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The Weight Loss Elixir: How Water Can Boost Your Weight Loss Journey

by Mara Welty January 02, 2024 7 min read

 The Weight Loss Elixir: How Water Can Boost Your Weight Loss Journey

Roughly 60 percent of our bodies are water — the brain and heart are 73 percent water; the lungs are 80 percent water; the skin contains 64 percent water; and the muscles and kidneys are 79 percent water.

It’s sufficient to say that the water we drink can have a serious impact on the ways our bodies function. But is water good for weight loss as well?

Research has shown that increased water intake can support weight loss through metabolism improvement, appetite regulation and fitness enhancement.

The Role of Water in Our Bodies

Water is a vital nutrient to most things on Earth, including humans. Without it, our bodies would become unbalanced and unable to perform the functions they need to live. More specifically, water helps to maintain homeostasis by:

  • Regulating body temperature
  • Moistening tissues and lubricating joints
  • Protecting the organs and tissues
  • Carrying oxygen and nutrients to cells
  • Flushing out waste products
  • Making vitamins and minerals accessible to the body
  • Supporting healthy bowel movements

Drinking enough water can also brighten and moisturize your skin; support cognitive functions, physical movements, memory skills and attention; and regulate your blood pressure by thinning your blood and preventing the constriction of blood vessels.

Every day, we lose eight to 12 cups of water by breathing, sweating and expelling waste. This is why many experts recommend a daily water intake of at least eight cups of water to replenish your body with fluids. That said, more recent research indicates that women should drink at least nine cups of water a day and men at least 12.

However, your body may require even more water, based on your diet and levels of physical activity. For example, those who eat a lot of fiber — such as beans, broccoli, apples and whole grains — require more fluid intake to support digestion. Additional factors that may necessitate a higher water intake include:

  • Living at a high altitude – At higher altitudes, which include places like Colorado, Wyoming and Utah, there is less oxygen in the air. As a result, your breathing becomes more frequent and more shallow, which can contribute to a greater amount of fluid loss. In fact, your body loses water through respiration twice as fast at high altitudes than it would at sea level.
  • Exercising frequently or vigorously – Intense physical activity can increase your perspiration, leading to water loss. This can impair your body’s ability to regulate body heat, leading you to feel more tired and fatigued.
  • Drinking lots of alcohol or caffeine – Both alcoholic and caffeinated drinks can increase your urine output, contributing to dehydration.

To ensure you’re getting enough water throughout the day, monitor the color and volume of your urine output. Urine that’s lighter in color typically means that you’re properly hydrated.

Water and Weight Loss

Research does support a connection between water and weight loss.

First and foremost, water can help suppress your appetite.

Oftentimes, the brain can mistake dehydration for hunger. When this happens, we can reach for a tasty snack made up of extra calories rather than our water bottle. Frequent hydration can prevent this phenomenon and decrease our daily calorie intake in order to help create a calorie deficit. A calorie deficit occurs when we eat fewer calories than our body burns. With no immediate source of energy, our bodies resort to stored energy reserves, which effectively burns body fat.

You can also decrease your daily calorie intake by replacing sugary beverages such as sodas and energy drinks with a glass of water. By replacing just one can of soda, you can decrease your daily caloric intake anywhere from 140 to 250 calories.

Drinking water can also make you feel more satiated and full throughout the day. When you drink a lot of water, it quickly passes through the digestive system and expands the stomach, telling your brain that it’s full and happy.

A 2016 study found that people who drank two glasses of water before eating a meal were 22 percent less likely to overeat compared to those who had no water before eating.

Secondly, drinking water can stimulate your metabolism.

A 2013 study that observed 50 overweight girls concluded that drinking two cups of water half an hour before every meal (breakfast, lunch and dinner) helped to reduce their body mass index (BMI) and overall body weight. During this study, no additional dietary changes were made.

So, how does this happen?

Drinking water can increase our body temperature, particularly when drinking cold water or ice water. After drinking the cold water, the body works extra hard to warm the water to match its temperature. As the body burns more energy, the metabolism increases, allowing you to more quickly convert your food into energy.

In another study, drinking water increased participants’ metabolism by an average of 30 percent. Overall, maintaining a healthy water intake can be a strategy for those trying to find out how to lose weight naturally.

Proper hydration can also support your daily workouts, which can help improve your lean muscle mass and increase calorie burning to support weight loss.

When you exercise, the water in your body dissolves electrolytes (sodium, potassium and magnesium), creating an electrical charge. These charges help to stimulate movement and muscle contractions needed to perform a workout.

Dehydration can greatly hinder your fitness output. When the body doesn’t have enough water, the muscles can break down and struggle to grow. And it doesn’t help that exercise naturally leads to water loss, due to rapid breathing and sweating. An increase in body heat can further stimulate water loss.

Fortunately, properly hydrating can decrease your body temperature to help you conserve more water during your workouts. Drinking enough water can also prevent the fatigue, muscle weakness and mental confusion that may hinder a workout.

Constipation and bloating can also lead to unwanted weight and discomfort. Water can support your digestive system, producing urine, softening stool and removing harmful germs from the urinary tract. In effect, you may experience a pound or two difference after weighing yourself.

Beyond removing excess waste, water may also help facilitate fat burning. Or, rather, dehydration can decrease or halt fat burning, per animal studies. That said, more research is still needed into this subject.

Can You Drink Too Much Water?

It’s very rare to drink too much water, but it can happen in extreme cases. Typically, overhydration occurs when athletes drink a lot of water to prepare for an intense or long exercise, like a marathon.

Introducing too much water to your body can disrupt your kidney function, and the sodium content of the blood can become diluted. This can be life-threatening.

Water poisoning can also occur, which affects your cognitive functions. When your body’s cells contain too much water, they swell. When brain cells swell, they create pressure on the brain, which can lead to unhealthy blood pressure, low heart rate, confusion, drowsiness and headaches.

If your urine is consistently clear or you’re making frequent trips (six to eight times a day) to the bathroom, decrease your fluid intake until your body reaches equilibrium again.

Ways to Stay Hydrated

Sometimes, it can be difficult to reach your daily water intake goal in between everyday responsibilities. Fortunately, we have a few tips and tricks to help you stay hydrated all day, every day:

  • Make it a habit – It can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days to form a habit, like drinking enough water regularly. Fortunately, you can make the process more exciting by buying a fun or colorful water bottle that can help you track your progress. Adorn it in stickers or keep it clean for a clear reading on volume measurements. If you’re extra forgetful, set reminders throughout the day to fuel your body with H2O. Also, try incorporating water consumption into other daily routines, such as a part of your healthy morning routine, to serve as an additional reminder.
  • Make it tasty – Plain water isn’t always something we crave. To make it more appealing, add natural flavors to your water by infusing it with fruit such as lemon, herbs or vegetables such as cucumber. Or, mix your water with a deliciously flavored protein powder for a hydrating and nutritious drink that fuels your workouts, too.
  • Eat water-rich foods – Foods with a high water content include watermelon, strawberries, cantaloupe, peaches, oranges, cucumber, lettuce and more. If you’re tired of sipping, these foods provide a tasty chewable option.
  • Be mindful of your environment – Living in a high-altitude or humid environment can quicken the rate at which you become dehydrated. If you find yourself in these areas, be aware of how your body feels, your urine output and your alcohol intake. If you’re sitting down for a meal, replace your soda or juice with an ice-cold glass of water instead to regulate your body temperature and enhance your metabolism.

Support Your Weight Loss With INVIGOR8

Overall, several studies support the connection between water intake and weight loss. The research shows that water can decrease your appetite, improve your metabolism and support a productive workout.

If you’re looking to supplement your weight loss journey with a meal replacement protein shake or an entire weight loss kit, look no further than INVIGOR8. Our All-In-One Organic Superfoods Powder helps you manage your weight by controlling hunger, reducing body fat and building lean muscle. You may be wondering, ‘Can a protein shake replace a meal?’. When it comes to our protein powder ingredients, we’ve included whey protein and 18 vitamins and minerals to support full-body health and wellness. We also offer natural appetite control support, which when combined with proper hydration, can be a great tool to help you reach your weight loss goal.

Make INVIGOR8 Shakes one of your weight loss support elixirs.

 

 

Sources:

  1. USGS. The Water in You: Water and the Human Body
  2. Johns Hopkins University. Yes, drinking more water may help you lose weight
  3. Mayo Clinic. Water: Essential for your body
  4. Mayo Clinic. Water: How much should you drink every day?

About the Author

 Mara Welty
Mara Welty

Mara Welty is a copywriter who specializes in health, wellness and CBD topics. With a background in journalism, she aims to deliver engaging, research-based content that builds trust and engages readers through informative storytelling.

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