Our body is composed of about 60-70% water. That’s more than all the other essential parts that make up our whole body.
This liquid in our body helps it function by aiding natural body processes such as digestion, circulation, absorption of nutrients, maintenance of body temperature and more.
Yet it seems a lot of us are dehydrated most of the time. The rise in the popularity of flavored drinks, sodas and juices – even milk, has relegated water to the status of an optional rather than an essential part of our daily habits.
Advertising and marketing efforts of major beverage companies have pushed for the consumption of these popular beverages, some to the point of endorsing supposedly diet-friendly drinks to aid a weight-loss crazy generation that constantly looks out for the latest products that promise results.
But do these diet drinks really provide our bodies with the necessary ingredients to actually help us lose weight? Are they even healthy?
Although these beverages are liquid and may provide us refreshments upon consumption, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they provide our bodies with the hydration it needs to effectively assist in the efficient function of our bodily systems.
No matter how much ice-cold sodas or thirst quenching fruit juices you might drink to satisfy your need for refreshments, it won’t be enough to provide your body’s need for hydration. In fact, it might seriously affect your health because of the chemicals it may contain – not to mention the amount of sugar and calories you end up consuming that will ultimately result in your body packing in the pounds.
A study was conducted involving 311 premenopausal, overweight women aged 25 to 50 years old and the effect drinking water had on their weight loss efforts regardless of diet and activity. The study conducted over a 12 month period found that drinking 1 liter of water a day resulted in significant weight loss in overweight women.
So how does the consumption of water actually help us to lose weight? Here are some scientific ways by which water helps us to lose weight.
Drinking water boosts metabolism
A number of studies have shown that drinking water can raise metabolic rates. In one study conducted by German researchers and published by the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism involving 14 subjects, it was found that drinking 500 ml of water increased metabolic rates by about 30% in both men and women.
The increase in metabolism occurred within 10 minutes of consumption and lasted for about 30 to 40 minutes. Moreover, drinking about 6 cups of cold water a day or about 1.5 liters would be enough to lose about 5 pounds a year by burning approximately 50 calories a day. The body burns calories by attempting to heat the ingested water so that it comes up to body temperature.
Drinking water helps you curb your appetite
At a meeting of the American Chemical Society, research was presented regarding the ability of water to curb your appetite. Scientists confirmed that taking 2 8-ounce glasses of water before meals helps people lose weight by curbing their appetites.
By drinking water before a meal, they found that middle aged and older people ate 75 to 90 calories less than what they normally would. The study was conducted among 48 adults aged 55-75 years old. When the stomach is full, it signals the brain to stop eating. Drinking water before a meal makes you feel fuller faster and allows you to reduce your food intake thereby aiding your weight loss goals.
Water flushes out the toxins in your body
When your system lacks water and your body is dehydrated, your kidneys won’t be able to function effectively. There is a tendency to hold on to toxins that damage DNA and increases degeneration. It results in inflammation that causes your body to develop diseases. Inflammation has also been linked to the likelihood of developing obesity.
Your kidneys are dependent on water to effectively filter out toxic substances and excrete them as urine through your bladder. Not drinking enough water will result in kidney diseases such as urinary tract infection, kidney stones and kidney failure.
Water helps you excrete body waste
Dehydration leads to constipation. Your stool becomes hard and lumpy and may become impacted which would make it very difficult to move your body waste. Water keeps your stool moving by softening and loosening them.
When body wastes builds up because of dehydration, there is a tendency to be bloated and swollen. Water is a natural lubricant that facilitates bowel movement. The lack of it in our system promotes the development of IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome that will aggravate constipation and cause us to gain weight.
Drinking water reduces your calorie intake
Water has zero calories. Choosing to drink water instead of sugar-laden, high calorie beverages to quench your thirst will significantly reduce your chances of gaining weight.
More and more children suffer from obesity because of the availability and proliferation of these calorie-ridden beverages. It might be wise to educate them to adopt a water-drinking habit.
A study was conducted to determine how drinking water could help reduce obesity in children by encouraging them to drink water. Water fountains were installed in about 32 schools in 2 German cities. At the same time, water consumption was promoted in 2nd and 3rd grade classes that taught them about the benefits of water consumption.
In one year, the risk of obesity in these children had been significantly reduced by 31%.
Water doesn’t just help us lose weight. If you are on an exercise program, you might consider keeping yourself hydrated during your workout sessions.
Hydration prevents muscle cramps
One possible symptom of dehydration is experiencing muscle cramps. Your muscles develop a sudden and involuntary contraction resulting in severe pain. Have you been awakened at night because of excruciating pain due to muscle cramps? Chances are you might be dehydrated.
Muscle cramps normally develop in the leg muscles. Athletes are prone to this especially when they fail to drink enough water during practice. If you undergo regular workout sessions, make sure to load up on water to prevent cramping your muscles.
Water is what nature meant to keep our bodies hydrated. It is all-natural and doesn’t contain any toxic substances that could be harmful to our bodies. It washes away all the impurities that keep our bodies from functioning normally. Make sure to drink at least 8 glasses a day to reap the benefits.
If this article has helped you understand how drinking water benefits us, please let us know by leaving us a comment below.