H20=fat loss

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.



Water kills you?

Hyponatremia, a dangerous condition that occurs when the body’s sodium levels are diluted by excessive water consumption. This can lead to death.

ninemsn.com.au and the Herald Sun released articles on the death of a Tasmanian hiker because he drank too much water.

Australian Medical Association President Brian Morton said Mr Dent’s cells would have swelled as his body processed the large amount of water he had consumed.

“Well your body tries to get rid of it (the water) and it does that by getting rid of sodium and out with the sodium goes the water and out through the kidney into the bladder the sodium goes and takes it out of the cells so the cells just swell. So the person who died their brain swells and because it’s in a tight bony box it can’t swell so it gets squashed,” Dr Morton told 3AW

When your body is low in sodium, the excess water (usually retained by sodium) enters your cells causing them to swell.  Most cells can tolerate the swelling, however, our brain cells cannot. The main reason for this is because our skull bones confine the cells in the brain. If the cells swell too much, the brain literally squashes against the skull and can kill you.

For more in depth analysis on Hyponatremia, check medicinenet.com

Does this mean avoid drinking plenty of water? Definitely not, Hyponatremia can occur when drinking 1 litre of water per hour. This exceeds the recommended intake, even for athletes.

Hikers and marathon runners who train for hours also need to supplement with electrolyte energy drinks to replenish sodium in the body. According to the International Marathon Medical Directors Association (IMMDA) advocates ‘drinking to thirst’ for endurance runners, and no more.

In its guidelines for fluid replacement , the association recommends 0.03 litres per kilogram but suggests a sports drink for extended activity.

For example, a male who weighs 86kg(189pounds) needs around 2.5 litres of water per day.

Final advice: Hydration is very important, benefits include an increase in strength, an increase in metabolism and improved digestion.

Salynn Boyles’s article on water and metabolism provides further insight into water and its calorie burning ability.

As important as it is to not drink too much water, it is also essential to get sufficient hydration throughout the day.