Here's how 17oz can boost metabolism 24-30%. Plus, one study found that drinking this much water increased weight-loss by 44% after three months.
Recently, I was read a story about a woman who was very active in high school.
But in college she hung up the towel and decided to focus on school. Without sports she found it difficult to stay consistent with exercise. Plus, her eating habits got much worse. After her freshman year, she gained more than a ‘freshman 15’ and had to buy bigger clothes. Then in nursing school, she felt a knot in her stomach.
She wasn’t following the advice she was giving to her patients. In fact, one day during practice labs, she didn’t want anyone to take her blood pressure in fear that they would find out how out of shape she was. That was a breaking point for her. She knew she had to change something. And that’s when she focused on five key habits that helped her drop 35 lbs. 12,000 steps per day. Only to eat fast food if it was with friends. Prepare most of her meals ahead of time. Do HIIT training. Drink a gallon of water per day.
Now there’s a lot to say about each of these but let’s focus on how water can hurt your results and how it can help you lose weight.
Here's How Dehydration Hurts Your Results
First, even just being slightly dehydrated has negative impacts on the body.
For instance, a 2012 study published by the Journal of Nutrition found that even 1.36% dehydration resulted in increased headache frequency, perception of task difficulty, decreased concentration, and degraded mood. This makes sense given how much of our body is water.
According to Dr. Jeffrey Utz of Allegheny University 60% of the adult male human body is water. Adult women are about 55%. Babies are about 78%.
Look at the organs in the body and you’ll see most consist of high percentages of water.
According to the Journal of Biological Chemistry the brain and heart are 73% water, the lungs are 83% water, the skin is 64% water, and the muscles are 79%. The fact that 79% of muscles are water means that even slight dehydration affects your ability to exercise.
In fact, here are some stats:
1% dehydration decreases aerobic endurance.
2% dehydration decreases muscular endurance.
4% dehydration decreases muscular strength and motor skills.
This means workouts become harder when you’re dehydrated and you won’t be able to perform as well.
String enough dehydrated workouts together and you’re holding yourself back. But that’s not all. Studies have actually shown that drinking enough water actually boosts weight-loss.
Research on Drinking Water and Weight Loss
For example, a 2010 study in the journal Obesity found that middle-aged and older adults who drank 17 ounces of water before every meal lost 44% more weight after 3 months compared to those didn’t. Another 2015 study at the University of Birmingham tested the weight-loss impact of drinking water before a meal as well.
Subjects were divided into two groups: #1: A visualization group (that imagined they had a full stomach before a meal) and #2: A water group who simply drank 500ml (17oz) of water 30 minutes before meals. On average those who drank water before meals lost 2.87 more pounds than the control group.
However, there was a clear difference between those who consistently drank water before meals and those who were occasional water drinkers. The occasional water drinkers lost on average 1.76lbs, while those who drank water before every meal lost 9.48 pounds!
Why Does Water Help You Lose Weight?
Here's why does drinking water before meals make a difference.
First, it temporarily boosts metabolism.
Studies in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology Metabolism found that just drinking 17 ounces (a little more than 2 cups) of water boosted metabolism by 24-30% for about 90 minutes.
Researchers predicted that drinking 68 ounces per day would burn an extra 96 calories each day. That’s the equivalent to burning off roughly 3 cups of popcorn… two chocolate chip cookies… or a small baked potato.
If you did that every day you’d burn an extra 672 calories per week! All by simply drinking 17 ounces of water four times per day!
It does this by reducing the amount of calories you consume during a meal.
A 2008 study in The Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that drinking water 30 minutes per a meal decreased the amount of calories the subjects consumed by 13%. So instead of eating 700 calories, you’d only eat 609. That might not seem like much, but tiny hinges can swing big doors especially over time.
You do that three times per day and that’s 273 fewer calories per day.
Then add the metabolism boost (96 calories) from the previous study and that’s 369 fewer calories per day. Multiply that by seven days and you’re at 2,583 fewer calories by the end of the week. All from just drinking more water.
Another study in the journal Pediatrics installed water fountains in 17 grade schools and gave the children a few lessons about the benefits of drinking more water.
A year later, the schools that did this dropped the risk of obesity by 31%! This was even without changing the availability of pop or juices in the school.
How Much Water Should You Drink Each Day?
There are all sorts of calculators out there. One simple rule of thumb is 2.2 liters (74 ounces) for women and 3 liters (101 ounces) for men. (Of course, these numbers will increase depending on temperature and physical activity as well). Let’s break that down: For women: 16oz when you wake up 16 oz before breakfast 16 oz before lunch 16 oz before dinner 16 oz before bed 80oz total (That is just 2 cups of water 5 times per day) For men: 20oz when you wake up 20oz before breakfast 20oz before lunch 20oz before dinner 20oz before bed 100oz total (That is 2.5 cups of water 5 times per day) Could you break it down differently?
Of course. But this shows you a simple way to approach it. The important thing is to start drinking water before meals and during meals (Preferably also replacing water for any other juices or calorie-containing beverages).