Can water help you lose weight?
Did you know that you can endure weeks without food, but only days without water? That is because water makes up 60-75 percent of your body.
Drinking water does more than just quench your thirst – it is essential to keeping your body functioning properly and feeling healthy. Nearly all of your body’s major systems depend on water to function and survive. You would be surprised about what staying hydrated can do for your body.
Six reasons why drinking water may help you lose weight
- Water is a natural appetite suppressant
When the stomach senses that it is full, it sends signals to the brain to stop eating. Water can help take up space in the stomach, leading to a feeling of fullness and reducing hunger.
A person may also think they are hungry when they are actually thirsty. Drinking a glass of water before reaching for something to eat can help to curb unnecessary snacking.
- Water helps to remove waste from the body
When the body is dehydrated, it cannot correctly remove waste as urine or feces.
Water helps the kidneys filter toxins and waste while the organ retains essential nutrients and electrolytes. When the body is dehydrated, the kidneys retain fluid.
Dehydration can also result in hard or lumpy stools as well as constipation. Water keeps waste moving by softening or loosening hardened stools.
When waste builds up in the body, people may feel bloated, swollen, and tired. Bloating can add inches to a person’s waist.
- Drinking water can reduce overall liquid calorie intake
It is easy to accumulate liquid calories by drinking soda, juice, sweetened coffee or tea.
Most people also ignore how many calories they consume in sports or alcoholic beverages.
Replacing even a few high calorie drinks each day with water or other non-calorie beverages, such as herbal tea, may have long term weight loss benefits.
- Water is necessary to burn fat
Without water, the body cannot properly metabolize stored fat or carbohydrates.
Upping your water intake may increase lipolysis, the process by which the body burns fat for energy
- Water helps with exercise
Water is essential to the body during exercise: it dissolves electrolytes – minerals that include sodium, potassium, and magnesium – and distributes them throughout the body, where their electrical energy triggers muscle contractions required for movement. An electrolyte imbalance can lead to cramping, but that is not the only side effect of drinking too little.
The body loses fluids more quickly during exercise because it generates heat that is shunted to the skin’s surface, where perspiration and subsequent evaporation (a cooling process) help with temperature regulation.
- Drinking water may stimulate your metabolism
It is possible that drinking water stimulates your body’s metabolism and energy expenditure, ultimately helping with weight management.
It is not magic: drinking water appears to stimulate thermogenesis, or heat production, in the body, particularly when it is chilled.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Water is important to every part of your body. Not only will hitting your daily recommended intake help you maintain your current state of being, it may even improve your overall health.
Here are some ideas for how you can be sure you drink enough:
- Carry a water bottle with you wherever you go.
- Set reminders or use a water-tracker app.
- Pace yourself to approach half of your recommended consumption by midday.
- Replace sugary drinks and sodas with plain water.
- Develop a habit of drinking water before meals, when you wake up, and before bed.
The recommended intake of total water from all sources each day for most adults is:
- 3.7 liters (about 130 fl oz) for men
- 2.7 liters (about 95 fl oz) for women
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