Does drinking water help you lose weight?
Everyone knows that drinking water is important. The phrase “8 glasses of water a day” is commonly touted.
Does water have a specific role to play with regards to appetite and weight loss?
It turns out that yes, it can.
In one study, women consumed 375ml and men consumed 500ml of water 30 minutes prior to eating. Fullness ratings were higher in all groups and there was a significant decrease in calorie ingestion in older subjects.
A later trial tested a 30 minute 500ml water preload in older obese adults and found an approximate 13% reduction in caloric intake versus no preload.
Another study tested lean young males with 568ml of water ingested immediately prior to breakfast and again, there was a significant reduction in calories consumed.
So drinking a large glass of water immediately or up to 30 minutes before a meal could reduce food intake in that meal in some people.
How would this translate to long term results?
A 12 week reduced calorie trial compared one group following a mandatory 500ml water preload prior to meals with another group who received water but were given no preloading instructions. The water preload group lost an average of 2kg more weight.
This isn’t guaranteed to work in everyone but as there is little effort and cost involved it is certainly a strategy worth trying out to see if it helps.
- Pre-meal water consumption reduces meal energy intake in older but not younger subjects
- Water consumption reduces energy intake at a breakfast meal in obese older adults
- Immediate pre-meal water ingestion decreases voluntary food intake in lean young males
- Water Consumption Increases Weight Loss During a Hypocaloric Diet Intervention in Middle-aged and Older adults