Staying hydrated is considered to be one of the most effective ways of maintaining good health. Drinking ample amounts of fluids, especially water, is beneficial no matter what season it is or which part of the world you live in. But did you know that drinking water is also associated with weight loss?
How drinking water aids weight loss
Many research studies indicate that drinking water has many benefits and weight loss is just one of them. A 2011 study published in the journal Obesity suggests that drinking water while maintaining a hypocaloric diet (also known as a very low-calorie diet) can reduce overweight and obesity rates among older adults who usually find it difficult to lose weight quickly.
Another study published in the International Journal of Obesity in 2017 indicates that participants who replaced diet drinks and beverages with plain water for a 12-month weight maintenance period not only lost weight but also had improved insulin sensitivity and cholesterol levels. The following are some of the ways in which drinking water can help you lose weight:
1. Makes you feel full: Drinking water, especially 10-15 minutes before meals, improves satiety and keeps you feeling full for longer. This curbs excess hunger as well as cravings, thus helping you shed those kilos more quickly.
2. Boosts calorie burn: Most people who are overweight have difficulty burning calories fast enough. Studies suggest that drinking enough water helps burn calories even when you’re in a resting state. Moreover, research indicates that drinking water also helps burn carbohydrates and fats faster.
3. Naturally detoxes the body: When your body does not get enough water, it tends to accumulate toxins. Hydrating with water instead of other detox drinks helps flush these toxins out and reduces bloating and swelling associated with the retention of toxins in the body.
4. Reduces overall calorie intake: Research says that there are times when people are actually thirsty but the brain confuses thirst for hunger and they end up eating instead of drinking water. So, if you drink enough water, it’s unlikely for your to experience these mixed signals. This naturally reduces your overall calorie intake, especially from junk food and high-calorie drinks.
5. Improves exercise capacity: Water is integral for muscle function, so drinking enough of it can help the muscles, connective tissues and joints work well. Drinking water also helps reduce the occurence muscle cramps and fatigue. All of this improves your ability to exercise, which is quite necessary for sustainable weight loss.
How much water should you drink?
Simply because drinking water aids weight loss does not mean you should just live on water or drink 5-10 litres of it every day. In fact, research shows that how much water your body needs should be determined by your age, body size, activity levels, health status, atmospheric temperature and humidity and level of sun exposure. People who live in tropical climates, sweat too much, engage in manual labour or intensive exercise every day may need to drink more water than others. Older people and pregnant women should also monitor their water intake after consulting their doctor about how much water they require. In general, experts recommend that adults should drink about two litres of water every day. You can easily measure your water intake by using the same bottle to drink water all day, every day.
For more information, read our article on How much water to drink in a day?
Health articles on News18 are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health.