When it comes to weight loss, we pay so much attention to our food and our physical activity that we forget one crucial, simple solution — Water. Studies show that just increasing your water intake by 1% can speed up the process of weight loss. Although it is unknown if water intake contributes to weight loss directly, there is evidence to suggest that it alters several other metabolic processes to help you reach your weight loss goals faster.
Here are some reasons why you should drink water to achieve your fitness goals faster:
Control your appetite with water
If you are struggling to manage your hunger pangs, increasing water intake is highly beneficial. Water is the most natural and safest appetite suppressant. Consuming some water before your meals, for instance, helps you control your portions better. It is also a well-known fact that thirst is often misconstrued as hunger. So, when you have those hunger pangs, it is better to drink water first. That way, you can avoid unwanted snacking.
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Burn more calories with water
When you drink water that is at room temperature or colder, you burn more calories. A study conducted in 2014 showed that individuals who drank 500 ml of cold water, burned 2-3% more calories within 90 minutes. Coldwater, in particular, is more beneficial. The body uses more calories to bring the temperature of the water up to digest it. The expenditure of energy when you are resting also increases temporarily when you improve your water intake.
Efficiently Eliminate more waste with water
If the water consumption is lower or if you are dehydrated, the removal of faeces or urine from the body is inefficient. Water plays a vital role in filtering the toxins and waste from the body, allowing the retention of electrolytes and nutrients. The build-up of this waste in the body leads to bloating, which adds to your waistline. Retaining waste also adds to body weight. Additionally, when you drink water in adequate amounts, your energy levels are higher because of nutrition retention. This helps you work out better. The result is that you can burn more calories and also lose weight faster.
Reduce calorie intake from other fluids
Water is 100% free from calories. However, this is not true for other fluids that we consume. This includes aerated beverages, packaged juices and most importantly, alcohol. Drink water instead of consuming these liquids to reduce unwanted, empty calorie intake. Even replacing some of these high-calorie drinks with water gives you significant benefits. According to a study conducted in 2012, drinking water instead of two servings of high-calorie beverages improved average weight loss even in obese women. A subsequent study showed that drinking water, along with your meals, can help you lose close to 13% more body weight in just 24 weeks. Of course, water is also useful in keeping your appetite in control.
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You need water to burn fat
The primary goal of any diet or exercise program is fat loss. Without enough water intake, the fats that you consume through the day are not metabolised properly. This includes stored fat that is used otherwise as a source of energy. When you drink water, this process of metabolising fat, or lipolysis, improves significantly. Studies conducted on animals provide ample evidence to prove this.
You work out better when you drink water
Any weight loss plan is incomplete without a good workout. Drinking enough water helps in proper movement of joints, connective tissues and muscles. It is also known to improve the function of vital organs like the heart and lungs. This enhances your performance. When you drink water during your workout, you also avoid issues like muscle cramps and fatigue that can get in the way of optimum performance. It is recommended that you drink water before, during and after every workout session to avoid dehydration and other issues.
In conclusion, water is the dark horse of weight loss. Although it has so many benefits, it is only recently that people have started paying attention to water intake to gain effective weight loss.