It has been believed for a very long time that drinking water aids in weight loss.
30–59% of persons in the United States who are attempting to lose weight increase their water intake (1Trusted Source, 2Trusted Source).
Numerous studies indicate that consuming more water may assist in weight reduction and maintenance (3Trusted Source).
Drinking Water Can Make You Burn More Calories
The majority of the research listed below investigated the effects of consuming a single 0.5-liter (17-ounce) serving of water.
Resting energy expenditure, which is increased by drinking water, is known as caloric expenditure (4Trusted Source).
It has been demonstrated that drinking water increases the resting energy expenditure of individuals by 24–30% within 10 minutes. This lasts at least one hour (5Trusted Source, 6Trusted Source).
One research of overweight and obese children found that drinking cold water led to a 25 percent increase in resting energy expenditure (7Trusted Source).
The effects of increasing water intake to over 1 litre (34 oz) per day were explored in a study of overweight women. Over the course of a year, this led to an additional weight loss of 2 kilogrammes (4.4 pounds) (8Trusted Source).
Since these women did not make any modifications to their lifestyles other than drinking more water, these outcomes are quite impressive.
In addition, these two studies reveal that drinking 0.5 litres (17 oz) of water leads in an additional 23 calories burnt. This amounts to approximately 17,000 calories annually, or more than 2 kilogrammes (4.4 pounds) of fat.
Several other studies have followed obese individuals who drank 1-1.5 litres (34–50 oz) of water each day over several weeks. They discovered a significant decrease in weight, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, and body fat (8Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source, 10Trusted Source).
If the water is chilly, these findings could be even more stunning. When you consume cold water, your body expends additional calories to bring it to body temperature.
Water consumption before meals can decrease appetite.
Some suggest that consuming water before to a meal suppresses appetite.
There appears to be some validity to this, although virtually mainly among middle-aged and older persons (11Trusted Source).
Drinking water before every meal may increase weight loss by 2 kg (4.4 lb) over a period of 12 weeks, according to research involving older persons (4Trusted Source, 11Trusted Source).
In one study, overweight and obese middle-aged participants who drank water before to each meal lost 44% more weight than those who did not (4Trusted Source).
Another study found that consuming water before to breakfast lowered calorie consumption by 13%. (12Trusted Source).
Although this may be of great benefit to middle-aged and elderly adults, investigations on younger individuals have not revealed a similar reduction in calorie intake.
Since water is naturally devoid of calories, it is typically associated with a lower caloric intake.This is due to the fact that you consume water instead of other beverages, which are frequently high in calories and sugar (13Trusted Source, 14Trusted Source, 15Trusted Source).
Observational studies indicate that those who consume primarily water have an average calorie intake that is up to 9% (or 200 calories) lower (16Trusted Source, 17Trusted Source).
Water consumption may also prevent long-term weight gain. Every four years, the average person grows approximately 1.45 kg (3.2 lb) (18Trusted Source).
This sum may be decreased by:
Adding 1 cup of water: Increasing your daily water intake by 1 cup may prevent this 0.13 kg weight gain (0.23 lbs).
Replacement of other beverages with water: Substituting 1 cup of sugar-sweetened beverage with 1 cup of water may minimise weight gain by 0.5 kg over four years (1.1 lbs).
It is crucial to encourage youngsters to drink water, as it can help prevent them from becoming overweight or obese (17Trusted Source, 3Trusted Source).
A new study conducted in schools intended to minimise childhood obesity by encouraging children to drink water. They erected water fountains in 17 schools and taught second and third students about water conservation.
In schools where water consumption was increased, the incidence of obesity dropped by a staggering 31% after one school year (19Trusted Source).
How Much Water Should Be Consumed?
Numerous health agencies recommend eight 8-ounce glasses of water (about 2 litres) every day.
However, this number is entirely arbitrary. As with so many other factors, an individual’s water needs are largely dependent on his or her own situation (20).
Individuals who constantly exercise or perspire profusely may require more water than those who are less active.
Additionally, older adults and nursing women must strictly control their water intake (21Trusted Source).
Consider that you obtain water from a variety of foods and beverages, including coffee, tea, meat, fish, milk, and particularly fruits and vegetables.
As a general rule, you should always drink enough water to quench your thirst when you are thirsty.
If you have a headache, a foul mood, persistent hunger, and difficulty concentrating, you may be suffering from mild dehydration. Increasing water intake may help remedy this (22Trusted Source, 23Trusted Source, 24Trusted Source).
According to studies, consuming 1-2 litres of water daily should be sufficient for weight loss.
Here is the recommended amount of water, in various measurements:
Glasses (8-oz): 4–8.
However, this is only a general rule of thumb. Some people may require less, but others may require a great deal more.
Additionally, it is not advised to consume an excessive amount of water, since it may create water poisoning. In extreme circumstances, such as during water drinking contests, this has led to death.
Take Home Message
Water is really beneficial for weight loss. It is calorie-free, increases calorie expenditure, and may decrease appetite if ingested before meals.
The benefits are enhanced when sugary beverages are replaced with water. It is a simple technique to reduce sugar and calories.
However, keep in mind that drinking water alone will not be sufficient if you need to shed a large quantity of weight. Water is a very minor component of the puzzle.