Does Hot Water Help Burn Fat?

If you've been on a quest to reduce belly fat, you've likely analyzed your plate a hundred times. Now, you might wonder if there are weight-loss benefits to drinking hot water the whole day. However, despite rumors, there's no real evidence to show that water temperature plays a role in fat-burning.

Sipping on a cup of hot water may help control hunger so you eat less. (Image: AndreaObzerova/iStock/GettyImages)

Tip

There isn't enough sufficient research to show if water temperature plays a role in metabolism and fat loss.

Will Warm Water Reduce Belly Fat?

In a small December 2003 study of 14 people published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism — one in which is still widely referenced today — researchers found a correlation between heightened metabolism and warmer water. When seven normal-weight men and seven normal-weight women consumed 500 milliliters of water, their metabolisms increased by 30 percent, with roughly 40 percent of that being the result of warming the water from 22 to 37 degrees Celsius.

It was due to these findings that people all over the world began to wonder whether or not hot water helps burn fat. While research on the topic is still incredibly shallow, we think it's best to turn our attention away from the temperature of the water and towards the benefits of the drink overall.

Swap in Water for Weight Loss

Water plays a big role in weight loss for two reasons. First, drinking more water each and every day helps you feel fuller for longer, so you're less likely to over-indulge. Second, when you choose to drink water as your beverage of choice (regardless of its temperature), it saves you from consuming empty calories. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, substituting water for one 20-ounce sugar-sweetened soda will save around 240 calories.

While studies on the effect of water temperature on weight loss are fairly inconclusive, there's no denying that the more water you drink, the better — and not just for dropping a pant size. According to the Mayo Clinic, every cell, tissue, and organ in your body needs water to work properly. The liquid helps with everything from cushioning joints and reducing inflammation to regulating temperature and ridding the body of waste.

The Goldilocks Rule of Water

When it comes to water consumption, you don't want to drink too little or too much, as doing either can result in the risk of dehydration or hyponatremia, respectively. Where dehydration means that your body isn't receiving enough fluids to aide in overall processes, hyponatremia is when you drink so much water that it causes the sodium in your blood to drop, which can, in extreme cases, be fatal.

Before you go writing off any more than eight glasses of water a day in fear of the absolute worst, understand that drinking too much water is incredibly rare and, in most cases, only occurs with extreme athletes who are trying to compensate for how much they're sweating, as well as people with certain health conditions, such as kidney, liver, or heart problems. People with these medical conditions might be prescribed to medications that cause water retention, according to Harvard Health Publishing. In these cases, adding the median 64-ounces of water into the mix can sometimes be harmful, though, again, it's rare.

To ensure that you're drinking enough water each and every day — giving yourself the best possible chance for weight loss and general health and wellbeing — consult your doctor, as the exact number varies from person to person. While there's no one-size-fits-all rule to water consumption, a general rule of thumb recommended by Harvard, for healthy people is to drink 2 to t3 cups of water per hour, or more if you're sweating heavily.

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