As we get closer to Christmas and the days start to get even hotter it is important to remember to keep hydrated. After all, humans are made up mostly of water. Water helps our body run smoothly and efficiently affecting our brain and the way we problem solve, all the way down to the individual cells and organs within them that use water to produce energy. Water is also important for another reason; it helps us to stay lean. In fact, it helps us to lose weight.

Recent evidence shows that drinking 500ml of water before a meal helps to reduce energy intake resulting in significant weight loss [1]. Evidence this year showed that drinking water helped to control appetite, leading to significant body fat reduction in study participants [2]. It is important though to remember that this does not include sweetened water. Evidence suggests that drinking sugar sweetened water increases energy consumption during meals by up to 8% and fruit juices up to 15% [3]. So make sure that the drink you are having before your meal is only pure water.

How should you drink water to help with weight loss? The journal the Australian Family Physician, based on evidence gathered by the National Health and Medical Research Council, recommends drinking 500ml of water 30 minutes before each meal for achieving weight loss [4].

So that is how water helps with energy intake, can it doing anything else? Yes. It has been shown that drinking water elevated resting energy expenditure in children. This study came out after previous research showed the same findings in adults. The study involving male students showed a resting energy expenditure rate increase of 25% from baseline [5]. This means while sitting down all you have to do is drink water to accelerate your fat burning rate by a quarter!

It’s important to remember that to lose weight you need to do more than just drink plenty of water, diet and exercise and good lifestyle choices are also part of the solution to weight loss. Water performs so many vital functions in our bodies, weight management is just part of the long list of things that it does for our wellbeing!

1. Davy, B.M., et al., Water consumption reduces energy intake at a breakfast meal in obese older adults. J Am Diet Assoc, 2008. 108(7): p. 1236-9.

2. Vij, V.A. and A.S. Joshi, Effect of excessive water intake on body weight, body mass index, body fat, and appetite of overweight female participants. J Nat Sci Biol Med, 2014. 5(2): p. 340-4.

3. Daniels, M.C. and B.M. Popkin, Impact of water intake on energy intake and weight status: a systematic review. Nutr Rev, 2010. 68(9): p. 505-21.

4. Pre-meal water consumption for weight loss. Aust Fam Physician, 2013. 42(7): p. 478.

5. Dubnov-Raz, G., et al., Influence of water drinking on resting energy expenditure in overweight children. Int J Obes (Lond), 2011. 35(10): p. 1295-300.

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