Sure, we’ve all heard of drinking more water to help lose existing water weight. To some, it’s a quick flush to help prepare for an upcoming event or occasion. Aside from the five (or so) pounds of existing water weight in the body, is it possible that by drinking an adequate supply of water you’re actually helping your body burn fat as well? The answer is yes.
While eating healthy and maintaining a proper exercise routine (like one of the many fitness classes found on the Aaptiv fitness app), drinking water is a crucial step in maintaining proper body function and aiding in fat burning and fat loss. We talked to various medical professionals, nutritionists, and trainers about the many health benefits that come along with drinking a proper amount of water each and every day—and how this practice can improve your overall health and help you reduce your body’s fat.
Ingesting Less Calories
It’s no surprise that eating in excess and supplying our bodies with unwanted calories can lead to weight gain and additional layers of fat. Certified Nutritionist Paul Claybrook MBA, MS, CN suggests that drinking more water can help the body feel fuller, for longer. When the body feels full, you’re less likely to over-consume on your caloric intake. In fact, a recent Harvard study found that adults who drank a larger percentage of water, consumed fewer calories than those who didn’t consume a proper quantity of water. While it is true, ingesting less calories does not readily promote fat burn or fat loss, it can if the body relies on ketones for energy as opposed to glycogen (which has become popular with the ketogenic diet).
Water Plays a Role in the Actual Fat Burning Process
According to Dr. Adarsh Vijay Mudgil, M.D., board-certified in both dermatology and dermatopathology and owner of Mudgil Dermatology in New York, water plays a direct role in our body’s ability to burn fat. “The process of lipolysis (breaking down fat) requires water—the first step in breaking down fat is called hydrolysis, which essentially adds water to fat to break it down.” Without the presence of water it’d be physically impossible for our bodies to break down fat, so keep on drinking your H20.
Increasing Your Metabolism
“Every person has a unique metabolism,” says Nutritionist Lisa Richards. Believe it or not, our metabolisms can be directly linked to the amount of water we consume on a daily basis. Richard’s research has proven that drinking water has been shown to increase the overall rate and state of our metabolism. She believes that “drinking water can even boost the amount of calories your body burns at rest.”
Similarly to increasing our overall metabolism, the more water you drink, the more calories you burn—this is known as resting energy expenditure. “The average adult has a resting energy expenditure increase of 24 to 30 percent within ten minutes of drinking water, and lasts up to 60 minutes,” says Jamie Hickey, a personal trainer/nutritionist of Truism Fitness. A recent study reported a similar finding, which saw that obese children had a 25 percent increase in resting energy expenditure after drinking cold water.
Supporting Your Kidneys
Did you know that adequate water intake is essential for healthy kidney function? According to Dr. Candice Seti, aka The Weight Loss Therapist, “Without adequate hydration, your kidneys flounder for a bit and the liver ends up having to pick up some of the slack.” While our body relies on proper kidney and liver function to carry on our day to day lives, both the kidney and the liver are essential components to burning our body’s fat reserve (as the liver is directly responsible for burning our body’s fat reserve). In fact, if our body’s kidneys are not performing properly because of a lack of water, our liver has to focus on doing the work of the kidneys and fat burning ends up taking a back seat.
Ways to Help Make Sure That You’re Drinking Enough Water
Now that we know of the importance of drinking water, and all the benefits water can have on fat loss, what are some tricks to consuming more water? We spoke with Dr. Philip Goglia, co-founder of G-Plans, who shares four tips to practice to ensure you’re drinking the right amount of water everyday.
- Tip #1: In Sight, In Mind – Getting in the habit of taking your water bottle with you wherever you go is KEY. Whether you’re at work, school, running errands, or simply hanging at home, keep your water by your side. This will serve as a reminder to keep drinking throughout the entire day.
- Tip #2: Start your day off with a big glass of H20 – Put that hot cup of coffee on hold (just for a moment) and make sure you start your morning with a nice glass of water. This will get you ahead of your water goal before your day even gets started.
- Tip #3: Track your water intake – People generally overestimate how much water they are drinking until they actually keep track of it. Either by writing it down or tracking on your phone (through notes or a specific app), you’re better able to execute the exact amount of water you should be drinking daily.
- Tip #4: Infuse your water – If you’re not a fan of water (or enjoy ways of spicing it up), try infusing it! Adding in slices of citrus, slices of cucumber, a handful of berries, or a sprig of mint will be sure to make your water far from boring.
Hopefully, with all the readily available information on the benefits of water consumption to help burn fat as well as these helpful tips and tricks, getting in the proper amount of water a day won’t be such a chore. By drinking water, incorporating exercise (try the Aaptiv fitness app), and eating nutrient dense food, you’ll be one step closer to creating the optimal body for health and wellness.