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Can Drinking Water Really Help You Lose Weight?

September 3, 2010
Mineral water being poured from a bottle into ...

Image: Wikipedia


A small study at Virginia Tech found that subjects who drank half a liter of water before each meal lost 15.5 pounds in 3 months, as compared to 11 pounds for the non-water-drinkers, when calories were held constant.

Certainly not definitive, but you know how I’m always saying that each study is another bit of evidence to weigh in your decisions?

Add this bit to:

1. Studies have suggested that adequate water is needed to maintain optimal metabolism.

2. Water can increase feelings of fullness, reducing calories consumed during meals.

3. Water is essential to…uh…moving things along if you are getting enough fiber (which I hope you are).

4. Water allows proper body cooling during exercise.

5. Water is necessary for pretty much all of your body’s essential functions, so you just work better if you get enough.

How much water do you need?

Like everything else in physiology, it depends. It depends on how much water you get from your foods and on how much you lose through body cooling. Current recommendations are around 3 liters per day for men and 2.2 liters for women. If you eat a lot of fruit/veg, you will need a bit less from beverages.

Can you drink too much water?

Yes, definitely, but unless you are chugging down a gallon (or running a marathon), you shouldn’t need to worry.

How to get what you need:

Try increasing your intake a cup per day until you’re around the daily recommendations. Don’t forget to increase your intake if you are losing a lot of water through exercise or through the environment (heat, humidity).

Drinking water may not help you miraculously shed pounds, but not drinking it can certainly hinder your progress.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. eatmovewrite permalink
    September 3, 2010 4:03 pm

    An extra tip: Buy an awesome water bottle that you can reuse and that you will actually want to carry around. That one little thing helped me DOUBLE my water intake, no joke.


    • September 3, 2010 4:07 pm

      Good idea! I also like to flavor my water with a bit of juice, fruit slices or Crystal Light, just to keep things interesting. I especially like cucumber slices. Super refreshing!

  2. September 4, 2010 8:28 am

    Good post. I always tell clients when it comes to water drinking, it certainly doesn’t hurt. Additionally, for athletes or just exercisers a small degree of dehyration impedes performance so we may as well drink. I agree with earlier commenter, invest in a water bottle. Sometimes the weight of water in a purse or backpack reminds you to drink. Also, watery fruits such as melon and cucumbers are key for people who are poor water drinkers.

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