8 glasses a day keeps weight gain at bay… wait, that’s not how it goes. Or is it?
You’ve probably heard that’s the golden standard when it comes to how much water you should drink per day.
Why is that? Maybe it’s because you’re made up of around 60% water (1). Literally every cell in your body depends on it, so it’s pretty important.
Lack of adequate water intake can lead to dehydration, which can negatively impact you in a variety of different ways.
But when it comes to accelerating your weight loss efforts, drinking more can help.
In this article, we’re unleashing 6 reasons drinking more water can help you lose weight.
1. Helps remove waste from your body
The food you eat takes a long trip through your digestive tract. From your mouth to your stomach, and down through your intestines, chemical reactions, muscle contractions, and other interactions are happening all the time.
Water aids this entire process. According to Susan E. Goodman, author of The Truth About Poop, the average man can have up to a pound of stool in his body, with the average woman not far behind (2).
If you don’t drink enough water, it can make it harder for you to eliminate waste from your body. This can lead to constipation, discomfort, gas, and bloating (3).
Drinking plenty of water makes it easier for your intestines to remove the necessary nutrients from your food, and package up the rest to be sent out later.
2. It’s necessary to burn fat
If you zoomed in on how your cells create and store energy, you’d see that water is an essential part of the equation.
The process of metabolizing fat is called lipolysis. The first step in this process is called hydrolysis, which means water molecules interact with fats called triglycerides.
Staying hydrated can help keep this process running smoothly and efficiently. A 2016 review observed how increased water intake led to more lipolysis, which led to fat loss in animals (4).
3. Acts as a natural appetite suppressant
Oftentimes when we feel hunger coming on, we’re actually just thirsty. Keeping your water topped off can help keep you feeling fuller, longer by simply filling your stomach up.
In one study, 50 overweight women were instructed to drink 500ml of water half an hour before their normal meal times, in addition to their normal water intake. After 8 weeks, the woman reported lower body weight, body fat, and body mass index. They also shared that their appetites weren’t as severe (9).
4. Helps during exercise
It’s no secret that effective weight loss involves burning calories. We were not made for the sedentary life, and daily exercise is beneficial for your whole body, not just as far as your weight is concerned.
Research shows that not drinking enough water lowers your performance rates (5). That’s because it helps keep your joints, muscles, and connective tissue working properly. It can also help prevent cramps and fatigue.
5. Increases calorie burning
Some studies suggest that drinking cold or room temperature water can elevate your body’s calorie-burning abilities.
A group of 12 people was given 500ml of both cold and room temperature water to drink. Within 90 minutes, they had burned 2-3% more calories than they normally did (8). The idea behind this is that your body burns calories as it warms the cold water up.
6. Can reduce overall calorie intake
Liquid calories can be sneaky. Teas, lemonades, sweetened coffees, and electrolyte drinks all have added calories. If you’re not careful, it can add up quickly.
Water is a no-calorie beverage, which comes in handy when you’re trying to limit or reduce your overall calorie intake. One clinical trial observed a group of women who drank 250ml of water every day after lunch as part of a 24-week program. The results were that they lost 13.6% more weight than those who drank diet beverages after their lunch (6).
Another long-term study found that even replacing one serving of fruit juice with water gained 0.77 lb less than those who kept fruit juice in their diets (7).
Practical Ways to Drink More Water
It can seem tedious to make sure you’re drinking enough water. Here are some ways to make it fun (10):
- Keep water by your bed and drink it first thing in the morning
- Add fruit or slices of cucumber
- Set reminders
- Consider investing in a filter
- Use apps
- Drink a glass after each trip to the bathroom
- Keep a gallon of water in your car when traveling
- Eat more water-rich foods
- Dilute drinks with water or ice
It might take some intentionality to get started, but once a good habit is formed it’s much easier to keep.
Water is essential to life – every part of your body contains some percentage of it. Most people don’t drink enough water, and their health suffers because of it.
Good, clean water can help replenish your cells, burn fat, suppress your appetite, and aid your weight loss goals. And if downing glass after glass sounds boring, there are lots of ways to liven it up.
Does your weight loss plan involve drinking lots of water? If not, now’s a great time to change that!
References & Disclaimers
✝✝This noted statement is based on independent research and is not necessarily the opinion of the author