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Does Water Help to Burn Fat?

author image Brynne Chandler
Emmy-award nominated screenwriter Brynne Chandler is a single mother of three who divides her time between professional research and varied cooking, fitness and home & gardening enterprises. A running enthusiast who regularly participates in San Francisco's Bay to Breakers run, Chandler works as an independent caterer, preparing healthy, nutritious meals for Phoenix area residents.
Does Water Help to Burn Fat?
A boy drinking water from a faucet. Photo Credit: KOICHI SAITO/a.collectionRF/amana images/Getty Images

People are told to drink between eight and 10 glasses of water every day, but most of them have no idea why they should do so. Drinking enough water is crucial to your overall health, but it’s also an important tool in successful weight loss. It is not, however, a magic bullet. Staying fully hydrated while eating a healthy diet, exercising and getting enough rest will help you lose weight and keep it off, but simply drinking more water and making no other changes is not enough to burn off fat.

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Fat Facts

Fat is stored in the body when we take in more calories than we consume. It doesn’t matter if they are protein calories or carbohydrate calories or whether they came from ice cream or lettuce. If you take in more calories than you burn up, your body stores the extra fat. One pound of fat contains 3,500 calories. To lose a pound of fat, you have to either burn 3,500 extra calories to burn off one pound of fat, or you have to take in 3,500 fewer calories than you are burning.

Water Facts

Water is the basis for every chemical reaction that takes place in your body, including the burning of fat. You can live on water alone for 30 to 40 days, but if you go without water in any form for more than three days, you will probably die. When you aren’t taking in enough water, your body cannot do its job efficiently. If the only liquids you consume are coffee, tea, sodas, artificial fruit juices and the like, you will become mildly dehydrated, forcing your body to slow down its metabolism to compensate. A slow, water-starved metabolism will not burn fat efficiently.

Weight Loss Facts

Weight loss can only be accomplished when you are giving your body the water it needs in addition to enough nutrients. If you want to lose weight, you need to consume between 1,200 and 1,500 calories per day if you are a woman and 1,500 to 1,800 calories per day if you are a man. Your diet should consist of fresh vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, fruit and essential fatty acids like those found in olive oil and nuts. Drinking 32 to 64 ounces of water each day helps your body do its job of circulating nutrients, flushing out toxins and extra water and burning fat.


Water contains no calories and no measurable vitamins. While it might be tempting to fast and drink only water, it’s not healthy, safe or efficient to do so. Water alone is not enough to fuel your body, so if you fast for more than 24 hours, your metabolism will slow down and your body will stop burning fat. This means that you will have to work twice as hard to get your metabolism up to speed once the fast is over. Water can help you burn fat, but it is not a magic fat-burning elixir on its own.

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