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5 Ways Drinking Water Can Help You Lose Weight

Updated on February 8, 2013

Drinking water to lose weight is not a myth

The benefits of drinking water are numerous, including drinking water to lose weight.
The benefits of drinking water are numerous, including drinking water to lose weight.

Does drinking water help you lose weight?

The benefits of drinking water are as plentiful as this substance is on the earth. And like the earth, our bodies are about 70% water, yet so many of us deprive our bodies of this readily available, free drink. By filling up your body's "tank" with water every day, you will definitely begin to lose weight and feel better.

If you have ever wondered, "Does drinking water help you lose weight," you're not alone. Here are five reasons why drinking water helps you lose weight ... And "drinking water" means 2-3 quarts per day.*


1. Drinking water makes you feel more full and less hungry

Various research shows that if you drink 2 cups of water 30 minutes before a meal then you will consume 75 calories less on average during that meal. That full-feeling, helping you to shave off 75 calories a meal, may not sound like anything significant to you, but think about it this way. If you ate 75 calories less for 2 meals a day, then in one day that is 150 calories less, and in one year that is that is 52,800 calories less. Divide that by 3,500 (the number of calories to lose 1 pound) and you've got yourself a 15 lb. weight loss in one year!


2. Drinking water helps your body burn stored fat

When you are trying to lose weight the parts of your body that you're focused on probably are not your kidneys and liver, but these parts are vital to weight loss. So a quick bio lesson is in order. The job of your kidneys is to eliminate waste. One job of your liver is to metabolize stored fat into usable energy. If your kidneys don't get enough water to do their job (eliminate waste), then they "ask" the liver to help out. The liver dutifully says, "yes," but it is your body that suffers. You see, if the liver is doing the work of the kidneys then it has less resources to do its own job well - and remember, its job is to burn fat. So you can help your liver do its job better, by helping your kidneys out, by drinking more water. Pretty simple.


3. Drinking water gives you more energy

Even the slightest bit of dehydration can leave you feeling sluggish and that's not a good thing if you are trying to lose weight. Look back at the bio lesson on the liver. Recall that one job of your liver is to burn fat into usable energy. You do not want to be lacking in usable energy if you want to lose weight. Losing weight involves activity, moving, exercise, and if you are sluggish what is the first thing you do - probably sit on the couch in front of the television instead of going for a brisk walk or run. Being sluggish just weighs you down (pun intended). But you can turn it around by filling up with water, feeling more energetic, and becoming more active.


How much water do you drink per day?

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4. Drinking water helps build muscle

Anyone who has ever been interested in weight loss probably knows that muscles burn more calories at rest than fat. So the more muscle you have, the more fat your body burns even when it's at rest. If you just look down the aisle at the store, you will see protein product after protein product to help with muscle development and to give you energy. And while protein is certainly necessary, water should not be overlooked. Think of it this way, blood plasma is 90% water and so water is like an ever-flowing stream in your body that carries oxygen and nutrients to your muscles, organs and entire body. This water transportation system, delivering nourishment, is not only vital to keeping your muscles hydrated so they contract, function, and build up optimally, but necessary for your entire body to have an overall feeling of well-being.


5. Drinking water increases metabolism

When you think of metabolism, think of fat-burning. If you could burn fat faster and more efficiently then you could lose more weight. German researchers once conducted a study where they measured the participants' resting metabolism before and after they drank about two cups of water. The results showed that after 10 minutes their rates of metabolism began to pick up, after 40 minutes their metabolic rates' were 30% greater, and they remained at this faster rate for at least an hour. Simply put, increased metabolism burns more calories and when you are losing weight calorie burning is a critical piece of the equation.



Drinking water does help you lose weight, but be sure to drink enough!

*How much water should I drink to lose weight and feel better? Your body needs at least 8-10 cups of water a day and more depending on your activity level. And by the way, a cup is equal to 8 oz., not that small orange juice glass in your cabinet. In other words, you need 4 or 5, 16 oz. water bottles, or better yet buy a quart-sized drinking container that you can re-fill 2-3 times per day and re-use over and over again.


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    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      Glad to see this posted for several reasons. Besides your points being important, it's timely info during the heat of summer.

      I was glad to see you point out the plentifulness of water on earth. It's very funny to read articles that say our water is being used up. I try to give them the benefit of the doubt and understand that what they mean is that we need to take care of the water we have. We do need to be good stewards of our water systems. Earth's water was given to us to manage--we are responsible for our care of it. We should use networks of water wisely, but those who say we are using it up need to study the topic.

      Although a cup does equal 8 oz, I understand what you mean and I need to heed your advice. Thanks! :)

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      Thanks for your comments RTalloni. I agree with all of your comments about being responsible for the care of Earth's water. As I fully believe we are stewards of this planet, I did revise my last sentence. Oh, and thanks for pointing out my typo. It's all fixed now, thanks to you! And if in fact you do heed this advice, please keep me up-to-date on how you feel and any changes you notice. Thanks again.

    • ChristinS profile image

      Christin Sander 5 years ago from Midwest

      Water is indeed important and especially in heat waves like many of us have been experiencing. Dehydration does a lot of damage people aren't likely aware of and many people are chronically dehydrated - Great Hub!

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      Dehydration due to a heat wave isn't an issue where I live, but I do find it ironic that so many people are dehydrated, yet you can get water for free almost anywhere.

    • jm72writes profile image

      jm72writes 5 years ago from Missouri

      This is a great hub, full of useful information. I really liked the part about water helping to burn stored fat. That should get the attention of people trying to get rid of fat.

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      Thank you jm72writes. Burning stored fat definitely motivates me to drink more water - and I just feel better too.

    • Injured lamb profile image

      Injured lamb 5 years ago

      Interesting and informative hub! The way you deliver your writing attracts me much. Do keep it up.

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      Thank you for the compliment injured lamb. And I am certainly glad to know that you found this informative. I know when it comes to weight loss, often people focus on diets and exercise which are critical, but being hydrated by drinking enough water often is overlooked.

    • lmarsh1203 profile image

      lmarsh1203 5 years ago

      Very interesting hub! Voted useful.

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      Thank you Imarsh 1203. I'm glad you found it both interesting and useful!

    • Keeley Shea profile image

      Keeley Shea 5 years ago from Norwich, CT

      Excellent hub! It inspired me to get drinking water! I always say I will but it is the one thing I forget to do during the busy day! Thanks!

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      Well I hope it helps Keely. And I know it's easy to forget to drink as much water during the day as you should. Sometimes I just make a mark on a paper each time I finish a water bottle full so I can keep track that way. Thanks for your comment.

    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 5 years ago from Texas

      Very, very good information! Voted up and awesome! Remember to use the Brita or Pur pitcher and boycott bottled water for the good of your self and the planet! :)

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      Thank you Suzanne and thank you for the Brita and Pur pitcher suggestions. Using either of those may help people drink more water which has so many benefits beyond weight loss, and as you point out, are useful ways to avoid water bottles.

    • Maralexa profile image

      Marilyn Alexander 5 years ago from Vancouver, Canada and San Jose del Cabo, Mexico

      Thanks for the reminder, ktrapp! Excellent hub again. I too forget when my day gets busy, then don't remember again for days. I will set up a system to make it more automatic.

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      Great idea Maralexa. And actually even though I wrote this, I find myself once again not drinking enough water. And actually I have been feeling run down lately, so I am going to once again make drinking water a priority. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      I've been wanting to lose weight, and drinking water would be a great and fairly easy way to help. Increases metabolism? That's awesome. Great hub, ktrapp! Lots of votes here!

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      Thank you Victoria. It definitely helps boost metabolism but since it also just helps you feel more energetic you may also find yourself more active, which of course helps with weight loss too.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I love water right from the tap, none of that fancy bottled water for Sunshine! GO GREEN! You covered many valid points on water and how it could help people loss weight! Fantastic! Superb! Go aqua!!! Voted UP :))

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      Thank you for your comments Sunshine625. If you've got good tap water, sometimes nothing quenches your thirst better than a cool glass of water from the tap.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      I'm with Sunshine. I lilke tap water just fine. It's generally safe and similar to bottled water, they say, anyway. Tap water is so abundant, and I still find myself not drinking much water during the day. I go in spurts. I need to spurt over to the drinking much more water side. :-)

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      Hi Victoria. I grew up with well water and it tasted really good. But I have had water that literally tastes like dirt in other parts of the country and you either have to get some kind of filter or drink bottled water. But whatever it takes, it is really important to drink plenty of water. I tend to go in spurts too, but I know if you get thirsty then you're not drinking enough water.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      I hear ya, ktrapp. It takes so much water to keep a person hydrated....long before they feel thirsty. Another option is the filters in refrigerators. Doesn't cost as much as a replacement .... Good luck!

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      That's a good tip Victoria. Thanks.

    • jacqui2011 profile image

      jacqui2011 5 years ago from Leicester, United Kingdom

      An excellent article. I don't drink nearly as much water as I should each day. I found your hub very informative and useful. I will certainly be heeding your advice. Voted up and useful.

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      Thanks Jacqui2011. I'm glad you will be giving it a try. Drinking enough water certainly makes a difference.

    • arusho profile image

      arusho 5 years ago from University Place, Wa.

      Good job, I try to drink lots of water every day.

    • Durant profile image

      Joel Durant 5 years ago from Canada

      Drinking water often really does help me feel full and avoiding over eating. Nice hub.

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      Durant - I find the same thing to be true. Thanks for commenting.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I drink quite a bit of water and found this hub to be very interesting and useful. Voted those accolades as well as up. Good job!

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      Thanks Peggy. Even armed with the knowledge of the benefits of drinking water, I often find that I still don't drink enough. I'm glad you commented on this hub, because it prompts me to improve my water-drinking habits.

    • chuckbl profile image

      Charlie 5 years ago from Scotland

      Ktrapp, probably the best article I have read on hubpages so far, most likely because it appeals to me to lose weight - and drinking more water isn't too hard a thing to ask to go about achieving that goal!

      Thanks very much for the information, I am off to have two glasses of water before I eat my supper.

      Thanks, Voted up and useful!

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      Thanks chuckbl. That's quite a nice comment you wrote. Ironically, I originally wrote this article to appeal to myself to drink more water to lose weight; I'm glad it is helping others as well. I think I will go have a couple glasses myself.

    • imatellmuva profile image

      imatellmuva 5 years ago from Somewhere in Baltimore

      I've read about this when I was younger, and didn't feel the symptoms related to not drinking enough water. Now that I am older I can certainly say that I FEEL IT when my body has had an insuffcient amount of hydration.

      Thanks ktrapp for the reminder!

    • gregoriom profile image

      Deninson Mota 5 years ago from East Elmhurst, NY

      Up, up just because I'm a big fan of water=D

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      Thanks gregoriom - glad you're a fan of water too!

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      I certainly think our bodies are more forgiving when we are younger. Like you, I can feel it when I haven't had enough water to drink, especially feeling sluggish.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

      Voted up and useful. I think it´s time for me to drink more water again as I´m gaining weight. Thanks for SHARING.

    • dinkan53 profile image

      dinkan53 4 years ago from India

      Drinking more water is probably the easiest and most cost effective way to help your health right this minute. I drink at least 2 bottles of water a day, thanks. Really enjoyed the article and learned a lot. Sharing with my followers and rated this hub as useful.

    • rahul0324 profile image

      Jessee R 4 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      Absolutely great hub! I am working on completely giving up soda and water has been a great help...

      People generally tend to quench their thirst grabbing a soda or cola... but I recommend a bottle of water.. because biologically, it's water that quenches the thirst. Sodas increase it all the more

      great information... extremely great hub!

    • Born2care2001 profile image

      Rev Bruce S Noll HMN 4 years ago from Asheville NC

      Hi Ktrapp!

      I enjoyed the content and presentation of this hub. You brought a very important subject to light in a user friendly way.

      I especially appreciated the points regarding muscle developments affect on metabolism and the caution about dehydration.

      Though I am not an expert, I would like to add that all water is not the same. Water quality varies due to filtration from public utilities and other devices. Many of the important minerals are removed from water and other harmful agents like fluoride are added thereby degrading it's benefit. If possible, it's best to get water from a natural spring, from the earth! Worth some additional investigation as well!

      Thanks for this very informative hub! It has reminded and inspired me to take a different tactic with my health management!

      Voted Up and sharing!

      Gratefully,

      Bruce

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 4 years ago from Illinois

      Thelma - I'm glad you commented on this as it is a reminder to me too to get drinking more water. It seems to be a habit I easily slip out of.

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 4 years ago from Illinois

      dinkan53 - That's a really good point you make about water being one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to affect our health. There are really no excuses, are there?

    • Dee aka Nonna profile image

      Dee aka Nonna 4 years ago

      There is so much great information here. I am always amazing when I hear people say they don't like water. I love water and yes, whenever I am dieting I always up my intake of water...does, indeed, help. Voted up and useful

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 4 years ago from Illinois

      Replacing soda with water is a great way of eliminating soda from your diet. Not only do you get the health benefits of water but you eliminate the unhealthy aspects of soda (i.e. sugar etc.) Thanks for your nice comment.

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 4 years ago from Illinois

      Thank you Bruce. I appreciate your advice regarding water quality. Water certainly does differ depending upon its source. It sure would be nice to have your own personal natural spring. I appreciate your thoughtful comment, vote, and sharing.

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 4 years ago from Illinois

      Dee aka Nonna - I have to say I would find it hard to just drink a lot of water at once unless I've just exercised. Maybe that is why some people say they don't like water. I basically sip water in small amounts throughout the day. I actually feel empty-handed when I don't have a water bottle nearby.

    • TENKAY profile image

      TENKAY 4 years ago from Philippines

      Water helps me a lot. To add to what is listed here on the benefits of drinking lots of water, here's my personal experience. It lessens my vertigo attacks and menopausal hot flashes. I combine drinking lots of water with outdoor exercises preferably near trees.

      Good hub, voted up and useful.

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 4 years ago from Illinois

      tenkay - Those are two really good points you make. Years ago I used to get real lightheaded whenever I stood up too fast. The doctor told me I was dehydrated and without enough water my blood volume was low. Therefore, upon standing I became lightheaded and dizzy because the blood went down. That's probably an oversimplified explanation (and there's a name for it which I cannot recall at the moment), but it was all due to a lack of water. So I very much appreciate you including your personal experiences and how drinking enough water makes a difference.

    • LetitiaFT profile image

      LetitiaFT 4 years ago from Paris via California

      This is chock-full of wonderful news! I have also heard that water is the best diuretic and therefore ironically helps cut down on water retention!

      This is a great reminder during the cooking contest when we are all eating too many of the results!

    • ktrapp profile image
      Author

      Kristin Trapp 4 years ago from Illinois

      LetitiaFT - There are so many benefits to drinking water and helping reduce water retention, as you mention, is another. Thanks for pointing that out. And you're right about the contest and I think my next two are going to be desserts. I will have to drink water by the gallon-full.

    • rebeccaac profile image

      rebeccaac 4 years ago from Sullivan Missouri

      GREAT READ THANK YOU

    • dianetrotter profile image

      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 4 years ago from Fontana

      I'm drinking flavored water because I don't like water. The carbonation makes it taste more palatble. When you teach school, it's hard to take bathroom breaks.

    • T4an profile image

      T4an 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      Excellent hub! Thank you for sharing, I plan to pass this o. To others. Voted up!

    • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

      DeBorrah K Ogans 3 years ago

      Ktrapp, Nice! Great hub on the health benefits of drinking water. This was informative and refreshing! I think I'll have a nice tall glass right now! You've inspired me! Water is my favorite beverage! Vote UP!

      Thank You for sharing, Peace & Blessings!

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