and move stools along. In other words, the more water you drink, the easier it is for your system to move things along and less likely you are to suffer from constipation and bloating. Drinking enough water also promotes kidney function and flushes harmful bacteria from the urinary tract while preventing kidney stones, which can occur with more concentrated urine.
6.Water is necessary for burning fat
Upping your water intake may increase lipolysis, the process by which the body burns fat for energy, according to a 2016 mini-review of animal studies published in Frontiers in Nutrition. “We’re not certain of the mechanism, but mild dehydration decreases lipolysis, which may be due to hormonal changes,” says Jampolis, who was not associated with the review. Another theory posed in the animal studies: Water expands cell volume, which could play a role in fat metabolism. However, it remains unproven among human subjects.
7. Water may improve motivation and reduce stress
Drinking lots of water may help you burn more fat, according to a 2016 mini-review of animal studies published in Frontiers in Nutrition. We’re not certain of the mechanism, but mild dehydration decreases lipolysis—the process by which the body burns fat for energy. Water expands cell volume, which could play a role in fat metabolism. However, we don’t have enough evidence to say this for sure yet.
Can I drink juices or other liquids instead of water to lose weight?
Some people find drinking water too boring. They may think it’s too plain because it doesn’t have a taste. Given that situation, they may prefer drinking juices or other drinks instead of water. But the truth is that water is the best liquid you can put in your body to stay healthy, especially if you are trying to lose weight.
Studies have shown that drinking other substances, such as juices and non-caloric drinks, increases insulin levels and makes fat oxidation more difficult. Even when beverages are non-caloric, the sweeteners on the drinks boost caloric intake while eating. Sure, if your drink has zero calories, you won’t get fatter; but it is not as healthy as a good glass of water. However if you find drinking water too tedious you could incorporate some solutions like adding lemon or cucumber or ginger to make it taste better.
How much water do you need?
There is no consensus about how much water you should drink to be healthier. The World Health Organization (WHO) says that we should drink, at least, 2 liters of water per day. Although this is a good standard for most people, there are several factors that can affect the amount of water you need each day: your weight, temperature and activity level.
People who are very active, or who sweat a lot, need to drink more water than those who are not active.Older people and breast-feeding mothers also need to drink plenty of water, because their bodies cannot absorb it as well as those of younger adults.Most people get some of their daily water requirements from foods and beverages such as coffee, tea, meat, fish, milk and fruit juices.
To keep yourself healthy, drink water when you’re thirsty and drink enough to quench your thirst. If you find that you have a headache, are in a bad mood, are constantly hungry or have trouble concentrating, then you may suffer from mild dehydration. Drinking more water may help fix this.
Here are some guidelines for how much water you should drink, in different measurements:
* Liters: 1–2.
* Ounces: 34–67.
* Glasses (8-oz): 4–8.
You can use one of these apps to track your water intake
* Daily Water Tracker Reminder
* Water Time
* Drink Water Tracker Reminder
* Water Minder
It’s also important to note that these are just general guidelines. Not everyone will need the same amount of water, and some might even need more. As with any rule, though, it’s important not to overdo it—you can become sick if you drink too much water too quickly or treat it like a game by competing with others: Just because you’re trying to stay healthy doesn’t mean you should risk your health!
How Much Water Do You Need to Drink to Lose Weight?
Wondering how much water you should drink to lose weight? The answer depends on a variety of factors, including your age and body type.
Most people should drink about eight glasses of fluids each day. But the amount varies depending on age, gender, health, physical activity and more. Thirst is generally a good indicator of whether you need to drink more water.
Of the fluids you need to stay hydrated, 80 percent comes from drinking water and other beverages, while the remaining 20 percent comes from foods like melons and other fruits that contain a fair amount of water.
To see if you’re drinking enough water, look at the color of your urine after you pee. If it is dark yellow, you aren’t drinking enough. You should be aiming for light yellow or clear.
Benefits of drinking water
Drinking water has many health benefits.
Keep in mind that your body is made up of about 60% water, so proper hydration can affect more than just weight loss. Here are some other things water does for the body:
Water keeps your skin looking healthy.
Scientists are still trying to determine the exact mechanism behind how water affects your skin, but it makes sense that drinking more water will have a positive impact on your skin. Researchers found that drinking more water can have a similar effect as using a topical moisturizer on normal skin physiology and elasticity.
Water helps your brain function at its best.
Your brain, like the rest of your body, depends on water to work at its best—water actually makes up about three-fourths of your brain. Even slight levels of dehydration (as little as 2% water loss) can hurt your ability to focus and remember things, according to research published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.
Water helps regulate blood pressure.
Water helps the blood circulate. When you’re dehydrated, the plasma/blood cell ratio changes in a way that makes the blood thicker and more viscous. This makes it tougher for blood to flow where it needs to flow, increasing the stress placed on the heart.
In addition, when your body’s cells don’t have enough water, the brain secretes a chemical that constricts the blood vessels, which can lead to hypertension or high blood pressure, which in turn can increase the risk of stroke and heart disease. Staying hydrated keeps your blood vessels from constricting so blood can flow normally.
Hydration is important for the body, since when the body’s cells don’t have enough water, your brain secretes a chemical that constricts the blood vessels. This can lead to hypertension or high blood pressure, which in turn can increase the risk of stroke and heart disease. Keeping hydrated keeps blood flowing normally.
Common Myths about Water and Weight Loss
There have been a lot of rumors about the relationship between drinking water and losing weight.
Some rumors say that drinking more water than usual helps you lose weight. These rumors are not supported by scientific evidence: drinking more than the recommended amount of water is not a propulsor of weight loss. Yes, drinking water really helps with weight loss efforts, but drinking too much water can be dangerous, causing water poisoning.
A common misconception about water is that drinking too much of it leads to water retention. This isn’t true! Most cases of water retention are caused by eating too much salty foods, sitting for too long, or leading a sedentary lifestyle. You can avoid water retention by changing these habits. On the other hand, drinking water helps your body get rid of toxins, which actually contributes to the loss of water retention!
5 Easy Ways to Help You Drink More Water
1. If you drink anything other than water, drink at least a glass of water with it. This will help you drink more water throughout the day, fill up faster and feel more satisfied, and slow down how many calories you take in from other beverages.
2. Drink water through a straw. Did you know that drinking through a straw can actually help you consume more water? My clients often tell me that when I suggest drinking from the cup instead of through a straw, it seems counterintuitive. But the truth is that if you’re trying to drink more water throughout the day and limit your calories from other beverages, then drinking from a cup will help you reach those goals.
3. Start early. One of the easiest ways to start drinking water is to make it a part of your morning routine. While the coffee is brewing or tea is steeping, drink a glass of filtered water.
4. Find a water bottle or cup that really suits you. I love my water cup—it’s the perfect size to fit comfortably in my hand and doesn’t sweat. It’s insulated, so my water stays nice and cool, and it has a straw so I don’t have to tilt my head back when I drink. You can find some great bottles on S’WELL & ECOVESSEL.
5. Drink, fill up your glass again, and repeat.
Once you find a cup you like, keep it handy. As soon as you finish your water, fill it up again. Water is one of the most effective, easiest, least expensive, and most readily available tools you have at your disposal to help you lose weight and improve your health. It’s a great place to start!
Water can help you lose weight when combined with some other good habits. It’s not a magic pill, but it can be a powerful maintenance tool. Drinking water increases fat oxidation, boosts metabolism and decreases appetite. Plus, it has lots of benefits for your entire body. Why don’t you give it a try?
See you for the next buzz 🐝
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Credit for the photos of this article:
Anush Gorak ,Prophsee Journals , ANTONI SHKRABA , Kelly Sikkema, Joice Kelly , Drew Taylor , Dominika Ro