The simple wonders of water may seem quite surprising considering the fat loss and strength gain advantages we get from H20. However this does not mean drinking water will result in immediate fat loss.
Drinking water represents one piece of the puzzle towards achieving and maintaining optimal body composition.
Our muscles are 70% water and our brains are 80% water. This means we need to replenish them with water to maintain their highest optimal function.
In this way, the goal is not about drinking more water to lose fat, but making sure water consumption is an integral part of life. From the moment you rise you are dehydrated after 7-8 hours without sustenance (assuming you get the adequate 7-8 hours sleep).
Therefore the goal is making sure your body is not dehydrated to avoid the negative symptoms on your body, metabolism and performance.
To understand the role water plays in our lives, a stroll through the archives in water and metabolism will enlighten us on why water is such a crucial player in preventing obesity.
Water and Metabolism
A review of the medical literature actually shows studies demonstrating water’s effect on fat-loss mechanisms in the body.
A recent set of studies performed by Dr. Michael Boschmann and his colleagues in Berlin demonstrated the true fat-loss potential of drinking water. In 2003, they showed that in normal-weight adults, drinking 500 ml of water (a little over 16 ounces) resulted in a 30 percent increase in metabolic rate for 60 minutes. Not only did the body have to increase its metabolism to warm the water up to body temperature (just like a water heater tank turning on after a bath to heat up the reservoir as it refills), but the change in the measure of blood-dilution also increased. In other words, as the blood in the circulation was diluted by the large intake of water, adrenalin and norepinephrine were released to deal with the challenge. This adrenalin surge acted on the body, increasing heat production by burning more calories. In men, the calories came from fat; in women, the increase in calorie-burning consumed carbohydrates.
This information holds a great deal of practical value for athletes and bodybuilders as water consumption is healthy, extremely inexpensive and certainly effective based upon these results.
The same study was applied to overweight and obese people. The assumption was overweight people would respond the same to the challenge as their normal-weight counterparts. In fact, that was what was observed. Drinking 500 ml of water caused the subjects to increase metabolism by 24 percent, nearly the same as the earlier study with normal-weight subjects.
Boschmann, et. al, concluded that the increase in energy expenditure (calorie burning) was a function of diluting the blood through water consumption, and not dependent upon volume or stretching the stomach.
Another way to take advantage of water’s effectiveness in fat loss is by drinking ‘smart’.
‘smart’ drinking can be very effective for suppressing hunger, leading to weight loss.
“Water can decrease your appetite,” said Mara Z. Vitolins, R.D., Dr. P.H., assistant professor of public health sciences (epidemiology). “It is hard to distinguish between being thirsty and being hungry, so try drinking water and waiting 20 to 30 minutes to see if you’re still hungry.”
Vitolins, who also is part of the Center for Research on Human Nutrition and Chronic Disease Prevention, added that drinking water also may help you cut calories.
“Most people drink sodas, coffee, and other such beverages and totally disregard drinking plain water,” she said. “Replacing the higher calorie beverages with plain water or flavored water (without added sugar) can significantly reduce calories.”
If this does not convince you water helps suppress hunger and aid weight loss, try drink 500mls of water next time you feel hungry after a meal. This will prevent you from snacking throughout the day on simple carbs and develop further cravings from unnecessary insulin spikes.
The effectiveness of ‘smart’ drinking is also shown in Natural News where two research studies investigating the impact that beverage choice has on accompanying eating behaviours were recently conducted at the University of Oregon and Michigan State University. One of the studies targeted the eating behaviours of 60 people aged 19-23, while the other studied 75 children between the ages of three and five. Both studies were investigating the impact that different drinks, such as soda or water, had on the consumption of vegetables.
More of the older participants, when given sweet drinks, preferred high calorie and salty foods over the available vegetables. When preschoolers were given soda instead of water, the younger children consumed fewer raw vegetables.
In a nutshell, ‘smart drinking’ not only enhances fat loss but also creates lifestyle changes to enable a consistent Liferoutine.
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center (2003, February 5). Drinking Water Can Help Your Diet. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 11, 2012, from http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2003/02/030205073358.htm
Boschmann M, Steiniger J, et al. Water-induced thermogenesis.J Clin Endocrinol Metab, 2003 Dec;88(12):6015-9.
Boschmann M, Steiniger J, et al. Water drinking induces thermogenesis through osmosensitive mechanisms. J Clin Endocrinol Metab, 2007 Aug;92(8):3334-7.