There are many benefits to drinking water — some are well known, but others may surprise you!
For one, it’s no secret that drinking water is great for our bodies. Remaining hydrated can really help support muscle function, brain health and blood pressure regulation.
But when it comes to how water can help weight loss, fewer people know the fact from the fiction.
Can you lose weight from drinking water alone? How does water help you burn calories? And will water help you shred fat? These questions are very common and a lot of research has gone into answering them.
Truth is, whilst water isn’t a magic solution, the weight loss benefits to drinking water are actually pretty impressive. Yes: you can boost fat burn by drinking more water. And staying hydrating will help during your workouts, as well as after.
To help you understand how important it is to sip water throughout the day, here’s 5 surprising benefits to drinking water...
1. Drinking cold water can help burn more calories
Great news: the body burns calories even when you aren’t working out, and water could help make this calorie burn even more significant.
The amount of calories we burn without engaging in exercise is referred to as resting energy expenditure — and drinking increased water has been found to amp this up by 3%.
So how much do you need to drink to increase resting energy expenditure?
Many studies have found that drinking just half a litre of ice cold water can help improve metabolism and burn more calories as a result. It’s important that the water is very cold because, in order to accurately regulate your body temperature, your body needs to work harder to warm-up the cold water you’ve just consumed.
This increased action burns more calories, therefore potentially helping weight loss in the long run.
2. Water is a natural appetite suppressant
When our stomach senses a feeling of fullness, the brain is automatically signalled to stop eating. And it’s not just eating that fills the stomach up, but drinking too.
Drinking more water will inevitably take up a greater amount of space in your stomach. This makes you feel fuller much quicker, helping reduce the amount of total calories consumed with each meal.
In fact, many people actually confuse feelings of thirst for hunger! So, next time you feel the urge to grab a quick snack, try simply drinking a glass of water instead.
But you don’t just have to take it from us: studies have shown that drinking half a litre of water before every meal can significantly help reduce overall body weight and body fat when done on a long-term basis.
3. Water can help reduce liquid calorie intake
When we think ‘high-calorie’, we tend to think of junk foods and sugary, fatty snacks. However, certain drinks also add serious calorific value to your everyday diet — from juice to lattes, a lot of the time we don’t know how much we’re consuming!
Sodas, alcohol and milky drinks (like shakes or white coffees) can easily make your daily calorie count skyrocket. And with many stereotypically ‘healthy’ options like fruit or veg juice containing a surprisingly high number of calories too, overlooking the amount of hidden calories in your cup could be detrimental to your weight loss journey.
So, next time you’re thirsty, opt for a fresh glass of cold water and you’re instantly reducing the number of calories you’d otherwise have consumed.
4. Water can help increase workout success
We’ve all had to stop a workout because of cramp, right? It happens to everyone, at least once.
But if you limp away from the gym more often than not, then it’s possible you’re not taking on enough water.
When properly hydrated, your joints, connective tissues and muscles move correctly and smoothly, reducing the chance of suddenly developing unwanted cramps or pain. What’s more, regular water consumption can also help your heart and lungs to function more efficiently too. So you’ll feel happier and healthier overall, throughout your exercise activity.
And it goes without saying, the better you can work out — uninterrupted by cramp, pain or shortness of breath — the more fat and calories you’ll burn.
5. Water is essential to efficient fat burning
We’ve saved perhaps the most surprising of our benefits to drinking water for last.
For this one, we’ve got to dive into a little of the science behind fat burn.
To start with, the process of metabolising fat is known as lipolysis. Lipolysis is kicked into action by water molecules interacting with fats, and subsequently helping them be broken down.
If you don’t drink enough water to stay hydrated, your body simply can’t complete this process to its full potential. This is true for burning both stored fat and fat recently ingested by your food and drink, so maintaining a regular supply of water throughout your body is crucial to burning new fat and losing more weight as a result.
Feeling thirsty yet?
If you thought the weight loss benefits to drinking water were more fiction than fact, think again!
Drinking enough water is undoubtedly a huge part of maintaining optimum health, with increased weight loss being a great added bonus. But how much is ‘enough’?
Whilst there’s no one-size-fits-all water intake, most active women should aim for at least 8 glasses of water a day which — combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise routine — will assist in promoting your overall weight loss.
Small changes, such as switching your daily sugary fruit juice for a glass of water, will certainly do a lot of good, and making sure to drink a large glass of water before every meal (including breakfast!) will help you stay in shape.
If you’ve found these surprising benefits to drinking water helpful, then head over to our blog. From workout tips to protein-packed recipes, we’re here for you.