If you are trying to lose weight by following a diet, an exercise routine, and drinking sufficient water, you are on the right path to drastically and rapidly reduce your weight. But, there are a few confusing concerns about drinking water particularly for losing weight which ultimately make you perplexed to ask several questions to yourself such as “is cold water or hot water beneficial for my rapid weight loss” or “how much water should I drink to lose weight” etc.
Your confusion is relevant and important because excess water consumption or over-drinking of water is often dangerous and life-threatening. Excess water consumption can result in fluid overload and lower sodium in the body and could lead to vomiting, nausea, cramps, disorientation, and confusion. If not detected early, this can abruptly weaken the capabilities of kidneys leading to swelling in cells known as hyponatremia and eventually result in seizure, coma, and death. (1)
Therefore, it is essential and important for you to know the function of water in the body in the context of overweight and obesity so that you will be aware and get motivated to properly drink the appropriate amount of water that will help you reduce your weight rapidly without any risk.
However, drinking adequate or sufficient water is not an easy task and often people compel themselves and struggle to drink the required amount of water. Eventually, you need to find out ways to make appropriate water consumption a daily habit.
Causes of Overweight and Obesity and popular remedies
You should be already knowing the causes of weight gain or overweight and obesity which are many, such as increased consumption of high-fat and energy-dense food, physical inactivity, environmental and societal changes, etc.
In addition to this, various medical researches have also proved that genetic and ethnic reasons and high-carbohydrate diet along with the frequency of eating, medication, diseases, certain hormones, and psychological reasons are responsible factors for overweight and obesity.
In the above context, various weight-loss measures are seriously considered essential and important to prevent overweight and obesity-related diseases and promote healthy living. People suffering from overweight and obesity follow different types of measures to reduce weight such as various types of weight-loss dieting, exercises, medications and treatment including weight-loss surgery.
One of the most popular methods for weight-loss is through the consumption of water which is natural and without any side effect or without harming the natural process of the body.
Water and Its Functions in the Body
As per science, life evolved in water and without water life is not possible, and because of this, it has been said that “water is life”. The cells in your body require water to live and you will be amazed to know that 60% of your entire body is constituted of water. Around two-thirds of the body’s water is contained in your cells and the rest one-third of the water outside the cells.
On average, an adult with 70-kg of weight contains 42 liters of water out of which 28 liters are intracellular and the rest 14 liters are extracellular. The 14 liters of extracellular water in your body is in blood plasma (3 liters), transcellular fluids (1 liter), and the rest 10 liters as interstitial fluid.
Similarly, various organs in your body are also up to some extent made out of the water such as your heart, lungs, kidneys and brain are made out of 71% of water, and even your bones are made out of 31% of water. Eventually, your body uses abundant water in your organs, tissues, and in the cells for maintaining the functions of your body as well as maintaining the temperature.
In the process, your body continuously loses water through various functions such as digestion, sweating, breathing, urination and other functions. Therefore, it is important for you to provide adequate water through drinking plenty of water and consuming water-rich foods.
Ultimately, if your body cannot fill the gap of lost water, it gets dehydrated. When your body gets sufficient water, it retains the moisture in the body. This is the reason you do not feel dryness in your mouth, eyes, nose. In addition to this, water also functions as cushion and lubricants in your joints and in the functioning of your spinal cord.
Another important function of water in the body is that it removes waste from the body through defecation, urination, and perspiration. The intestine, liver, and kidney help in the process of flushing out the waste from the body and keep the body especially the blood clean.
Besides this, the water also helps in preventing constipation and move the food smoothly through the intestine. Water is essential for the digestive system of your body. In fact, digestion starts from your mouth by the saliva and the basis of saliva is water. Water helps your digestive system to digest soluble fiber as well as helps your body to access nutrients and minerals.
Water and Metabolism
Now it is important for you to know about the metabolism which primarily refers to a form of chemical reactions that ultimately takes place in the cells of a living body. This chemical process eventually provides energy to your body for functioning and maintaining various processes in your body and responsible for physical growth.
The term “metabolism” is also often used to define the metabolic rate or to count the number of calories burnt in your body. When the metabolic rate is higher, it indicates that your body is burning more calories. Eventually, a higher metabolic rate provides higher energy and keeps your body fit and energetic.
Does Drinking Adequate Water Truly Help You Lose Weight?
Drinking an appropriate amount of water potentially results in weight loss. Here are a few descriptions of experiments conducted to establish the phenomenon to help you drink water and rapidly reduce your weight.
Drinking 500 ml of water increases 13% of metabolic rate within 10 minutes
An authentic study establishes that drinking sufficient water enhances the metabolic rate in the body. The study assessed the popular fact which claims that drinking adequate water burns more calories and conducted systematic research on seven women and seven men. The research was carried out by a scientific method namely whole-room indirect calorimetry using the microdialysis technique.
The study established that drinking 500 ml of water resulted in an increase in metabolic rate by 30% within 10 minutes of drinking the water. Eventually, the study suggested that consuming 2 liters of water daily results in a higher metabolic rate in the body and can reduce the weight substantially. (2)
Drinking 500 ml of water can also help overweight and obese people to reduce weight rapidly
An important fact about weight-loss through water consumption is that when water is consumed around half an hour before, the consumer feels full eventually resulting in less consumption of food.
Twenty-four overweight and obese adults of two different ages respectively of 34+ and 61+ plus participated in the exercise and were provided with 500 ml of water half-an-hour before the meal. Eventually, the meal energy intake among the participants who consumed water before half-an-hour of the meal was substantially less at 13% in comparison to the participants who did not consume water. (3)
Is drinking water for weight loss long-lasting?
This is another area but creates confusion about whether the expected weight-loss due to adequate water consumption lasts longer or does not work after a gap! A systematic study was carried out to establish this phenomenon involving 48 people of the age group of 55 to 75 years with overweight or obesity.
The duration of the exercise was for a period of 12 weeks and the purpose was to study premeal water consumption and sustainable weight-loss. The participants were divided into two groups and one group was provided with hypocaloric food and 500 ml of water before the meal daily. The other group of participants was provided only the hypocaloric food without water before the meal.
The amount of food consumption was examined after each meal daily for each participant and body weight was examined weekly for 12 weeks. After 12 weeks it was found out that 44% of the decline in the weight of the participants who consumed water before the meal in comparison to participants who were not provided with water before food.
This established the fact that consuming 500 ml of water before at least half an hour of the meal results in feeling full and reduced intake of food and ultimately leading to weight-loss on a long terms basis. (4)
Effects of water consumption by overweight women
A short-term experiment was conducted to know the effects of consumption of water and weight-loss in overweight dieting women involving 173 premenopausal overweight women which continued for a period of 12 months.
The researchers assessed and monitored the physical activities, diet, body weight, fat percentages and waist circumference at 2nd and 6th and 12 months in the experiment period. The ultimate result of the exercise was that increased intake water was associated with remarkable weight-loss and fact sustainably for a period of 12 months. (5)
The consequences of a lack of water in your body
Various chemical and enzymatic reactions are performed in your body through water. Water is the medium through which oxygen, hormones, and antibodies are moved through lymphatic systems and bloodstreams. Water performs remarkable functions for the entire circulation in your body.
In the case of scarcity of water, you regulate the usage of water in your house and preserve water for special and important purposes. Similarly, when the body lacks water, it starts regulating the usage of water through a chemical compound called histamine which is present in each cell starts regulating the water consumption and eventually restricts water consumption to some neurotransmitters.
In the case of elderly people or during diseases, the water content in the cells decreases resulting in dysfunctions in normal processes of the body which can be visible through several symptoms.
Cold Water or Hot Water?
Though drinking water half-an-hour before the meal is already proved to be beneficial for enhanced metabolism, the debate of drinking cold water vs hot water is still unsolved. Many scientists claim that the consumption of hot water of at least 98.6 degrees temperature increases the metabolism up to 40%. Similarly, it is also claimed that drinking hot water help in detoxification of the body. The argument is when hot water is consumed, sweating removes the toxins the body and detoxifies the body.
Is Drinking Water Necessary for Weight-loss?
As the contemporary trend of weight-gain or overweight and obesity continues in the US, it is speculated that around 86% of US adults will be victims of overweight and obesity by the year 2030. The same trend also applies the growth ratio of overweight and obesity persons across the world irrespective of middle and lower-income countries. The most vulnerable are the age group of 40≥ years people who are already around 70% of the total population.
In the above alarming context, weight management to decrease overweight and obesity is not only essential but extremely important. Enhanced water intake has been an age-old practice among the people to regulate weight or to decrease weight along with other popular weight-loss measures namely exercise and dieting.
However, though systematic scientific research is still to establish weight-loss due to water consumption, it has been found that energy intake is remarkably less among the adequate water consumers in comparison to people who do not consume sufficient water.
How Much Water to Drink to Achieve the Expected Weight-loss?
Though a person may be completely aware of water consumption for weight-loss, it is always confusing to decide exactly how much water to drink a day. Since too much water consumption also leads to health hazards, many water consumers for weight-loss may be asking the question to themselves such as how much water should I drink to lose weight?
Most contemporary nutritionists around the world recommend 8×8 rule for the ideal intake of water for weight-loss. The 8×8 water consumption rule is eight eight-ounce glasses of drinking water per day for getting the best result in achieving expected weight-loss. Following the ideal practice of water consumption before half-an-hour of the meal based on the findings of various research and experiments also can result in effective weight management in the efforts of significantly reducing weight.