Considering Drinking Water to Lose Weight? Here's What You Need to Know

Samantha Hardin
A glass of water sitting on a table/counterPhoto byKOBU AgencyonUnsplash

Water is a vital part of your daily diet. It helps keep you hydrated and moving throughout your day. However, hydration isn't the only important thing about water. Drinking water has many positive effects on your body. Water can help lead to weight loss, stimulate your metabolism, remove waste from your body, and much more.

How Reduced Appetite Is Linked to Weight Loss

While drinking a little bit of water before bed doesn't mean you'll wake up weighing less, there is a connection between drinking water and losing weight. Sometimes, when you think you are feeling hungry, you might just be dehydrated. The brain often mistakes thirst for hunger, leading you to eat something. However, if the issue is thirst, drinking some water can eliminate the hungry feeling. This is because water passes through your system quickly, which stretches the stomach, sending a signal to your brain that you are full.

Now, drinking water isn't going to keep you feeling full forever. It is a temporary result, but drinking water before eating can help you eat less. According to a 2016 study, people who drank two glasses of water right before a meal ate 22% less food than those who didn't drink water before eating. So, drinking approximately two cups of water should temporarily fill your stomach enough for your brain to believe you are full.

How Water Stimulates Your Metabolism

Based on an eight-week study published in 2013, it is believed that drinking water stimulates your body's metabolism and energy expenditure, helping you manage your weight. The study followed fifty overweight girls who drank roughly two cups of water a half hour prior to breakfast, lunch, and dinner with no other changes to their diet. All the girls lost weight and reduced their body mass index and body composition scores.

When you drink water, it appears you stimulate thermogenesis, otherwise known as heat production. This is especially true when you are drinking cold water. Your body must use energy to turn the cold water warmer to get it to body temperature. The more energy your body has to use, the faster your metabolism runs.

Why You Need to Drink Water When Exercising

When it comes to exercising, it's imperative that you drink water while you are doing it. If you don't drink enough water, you can become dehydrated, decreasing your physical activity and negatively affecting your health.

There are many signs of dehydration to look out for:

  • Chills
  • Thirst
  • Clammy Skin
  • Nausea
  • Elevated Heart Rate
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Dry Mouth

If you become dehydrated, you may suffer from these effects:

  • Heat Stroke
  • Breakdown of Skeletal Muscle
  • Heat Exhaustion
  • Muscle Cramping/Fatigue

While exercising, it's important to drink water throughout the process, rather than waiting until you feel thirsty. Often, this is the first sign of dehydration. Drinking water while you exercise will help regulate your internal body temperature, protect and cushion vital organs, and aid your digestive system.

How and Why Water Removes Waste from Your Body

Water is an integral part of removing waste from your body. Drinking an appropriate amount of water will produce urine and help the movement of feces by keeping your stools soft. Basically, the better hydrated you are, the easier it is for your body to move things along and get rid of what it doesn't need. It also makes you less likely to have issues with bloating or constipation.

On top of that, proper hydration helps with kidney function. It will help remove harmful bacteria from your urinary tract and prevent the development of kidney stones. Kidney stones typically form when you have more concentrated urine, so drinking more water dilutes it and lowers the risk of developing them.

Health Benefits of Drinking Water

Aside from helping with weight loss, drinking water has other benefits.

Increased Motivation and Less Stress

Being dehydrated can cause symptoms like dizziness, fatigue, and confusion. It might also be linked to reduced alertness and sleepiness. Who can expect to want to do anything feeling like that? Dehydration also increases the production of cortisol, which increases stress. Drinking water will help ease your symptoms and make you more motivated and less stressed.

Keeps Your Skin Bright

Keeping yourself hydrated helps with your skin's health. When you increase your water intake, it affects your skin like a topical moisturizer. It can also impact the physiology of your skin, including elasticity, which means less sagging and wrinkles.

Boosts Your Brain Power

Did you know that your brain is 73% water? Being dehydrated can impact your ability to complete tasks requiring cognitive functions, attention, immediate memory skills, and physical movement.

Regulates Your Blood Pressure

Having proper hydration keeps your blood at the thinner level it needs to be to flow to all the parts of your body. When dehydrated, your blood becomes thicker, making it harder to flow and placing more stress on your heart. Also, if your cells don't have enough water, your brain releases a chemical that constricts your blood vessels, which can increase your blood pressure.

How Much Water Should You Drink?

The big question is, how much water do you need to drink? It's not a simple answer. Most health experts recommend drinking about two liters of water daily, but it can vary based on multiple factors.

  • If you sweat a lot or regularly exercise, you might need to drink more water than others.
  • Older people and mothers that are breastfeeding need to monitor water intake closely.
  • You also get water from beverages and food like tea, meat, coffee, milk, fish, vegetables, and fruits.
  • If you are feeling thirsty, you should always drink enough to not feel thirsty anymore.
  • If you are having headaches, suffering bad moods, having trouble concentrating, or are hungry constantly, you might be dehydrated. Drinking water should help.


Water is an essential part of your everyday life. It helps keep you hydrated, which keeps your body running. It can help you lose weight, remove waste from your body, increase motivation, decrease stress, keep your skin healthy, boost your brain power, and regulate your blood pressure. Make sure you are drinking enough water every day.

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I have been a freelance writer for over a year and have a degree in education for English Language Arts and History, which gives me a strong grasp of the English language. I write a variety of topics because I enjoy learning new things.

Ohio State

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