Drink water to lose weight: Does it work? Before getting into it, let’s go over a couple basics of water and the human body. The body is composed largely by water – roughly 60%. This amount varies person to person, depending on age and weight. While the percent of water in the body may differ one important truth stands out: water is vital to us.
So What Does Water Do?
Water does many wondrous things for our bodies, but pertaining to weight loss it performs several important jobs. Staying well hydrated allows more glucose to be used for energy rather than being stored in fat cells. Proper hydration also stores more water in the fat cells which helps to mobilize the stored energy when needed. So drink water to lose weight.
The process of converting glucose and stored fat to energy happens in the liver. The kidneys function to filter waste, salt, toxins and consumed water. When the body is dehydrated the kidneys don’t function properly and the liver works to take up the slack. If the liver is doing the kidneys’ job, it’s not turning glucose and fat into usable energy as efficiently as it could.
Just The Right Amount
So when you drink water to lose weight, how much should you drink? Expert opinions vary, but general consensus is around 6-8 glasses of water or liquid is about right for an average adult. This amount can change depending on activity level, body weight or even climate. One easy way to determine your hydration level is your urine. If it’s usually light colored and clear, you’re pretty well hydrated. If it’s dark and cloudy, it might be time to ad a couple glasses of liquid to your daily diet.
A cautionary note. While it’s pretty rare, there are a couple health conditions from consuming too much water. While there is no hard number for what is too much, you need to consume a LOT of water to experience any side effects other than frequent bathroom trips. While all liquids count towards the 6-8 glass goal, obviously drinking water is the ideal liquid. It’s fat, carb and calorie free and it contains no preservatives. Though if you do switch water out for some other ‘flavored’ drinks, just be aware of the calories or chemicals you’re consuming with it. Juices and sugary drinks should also be avoided due to their high calorie counts.
Also keep in mind that coffee, most carbonated beverages and some other drinks contain diuretics, which serve to pull water from the body and, in some cases, they can even strip nutrients away. Alcoholic drinks also have this effect.
A Few Tips
Don’t drink it all at once – spread a few glasses out through the day and sip the rest in between them.
Try to fit 2-3 glasses in the morning, 4 glasses through the afternoon and maybe 1 in the evening.
Try adding a squeeze of lemon to your water, or even switch to some flavored water like Crystal Light.
Even a water laden fruit like watermelon – 92% water – can help to supplement your intake from time to time.
Give your body a few days to adjust to the increased water intake. Frequent trips to the washroom are common at first. Once the body has finished flushing out and replacing the old stored body water, things should get back to normal.
Feeling hungry? Try some water. Water has the added benefit of being a natural hunger suppressant.
The Last Drop
Drinking water isn’t going to magically melt away your extra weight, but combined with both healthy eating and exercise you’re well on your way to shedding that excess weight. To drink water to lose weight may seem like a hard thing at first, but it’s probably the easiest and cheapest step you can take when looking at your weight loss plan.