Water is essential when it comes to losing weight. According to the medical website Everyday Health, water is an important part of all body functions and processes, including digestion and elimination.
When you’re on a diet, water also acts as a weight-loss aid because it can help you eat less. How much of the water do you actually need and what role does it play in the body?
How does water reduce metabolism?
People who drink water instead of sugary drinks are more successful at losing weight and keeping it off, according to the website Healthline, whose editorial team is comprised of medical clinicians. This is because sugary drinks contain calories, so replacing them with water automatically reduces your calorie intake.
Studies have shown that drinking 17 ounces (0.5 liters) of water increases resting metabolism by 10–30% for about an hour. This calorie-burning effect may be even greater if you drink cold water, as your body uses energy to heat it up to body temperature.
Water can also help fill you up. Studies show that drinking water a half an hour before you eat can help you eat less, according to the National Library of Medicine. One study of overweight adults found that those who drank half a liter of water before their meals lost 44% more weight than those who didn’t.
How much water do you need?
Everyone says eight glasses (8 ounces) of water a day. But that’s changed. It actually depends on your size and weight, and also on your activity level and where you live according to WebMD.
Overall, you should try to drink between half an ounce and an ounce of water for each pound you weigh, every day. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, that would be 75 to 150 ounces of water a day. If you’re living in a hot climate and exercising a lot, you’d be on the higher end of that range; if you’re in a cooler climate and mostly sedentary, you’d need less.
What are the digestive health benefits of water?
Water also helps you digest your food properly, states WebMD. Water allows your kidneys to function properly and filter everything they need to and allows us to eliminate effectively and not be constipated. People who don’t get enough fluids in their diet tend to be constipated.
Additionally, the single biggest cause of painful kidney stones is chronic dehydration. When you don’t get enough water, calcium and other minerals build up in your urine and are harder for your body to filter out. They can form the crystals that make up kidney and urinary stones.