Water. It’s one of the Earth’s most vital natural resources, and one that we often take for granted. When it comes to our health and fitness, the amount of water we drink can have a huge impact.
“Water is essential for life. Your body, which is about 70 percent water, requires it for digestion, circulation, respiration, heat regulation, brain function and excretion,” said the American Council on Exercise (ACE). “Water helps boost your metabolism, reduce your hunger and increase energy level.”
It’s that last part that piques many people’s interest. We’re taking a deeper look at how drinking enough water can impact your diet and help with overall healthy weight management.
1. Water can curb your appetite
If you’re looking for a hot tip to help you from overeating, turn to the faucet. “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,” said Medical News Today. “The timing is important too, and drinking water half an hour before meals is the most effective. It can make you feel more full, so that you eat fewer calories.”
According to WebMD, water intake before a meal can reduce that meal’s calories by 75.
2. Water can increase your metabolic rate
“In two studies, drinking half a liter (17 ounces) of water was shown to increase metabolism by 24-30% for up to 1.5 hours,” said HealthLine. “In one study, dieters who drank half a liter of water before meals lost 44% more weight, over a period of 12 weeks.”
There are also studies that say drinking very cold water can help burn calories.
3. Water helps burn fat
“Water can help you lose body fat by flushing fat from your system,” said LiveStrong. Specifically, water helps the body properly metabolize stored fat. This process is called lipolysis. A study reported in the National Institutes of Health found that “increased hydration leads to body weight loss, mainly through a decrease in feeding, and a loss of fat, through increased lipolysis.”
4. It keeps you hydrated
This is somewhat obvious, but all the benefits of hydration as they relate to your diet and exercise program may not be. “Dehydration can have a noticeable effect if you lose as little as 2% of your body's water content,” said HealthLine.
In fact, experts say that, once you feel thirsty, you’re already experiencing symptoms of dehydration. However, according to the National Institutes of Health, athletes can lose as much as 10% of their water content during strenuous exercise. That makes it even more vital to make sure you are staying hydrated. Not getting enough water can “lead to altered body temperature control, reduced motivation, increased fatigue and make exercise feel much more difficult, both physically and mentally,” they said.
5. Water flushes your system
In addition to flushing fat, water can help get rid of toxins. This can help your body function better and also keep your kidneys and liver functioning properly.
6. Drinking water can help you cut calories in other ways
It’s easy to brush off the calories in drinks as insignificant, but they can add up quickly. Soda, coffee drinks, alcohol, and energy drinks can be loaded with calories and sugar. Studies have shown that replacing a couple of daily sugary drinks with water can help you lose weight, and keep it off.
Another study showed that “men and women who replaced one serving of a sugar-sweetened beverage for water or a low-calorie drink every day” for four years maintained a lower number on the scale, said Medical News Today.
7. Alternatives to water
Some people have a hard time upping their water for the simple reason that they don’t enjoy the taste. But many favorite drinks are loaded with sugar and empty carbs. Even energy drinks are often calorie-laden and packed with sugar. And, they don’t even taste good!
L-Carnitine LS3 is a great-tasting, energy-boosting alternative to water that has gained a cult following with zero calories, zero sugar, and zero stimulants—and it’s delicious. Because it’s sugar free, you don’t have a burst of energy followed by a big crash, and you also get metabolism-supporting capabilities. This drink also has energy-boosting and fat-burning properties, having been formulated to help convert fat to fuel.