You’ve probably heard for years how important it is to drink water. You know that you need to stay hydrated, and you know that drinking water can deliver other health benefits as well.
What you might not be aware of, however, is that drinking water might help you to lose weight. Here’s some information on how this is possible.
How Much Water Do You Need Each Day?
There’s no “one size fits all” number that applies when it comes to how much water you need to consume each day in order to lose weight. The number will depend on how active you are.
For example, if you exercise hard every day, you’ll need more water than someone who only exercises every once in a while. People in both groups will generally need to drink more water than someone who’s usually sedentary. That’s because the more you sweat, the more water you’ll need to replenish.1
Water and Your Appetite
If you’re on a diet, there’s a pretty good chance you’re already counting calories on a regular basis. But you might not know that water for weight loss can act as an appetite suppressant. This applies mainly to people who are middle-aged or older adults.2
According to one study, middle-aged participants who drank a glass of water for weight loss before each meal lost as much as four pounds in three months. The study compared a group of obese adults who drank water before a meal with those who did not. On average, the participants who drank water lost 40 percent more weight than the other group.3
And who doesn’t like a soda with their meal? Most of us are so used to having one when we eat we don’t even think about it. But research shows that you might want to consider drinking water with your food instead.
According to another study, switching from sugary soda to water could reduce your caloric intake by as much as 10 percent.4 And that could go a long way toward helping you lose weight over the long term.5
Water could also help keep a child from having to deal with obesity.6
Two cities in Germany installed water fountains in nearly 20 schools, and then implemented an education program that focused on the importance of water consumption. The program worked. After only a year, researchers found that the children in those schools had a 31 percent lower risk of becoming obese.7
Water and Calorie Burning
There is also evidence indicating that staying hydrated can help you burn calories. That’s because it helps to increase your “resting metabolism.”8
According to one study, adults who drink water can increase the amount of energy they expend during rest by up to 30 percent. This effect can last for as long as 10 minutes.9
Children can experience the benefit of increased metabolism after consuming water as well. Another study showed that obese children increased their resting energy expenditure by as much as 25 percent simply by drinking some cold water.10
And yet another study showed that water could help overweight people lose weight. Researchers studied a group of overweight women who consumed about 34 ounces of water a day. They found that those women lost an average of four pounds more than another group of overweight women who didn’t drink as much water. The women who lost weight didn’t exercise – they simply drank more water.
According to that same study, the average person burns nearly 25 calories for every 17 ounces of water he or she consumes.11
Drinking water on a regular basis, research indicates, could also help you burn a significant amount of body fat.12
Other Reasons to Drink More Water
But even if you don’t need to drink water for weight loss, you should seriously consider trying to drink more water. If you’ve ever dealt with the agony of kidney stones, for example, water could help prevent you from getting them again. Water increases the amount of urine that moves through your kidneys. This urine dilutes the minerals in your kidneys, reducing the chances they will crystallize and turn into painful stones.13
Adding Some “Zip”
And it doesn’t have to be plain. For example, if you want an extra “zip,” make some lemon water. Just add a few drops of lemon juice. Whether you drink lemon water or plain ol’ water, it can help reduce the chances you’ll suffer from headaches.14 There’s even evidence that water can help if you develop constipation.15
Wrapping it Up
While there is a lot of evidence that water could help you lose weight (and deliver other benefits as well), don’t start drinking more until you talk to your doctor. You want to be completely sure that it will be safe for you to do so.
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