Today, we are all aware of all benefits that water has to offer.
According to the Harvard Medical School Special Health Report 6-Week Plan for Healthy Eating, water has many important jobs. To be more specific, it:
- Carries Nutrients And Oxygen To Your Cells
- Flushes Bacteria From Your Bladder
- Aids Digestion
- Prevents Constipation
- Normalizes The Blood Pressure
- Stabilizes The Heartbeat
- Cushions Joints
- Protects Your Organs And Tissues
- Regulates The Body Temperature
- Maintains Electrolyte (Sodium) Balance
However, the latest application and emerging trend is drinking lots of fluids to lose weight. If you don’t seem to trust this statement, be aware that there is evidence confirming the importance of drinking water for weight loss.
So, the only questions at this point are, how does it all work? How can drinking water help you lose a few kilograms without negatively affecting your overall health and well-being?
Advantages of Drinking Water for Weight Loss
Let’s dig into the hows and whys on the top five reasons for drinking water for weight loss.
1. It Helps Your Body Feel Full
First things first, drinking water can make you feel full in the same way like you have eaten a meal.
Studies show that the best time to drink water is before a meal. Essentially, by filling your stomach with fluids, you will eat less. Therefore, you can reduce your calory intake and, with time, lose weight.
To check this theory, I have instructed my clients to drink water before eating a meal. I have used a control group to better spot the difference. The individuals who were drinking water before each meal ate less food than they would if they did not drink water before starting the meal.
In turn, this has confirmed the effectiveness of drinking water for weight loss.
I am not a medical person, but most probably, this stems from the speed with which water passes through your system. It can quickly help fill your stomach up. As a result of this process, it signalizes your brain that you are full and do not need too much food in your body.
On the other side, when you are dehydrated, the brain can also mistake it for hunger. So while you may assume that your body requires food, you might need to drink a glass of water to fill that void.
2. It Helps You Burn Fat
Your body naturally burns fat, and it turns this fat into energy. We recognize the process as lipolysis. What you might not know is that water is an essential component for this process to occur efficiently.
Lipolysis refers to how your body breaks down fat. The first step in this process, hydrolysis, occurs when water molecules interact with triglycerides (fats) to create glycerol and fatty acids.
Water intake stimulates heat production, thermogenesis in the body, mainly when it’s chilled. When the body works a bit harder to warm the fluid to body temperature, it expands more energy, thus accelerating the metabolism.
Essentially upping your water intake may increase lipolysis. Therefore, burning your fats faster is yet another benefit of drinking water for weight loss.
3. It Helps During Exercise
Water dissolves electrolytes, minerals including sodium, potassium, and magnesium, and distributes them throughout the body. The electrolytes’ energy triggers muscle contractions required for movement, making them essential for the body during exercise. In turn, electrolyte imbalance can lead to cramping.
During workouts, the body loses fluids more quickly since it generates heat shunted to the skin’s surface. This further emphasizes the importance of drinking water for weight loss and staying vital.
Finally, proper hydration is essential for maintaining your blood volume, especially during a workout.
4. It Helps Your Body Remove Waste
Water is a significant component of urine, making it essential to your body’s process of removing waste. Not only that, but water also keeps stools soft, being crucial for the movement of feces.
If your body is, for whatever reason, not getting enough water, you are more likely to get constipated and will not pass waste as frequently as you probably should be.
When the waste stores up in your body, this will lead to a bloated feeling, and you will feel a lot heavier as a result. You might even weigh more on a scale because waste is within your body.
Furthermore, drinking water for weight loss also comes with several extra benefits. Adequate hydration promotes kidney function, flushes harmful bacteria from the urinary tract, and prevents kidney stones. After all, these issues usually occur with more concentrated urine, so drinking lots of water can easily resolve them.
5. It Improves Motivation And Reduces Stress
If you are dehydrated, you might feel fatigue, dizziness, confusion, sleepiness, and reduced alertness.
A study has shown that dehydration also increases your body’s production of cortisol, which we also recognize as the stress hormone.
In turn, these symptoms can affect your motivation to work out or even function daily. You might find it challenging to get up from bed, let alone finish your tasks.
Now that you get the importance of drinking water for weight loss and maintaining your health, let’s see how much water is enough for this to occur. Furthermore, how can you ensure to drink as much water as necessary to remain hydrated at all times?
Drinking Water for Weight Loss – How Much Is Enough?
We all know the importance of drinking plenty of fluids, especially when the temperatures soar outside. Staying hydrated is necessary. Still, people don’t seem to apply this rule in real life.
Things get even more severe when it comes to older people. They don’t sense thirst as much as younger, more vital individuals. Worse yet, specific medications can lead to fluid loss. Essentially, elders can quickly end up dehydrated.
So, the question, at this point, is, how much water is enough?
Healthy people can follow the general daily four-to-six cup rule. However, if you have certain health conditions, such as thyroid disease, kidney, liver, or heart problems, or if you’re taking medications that make you retain water, you can take in too much water. Essentially, this excess water can cause you health issues.
The National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends:
- Women need to drink approximately 2.7 liters of water a day
- Men need to drink approximately 3.7 liters of water a day
Still, as explained, there is no one size fits all. Researchers based these estimations on the average person. Different people will require different amounts of water depending on their age, height, weight, climate, and other factors.
Therefore, water intake must be individualized, especially when it comes to weight loss. The most efficient method is to consult with a doctor if you cannot determine the water intake on your own.
Tips To Avoid Dehydration
You might find it hard to reach the minimum daily water intake to remain hydrated at all times.
One thing to keep in mind is that all beverages containing water lead to a net positive contribution to total fluid consumption. So, you might as well add coffee and similar drinks to the balance.
Still, sugary drinks can lead to weight gain and inflammation. So, water is essentially the best choice.
Here are several tips on how you can increase your daily water consumption:
- Keep a glass of water near you at all times to remind you to drink water during the day
- Keep a bottle of water near your nightstand, so you can drink fluids before going to bed and right after waking up
- Get a portable and reusable water bottle always filled with water; one that you can easily carry around take to work, or the gym
- Eat foods with high water contents, such as cucumbers, tomatoes, and watermelons
- Replace all sugary, alcoholic, and caffeinated beverages with water
- Set alarms and reminders to drink water at specific times throughout the day
- Have at least one glass of water with each meal, socially, or with medicine
Final Thought – Is Drinking Water For Weight Loss Effective?
It sure is!
As explained, drinking water for weight loss works because it makes you feel full, speeds up your metabolism and burning of fats, removes body waste, assists your workouts, reduces stress, and motivates you daily.
On the contrary, water dehydration can negatively affect your health and general well-being. The tips mentioned above can help you increase your daily water intake, thus improving your overall long-term condition.
If you are looking for more useful information on weight loss, building muscle, and exercise, make sure to check our Fitness Tips page.