Does Water Really Help Lose Weight?
Last updated date: 17-Jul-2022
10 mins read
Many people drink beverages every day. Do you know those beverages you have casually are the reason why you gain more weight? A single can of energy drink contains as much as 160kcal, and it takes power walking for 30 to 40 minutes to burn those calories. But if you want to lose weight without sweating, drink water instead of sugary drinks. You can easily see photos of celebrities holding a bottle of water, and they all look fit. Then, let’s talk about the secrets of water that keeps us fit and healthy.
What Does Water Mean to Us?
About 50% to 60% of the human body is water. Water facilitates metabolism and bodily functions and helps prevent dehydration. As body wastes are produced while losing weight and they are eliminated with water from the body, it is vital to drink enough water while on a diet. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends drinking 1.5L to 2L of water per day (eight to ten 200ml glasses). While our consumption of beverages such as soft drinks, juice, sports drinks, milk, and coffee is on the rise, the amount of water we drink is decreasing, raising concerns over weight gains and various health conditions.
Water keeps every system in the body functioning properly. water has many important jobs, such as:
- Carrying nutrients and oxygen to your cells
- Flushing bacteria from your bladder
- Aiding digestion
- Preventing constipation
- Normalizing blood pressure
- Stabilizing the heartbeat
- Cushioning joints
- Protecting organs and tissues
- Regulating body temperature
- Maintaining electrolyte (sodium) balance.
Why Is Water Important for Successful Weight Loss?
Replacing sugary and high-calorie drinks with water cuts down the total calorie intake and helps losing weight. According to a paper published in an American obesity society journal in 2008, the correlations between water intake and weight loss were studied for a year involving 173 overweight women, and the group who drank more than 1L of water per day lost 2kg. Those who replaced 80% of their sugar-sweetened beverages (SBS) with water recorded 2.4kg of weight loss, a 2.8cm decrease in the waist line, and a 1.6%p drop in the body fat percentage on average.
Also, drinking water before and during a meal helps weight loss by curbing hunger and making you feel full. A study suggested that adults of normal weight who drink 500ml of water before meals absorb 75kcal to 90kcal less and overweight or obese adults who do the same eat 13% less.
For more information see : How to lose weight faster
Seven reasons drinking more water may help you lose weight
1. Water may naturally suppress your appetite.
When you notice you're hungry, your initial instinct may be to go out and get some food. However, eating may not be the solution. Thirst, which is caused by moderate dehydration, is frequently misinterpreted by the brain as hunger. If you are low in water rather than calories, you may be able to reduce your hunger by drinking water. Drinking water can also help with satiation since it moves swiftly through the system, extending the stomach. This sends signals to your brain that you are full.
2. Drinking water may stimulate your metabolism.
Drinking water may boost your body's metabolism and calorie expenditure, thus assisting with weight management. Water appears to enhance thermogenesis, or heat generation, in the body, especially when cooled. To raise the fluid to body temperature, the body must consume energy, and the more energy used by your body, the faster your metabolism (the process through which your body turns what you eat and drink into energy) works. Drinking around two cups of 71°F water resulted in a 30% rise in the metabolic rates of 14 healthy people on average.
But, before you fill your glass and pile your plate, keep in mind that the benefits of thermogenesis are unlikely to result in significant calorie deficits that result in weight reduction. "Even if the benefit is modest, being hydrated is vital, noting that there are few, if any, disadvantages to drinking extra water.
3. Drinking water could help reduce your overall liquid calorie intake.
Because water has no calories, filling your glass with H2O rather than higher calorie choices like juice, soda, or sweetened tea or coffee will help you minimize your overall liquid calorie intake. If you drink water instead of the normal 20-ounce vending machine soft drink, you'll consume 250 fewer calories.
As long as you don't "make up" for those calories by leaving the coffee shop with a muffin and water instead of your normal flavored latte, the calorie savings can soon pile up.
Although diet soda has no calories, substituting diet drinks with water may be a role in weight loss in some groups of people. Overweight and obese women who switched from diet drinks to water after their main meal lost more weight throughout a weight-loss program.
The greater weight reduction in individuals who drank water might be linked to ingesting less calories and carbs, according to the researchers, but further study is needed. Because many diet beverages still hydrate and reduce calorie consumption when taken as a replacement for sugary beverages, they may aid in weight loss in certain people.
4. Drinking water helps during exercise.
During exercise, water is necessary to the body because it dissolves electrolytes minerals such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium and distributes them throughout the body, where their electrical energy causes muscle contractions required for movement. Cramping can be caused by an electrolyte imbalance, but it's not the only unpleasant effect of drinking too little.
When muscle cells are dehydrated, they break down protein faster and develop muscle more slowly, making your exercises far less effective. Furthermore, during exercise, the body loses fluids more quickly because it creates heat, which is transferred to the skin's surface, where sweat and subsequent evaporation (a cooling process) aid in temperature management.
Staying hydrated also helps keep your blood volume stable, allowing you to maximize the expansion of blood vessels at the skin's surface to release heat.
If your body cannot expel extra heat through sweating, you risk heat exhaustion or worse. "Adequate hydration can boost your exercises by reducing weariness, allowing you to go out longer and burn more calories." That's why it's critical to hydrate before, during, and after your workout, rather than simply when you're thirsty.
5. Water helps the body remove waste.
Drinking water aids in the generation of urine, which is mostly water, as well as the movement of feces, because water keeps stools soft. To put it another way, the more hydrated you are, the simpler it is for your system to move things along and the less likely you are to have constipation and bloating. Furthermore, proper hydration stimulates kidney function, flushes dangerous germs from the urinary system, and avoids kidney stones, which can arise with higher concentrations of urine.
6. The body needs water to burn fat.
Increased water consumption may boost lipolysis, the mechanism through which the body burns fat for energy. Another hypothesis advanced in the animal studies: water expands cell volume, which may play a role in fat metabolism. However, it has yet to be tested on human beings.
7. Water may improve motivation and reduce stress.
When you are dehydrated, you may suffer weariness, dizziness, and disorientation. Dehydration has been shown to boost your body's production of cortisol, the stress hormone.
Does drinking water help decrease appetite?
There haven't been any large-scale research linking H2O and appetite to yet; only anecdotal evidence that some people may confuse hunger for thirst, which is produced by moderate dehydration. In principle, the outcome makes sense: you go for food when your body truly needs water, a behavior that may contribute to weight gain over time.
While it seems to reason that drinking water before eating might reduce food intake, and persons who drank two glasses of water immediately before a meal ate 22% less than those who didn't drink any water before eating, there isn't exactly enough data to make a broad suggestion.
How much water should you drink a day?
The daily four-to-six cup guideline is for persons who are typically healthy. If you have certain health conditions, such as thyroid disease or kidney, liver, or heart problems, or if you're taking medications that cause you to retain water, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), opiate pain medications, and some antidepressants, you may consume too much water.
How much water should you drink every day if you fall into such category? There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Water consumption should be customized, and you should consult with your doctor if you are unsure of the appropriate quantity for you.
Even a healthy person's water demands will vary, especially if you're sweating much as a result of exercise or being outside on a hot day. If you're not sure how much water to drink on those occasions, consult your doctor, but a general rule of thumb for healthy people is to drink two to three cups of water per hour, or more if you're sweating profusely.
Tips to Drink More Water
- Carry a water bottle with you and keep it refilled throughout the day.
- Freeze some water bottles that are freezer safe. Take one with you for all-day access to ice-cold water.
- Drink water instead of sugary beverages.
- When dining out, choose water. You'll save money and lose weight.
- During meals, provide water.
- To your water, add a slice of lime or lemon. This can help enhance the flavor and encourage you to drink more water than normal.
- Make sure your children are receiving enough water as well.
Healthy Ways to Drink Water
- Drink a glass of cold water after getting up every morning.
- Always keep water close to you, on a table or even in a car.
- Take a glass of water before a meal to eat less.
- If you still feel hungry or have cravings for snacks after a meal, drink water.
- Replace sugar-sweetened beverages with water.
- If you don’t like the taste of pure water, try adding a slice of lemon, lime, grapefruit, or herb.
- If you really need to drink coffee or tea, choose a decaffeinated one.
Tips for avoiding dehydration
Water isn't the only thing that keeps you hydrated. All beverages containing water help you meet your daily requirements. It's also a fallacy that caffeinated or alcoholic beverages are dehydrating because they induce you to urinate. They do, however over the course of the day, the water from these beverages contributes to overall fluid consumption in a net beneficial way.
Of course, there are other reasons why water remains the preferable option. Remember that sugary drinks can cause weight gain and inflammation, increasing your chance of acquiring illnesses like diabetes. Caffeine might give you the jitters or prevent you from sleeping. In addition, ladies should restrict their alcohol consumption to one drink per day, while males should limit their alcohol consumption to 1-2 drinks per day.
Drink water gradually throughout the day to avoid dehydration. A simple approach to do this is to drink with each meal, as well as socially or with medicine. You may also receive fluids from water-rich meals like salads, fruit, and applesauce.
Does drinking water increase the effectiveness of exercise?
Water is crucial to the body during workouts: as muscle cells get dehydrated, the process of creating muscle slows, making your workouts less efficient. Furthermore, because water dissolves electrolytes minerals such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium and distributes them throughout the body, where their electrical charge causes muscular contractions necessary for movement, an electrolyte imbalance can induce cramping.
Staying hydrated during physical activity is especially important since the body loses fluids more quickly during exercise: It produces heat, which is then transferred to the skin's surface, where sweat and subsequent evaporation (a cooling process) aid in temperature management. Drinking keeps your blood volume stable, allowing you to optimize the expansion of blood vessels at the skin's surface to release heat.
If your body cannot expel extra heat through sweating, you risk heat exhaustion or worse. Adequate hydration can improve your exercises by reducing tiredness, allowing you to go out for longer periods of time and perhaps burn more calories. That's why it's critical to hydrate before, during, and after your workout, rather than simply when you're thirsty.
Drinking water may aid in weight reduction and provide other favorable health effects, according to research. Water has been shown in studies to aid with weight loss in a variety of ways. It may decrease your appetite, increase your metabolism, and make exercise simpler and more efficient, all of which may help you lose weight.