Water plays a vital role in every level of your body's functioning, affecting internal and external elements, from your kidneys' ability to filter out toxins to your skin's ability to fight wrinkles. Drinking water also affects weight loss, making it an important dieting factor for the two-thirds of Americans who are overweight or obese.
Drink Before Meals
Water works as a natural appetite suppressant by filling up your digestive system. Nutritionist Brenda Davy at Virginia Tech reports that dieters who drink two cups of water before every meal eat an average of 75 to 90 calories less than people who don't drink water. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that maintaining proper hydration helps you achieve and maintain weight loss. Water regulates your appetite, counteracting the tendency many people have to mistake their thirst for hunger and overeat.
Hydrate During Exercise
If you're exercising as part of your weight-loss regimen, staying hydrated improves overall endurance and performance, reports the March 2009 issue of "Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise." By staying hydrated during your workout, you boost your overall workout and energy expenditure, thus potentially increasing your weight-loss results.
Drink 2 Liters Daily
The recommended water intake, as set by the Institute of Medicine, is 2.7 liters per day for women and 3.7 liters. In a study published in the "Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism," researchers found that drinking just 17 ounces of water boosts your metabolism by 30 percent and estimate that drinking 2 liters a day for a year would increase your annual energy expenditure by 17,400 calories. In the study, researchers suggest that some of this increased caloric expenditure may come from the effort that your digestive system puts into heating the cold water you drink and bringing it up to body temperature.
If you don't like the taste of plain water, use it to brew green tea. Not only will you receive the weight loss benefits of proper hydration, but green tea's catechins also stimulate your metabolism, assisting with weight loss and weight control, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. You could also flavor plain water with pieces of fresh or frozen fruit, cucumbers or lemon.
- VirginiaTech: Clinical Trial Confirms Effectiveness of Simple Appetite Control Method
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Behaviors and Attitudes Associated With Low Drinking Water Intake Among US Adults, Food Attitudes and Behaviors Survey
- FamilyDoctor.org: Hydration -- Why It's So Important
- Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism: Water-Induced Thermogenesis
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Green Tea
- University of California: Fluid and Electrolyte Balance
- American Academy of Dermatology: Dermatologists' Top 10 Tips for Relieving Dry Skin
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: Overweight and Obesity Statistics
- Institute of Medicine: Dietary Reference Intakes: Water, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, and Sulfate