10 Reasons Drinking Water Helps You Lose Weight

drinking water for weight loss

Welcome to Water Wednesday! Staying properly hydrated is one of the simplest yet most effective ways to promote weight loss. Drinking water helps in a variety of ways, from boosting metabolism to curbing appetite. In this article, we’ll explore the top 10 science-backed reasons why drinking more water can support your weight loss efforts.

Drinking Water: It Boosts Your Metabolism

Drinking adequate water, especially before meals, has been shown to temporarily speed up metabolism by up to 30%! Consuming cold water forces the body to burn extra calories (through a process called thermogenesis) to warm it to core temperature. This metabolic surge helps promote fat burning.

One study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism had participants undergo a drinking water session, where they consumed about 17 ounces of water. Afterwards, their metabolic rate increased by 30% for both men and women. The effects lasted up to an hour after drinking. Consuming water first thing in the morning and before meals provides a consistent metabolism boost when you need it most.

Over time, staying well hydrated may also support a higher basal metabolic rate. This allows your body to passively burn more calories around the clock, versus operating in a dehydrated state. Even small increases in metabolic rate add up in terms of extra calories burned daily.

drinking water boost appetite

It Suppresses Your Appetite

The sheer volume of water fills up space in your stomach and small intestine, sending signals of fullness to your brain. This leads to eating less overall at a meal. Studies show drinking water before meals can reduce calorie intake by 13% or more.

A study published in Obesity followed overweight and obese participants who drank 2 cups of water right before eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day. On the days they preloaded with water before meals, they consumed 75-90 fewer calories per meal compared to days they did not preload. Their levels of hunger and desire to eat were also significantly reduced.

water in a glass drinking more water for hydration weight loss

It Prevents Water Retention

Chronic dehydration causes the body to hold on to extra water weight as a protective measure. Your kidneys conserve water by retaining fluids and minimizing urination. Drinking more water signals the kidneys to release excess fluids, leading to less bloating.

Staying hydrated also counteracts water retention caused by excess sodium intake. According to research in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, participants who drank around 2 liters of water a day excreted more sodium through urine compared to those who drank less. Flushing out extra sodium can minimize fluid retention.

lemon good for appetite drinking water

It Cleans Out Toxins

Water supports kidney function and helps flush waste products and toxins out of the body through urine. This reduces bloating and water retention related to buildups of certain compounds. Staying hydrated may also promote more regular bowel movements, eliminating waste from the GI tract as well.

Some toxins and waste products that water helps remove include:

  • Urea – byproduct of protein metabolism
  • Lactic acid – byproduct of exercise
  • Ketones – byproduct of fat breakdown
  • Toxic heavy metals
  • Bile – breakdown of red blood cells

It Gives You Energy

Even mild dehydration slows cellular function and causes fatigue, headaches, poor concentration, and muscle weakness or cramps. This is because your trillions of cells need adequate water to produce energy, transmit nerve signals, digest food, and perform countless other tasks.

Drinking enough water and staying hydrated keeps your energy and focus up for better workouts and day-to-day function. Have some water first thing when you wake up, between tasks or meetings, or when you start feeling sluggish. Drinking water before exercise is especially crucial as well.

drinking water improves performance in exercise

It Improves Exercise Performance

Beyond energy, hydration is key for optimal athletic abilities. Even mild dehydration compromises your performance. Consuming adequate water enables your body to properly regulate temperature, lubricate joints, transport nutrients into cells, flush lactic acid from muscles, and prevent dizziness or cramping.

This allows you to exercise harder and for longer durations, leading to more calories burned during workouts. Proper hydration leads to increased endurance, strength, power output, and reduced fatigue. Always sip water during exercise and have at least 16-24 oz before and after.

It Keeps You Hydrated

Obviously, you need water to avoid dehydration. But being even slightly dehydrated slows metabolism, harms cognition, hinders weight loss, and promotes overeating and junk food cravings. Some signs of inadequate hydration include:

  • Thirst
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Constipation
  • Dark urine
  • Dry mouth

Staying consistently hydrated ensures your body can perform all its functions optimally and efficiently. Make sipping water throughout your day a habit to reap the benefits.

It Helps Your Body Digest Food

Water aids digestion and prevents constipation in multiple ways. First, it adds fluid to the colon to keep waste moving smoothly. Second, consuming water with meals mixes with food components to more readily break them down.

Moving food through your GI tract quicker also curbs bloating and suppresses appetite by emptying your stomach faster between meals. Proper hydration also maximizes nutrient absorption from foods.

It Helps Your Kidneys Function Properly

As mentioned earlier, water allows kidneys to filter waste products and excess fluids from the blood efficiently. This process regulates overall fluid balance in the body and minimizes water retention.

Kidneys also help moderate blood pressure, which tends to be lower when you’re hydrated. Some studies indicate staying well hydrated may lower risk of developing kidney stones as well.

It Keeps Your Skin Looking Healthy

Dry, dull, flaky skin can be a sign of inadequate hydration. Drinking water keeps your skin hydrated and supple from the inside out. Proper hydration also promotes better skin cell function, faster cell turnover and wound healing.

Water helps minimize wrinkles and other signs of aging. Staying hydrated also promotes better sweating, keeping your skin clean of pore-clogging dirt and oil. Your complexion will look radiant when you meet your daily water needs.

As you can see, drinking enough water positively impacts nearly every system in the body. Implementing some of the water drinking tips we’ve suggested in the past can help you easily meet your hydration needs. Let us know if you have any favorite strategies! Stay tuned for more wellness wisdom next Water Wednesday.

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Categorized as weight loss