Researchers are still unsure why drinking more water helps a person to lose weight, but many studies show some positive correlation between increased water consumption and weight loss.
Below are six reasons that water may help with losing weight.
1. Water is a natural appetite suppressant
Drinking water may aid weight loss.
When the stomach senses that it is full, it sends signals to the brain to stop eating. Water can help to take up space in the stomach, leading to a feeling of fullness and reducing hunger.
A person may also think that they are hungry when they are actually thirsty. Drinking a glass of water before reaching for something to eat can help to curb unnecessary snacking.
In a 2014 study, 50 overweight females drank 500 milliliters (mL) of water 30 minutes before breakfast, lunch, and dinner, in addition to their regular water consumption, for 8 consecutive weeks.
The participants experienced a reduction in body weight, body fat, and body mass index. They also reported appetite suppression.
A study from the previous year had yielded similar results.
2. Water increases calorie burning
Some research indicates that drinking water can help to burn calories.
In a 2014 study, 12 people who drank 500 mL of cold and room temperature water experienced an increase in energy expenditure.
They burned between 2 and 3 percent more calories than usual in the 90 minutes after drinking the water.
Water may also temporarily increase the body’s resting energy expenditure, or the number of calories burned while resting.
Drinking cold water may further enhance water’s calorie-burning benefits, because the body expends energy, or calories, by heating up the water for digestion.
3. Water helps to remove waste from the body
When the body is dehydrated, it cannot correctly remove waste as urine or feces.
Water helps the kidneys to filter toxins and waste while the organ retains essential nutrients and electrolytes. When the body is dehydrated, the kidneys retain fluid.
Dehydration can also result in hard or lumpy stools and constipation. Water keeps waste moving by softening or loosening hardened stools.
Water also helps the body to recover from digestive problems, such as diarrhea and indigestion.
When waste builds up in the body, people may feel bloated, swollen, and tired. Bloating can add inches to a person’s waist.
Staying hydrated is a good way to avoid retaining waste, which may add a few extra pounds.