It doesn’t look like much — this clear colorless liquid that flows from our taps — and yet without it we wouldn’t be able to survive.
There’s no doubt that you need water to live, but can drinking this life-giving fluid also help you lose weight? Research suggests that drinking water helps to cleanse your body and can even act as an appetite suppressant.
Read on to discover the ways in which water can help you shed those unwanted pounds, and improve your overall health.
How Much Water Should You Drink?
The Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI) for daily water consumption recommend 3.7 liters for men over the age of 19, and 2.7 liters for women over the age of 19.[i] This sounds like a lot, but some of this water comes from the food you eat. You should aim to drink between 1.5 and 2 liters of water per day — approximately 8–10 big glasses — with the extra coming from water-rich foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables.
Of course, if you are very active or live in a hot country, you will need to drink more. The amount of water you need to drink also depends on your size and your diet.
A good way to tell whether you’re adequately hydrated is to check the color of your urine when you go to the toilet. Yellow or dark urine that is smelly is indicative of dehydration. Clear or light yellow urine points to good hydration levels.
Drink Water Before Meals
One of the reasons people struggle with their weight is poor portion control. If you find yourself over-eating at mealtimes, try drinking a tall glass of water before your lunch and dinner. This can make you feel fuller and help you to control your appetite.[ii] If you’re already a little satiated you will find it easier to eat smaller portions, which in turn will help with weight management.
Dehydration can also cause sudden hunger pangs or cravings for food, so making sure you drink water throughout the day will help to reduce snacking.
Cold Water or Tepid Water?
We’ve all heard the theory that drinking ice-cold water can help you to lose weight due to the higher number of calories burnt by the body to warm up again. However, the weight loss effects of this technique are negligible and you risk shocking your digestive system if you drink water that is too cold.
When it comes to weight loss, nothing beats a healthy diet and exercise. Whether you decide on an icy glass of water or a tepid one, the important factor is making sure you have enough.
Hydrate at the Gym
It’s critical that you drink plenty of water when you are working out. If you’re dehydrated you will lack the energy you need to push yourself during exercise.
Consuming adequate amounts of water will ensure that your body remains hydrated and able to function at its best. The more energized you feel during your workout, the more weight you are likely to lose.
Swap Your Fizzy Drinks for Water
Fizzy pop, concentrated fruit juices and energy drinks all contain ingredients that are harmful to your health.
The sugar in these beverages can cause weight gain and Type 2 diabetes. Caffeine, present in most energy drinks, has been linked to anxiety and insomnia, and can also cause dehydration due of its diuretic properties.
Replacing these sugary drinks with water can go a long way in helping you to achieve your weight loss goals. Try herbal teas, or add a slice of lemon and a drizzle of honey to water for a tastier, healthier alternative.
Some of the water you require for optimum health each day comes from your diet.
Aim to include plenty of water-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables, in your meals. This will ensure you’re also getting high amounts of vitamins, minerals and fiber, which all contribute to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.
Which Water Is best?
Tap water, bottled water, mineral water, spring water, structured water…. It’s difficult to know which one to choose! Not all water is created equal — Click here for an in depth review of the different types of water and their various properties and health benefits.
Drinking enough water each day, combined with a healthy diet and exercise, will help you reach your healthy weight, and improve your wellbeing.
Increase the amount of water you drink and start feeling the health benefits today!