Water is one of the most unappreciated health boosters available. For those who want to lose weight, reducing their intake of sodium, sugar and saturated fat, it’s just what the doctor ordered.
A 2016 study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign examined the dietary habits of over 18,300 adults in the United States. The research found that the majority of the test subjects that increased their plain water intake by as little as 1% lowered their daily calorie intake along with their consumption of sodium, sugar, cholesterol and saturated fat.
Following are a few other things you should know about the health and weight loss benefits of drinking water.
Boosts Your Metabolism
Water boosts the metabolism, which in turn burns calories. Every time you consume food for liquids (including water), your body has to process whatever’s been consumed which in turn burns calories. This process is referred to as diet-induced thermogenesis. A study published in the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism found that drinking around 16 ounces of water temporarily raised the test subjects metabolic rate by 30%. The study also concluded that increasing your water consumption by roughly 6, 8-ounce glasses a day can potentially boost your daily caloric burn by approximately 200 calories.
Curbs Your Hunger
You’ve heard the “water makes you feel full” spiel before right? Well, it’s true, but what’s even more important is water’s ability to help you identify your hunger levels. More often than not, those hunger pains you think you’re feeling are really just signs that you’re thirsty. For example, a lot of the sensations associated with hunger, including physical feelings like a gurgling, empty stomach, lightheadedness and low energy levels, also occur when you’re dehydrated. The next time you feel those hunger sensations set in, try drinking some water before you reach for a snack.
One of the most beneficial, but little-known benefits of drinking water is that it boosts energy levels, which improves workouts and even cuts food cravings. Water actually makes up about 70% of the human body and when dehydration set in it causes fatigue. Loading up on water feeds the muscles with nutrients and oxygen, keeps the cells firing, improves focus which in turn makes it easier to stick to goals including weight loss. Hitting the midday workplace slump? Instead of turning to vending machines for a sugary snack, drink some water.
Helps You Get the Most out of Workouts
To get the most out of your workouts you need to be well hydrated or your results of all your efforts will suffer. The best rule of thumb is to drink 16 to 20 ounces of water 1 to 2 hours before you work out, 8 to 10 ounces 15 minutes before you work out and 8 ounces every 15 minutes while you work out.
Additional Important Reasons to Drink Water
Besides all the benefits of drinking water when it comes to weight loss, drinking 8 glasses of water a day flushes away toxins, relieves migraines and headaches, helps relieve constipation, digestion and more.
Need Help Remembering to Drink Water?
There are some great apps available, many free, that will help you remember to drink water. The Daily Water Reminder, Hydro Coach and Aquaalert, Water Reminder H2O and Water Balance (even gives you motivational tips) and Hydrate Daily are good options.