The Role of Hydration in Weight Loss

Some good, high-quality h20 is the ideal start to your day. Not because it will help you lose weight, but because your body needs it. In fact, the literature on the water helping people lose weight is far from concrete. People who are adequately hydrated are less likely to be obese, according to the gold standard of research of hydration completed by the University of Michigan.

Common sense does take a page here. If you drink chilly water, your metabolism must heat the water up, which burns calories. It is true that drinking lemon water can help burn a negligible number of calories. If you drink water instead of soda (Or pop), for example, you are saving the calories you would have consumed.

Research does show some interesting correlations. For example, most people confuse the sensation of thirst for hunger. This is especially true for late night snacking. This is my plug to suggest when you want candy at 11 pm, to drink a glass of water first, as most likely you are just thirsty.

A few studies commonly cited, such as a 2010 study by Virginia Tech, will show that drinking two glasses of water before each meal is proven to help participants to lose more weight than the control group. The conclusion was that the participants who drank the water ate slightly less, as in a few dozen calories, and were less likely to drink sugary drinks.

Is water needed for Weight Loss?


The answer is a resounding yes. Not even because it will help you directly lose weight. But because your body requires water to function. Hydration plays a role in your hormonal regulation and temperature regulation. Hydration is required to have joints remain lubricated, and it is required for the body to pump blood into muscles and for your heart to function.

Water is needed for cell recovery as well. The biggest reason you need water is that of the risks of dehydration. When dehydrated you become irritable, tired and can get headaches. Your mood suffers as well. Not being hydrated makes you feel miserable.

But what if I want to lose weight?

This is where things get interesting, and we can throw some numbers around. Research has shown that your metabolism increases up to thirty percent while your body is heating cold water to match your bodies temperature. There is not a diet pill on the market you can buy to increase your metabolism by 30%. That is right, water is proven to be the best metabolism booster (Fat burner) on the market.

Add in the fact that water is also proven to make you eat less, it has just rounded out the entire diet pill industry. Water is proven to make you eat less and consume fewer calories, which is more than over the counter appetite suppressants can promise.

Water also helps you make better choices. When properly hydrated you are less likely to snack, especially since most late-night snacking is caused by people confusing thirst for hunger. This means water is also natures will power. No reason to try to force yourself to not eat, water will do it for you.

The point is when trying to lose weight water is your best supplement. There is no reason for a new dieter, or you, to go buy diet pills and sign up for a fancy program when drinking water is scientifically proven to help you eat less, and burn more calories. It also provides you with will power, which is why most diets fail – people give up.

Metabolic Benefits of Water


The last bit of information which may be helpful on water is what the lack of proper hydration does to a person. First thing is, when not properly hydrated, your time in the gym suffers. Due to this, you burn fewer calories when working out because you have less energy to put into your exercises. Your muscles have less blood and oxygen flowing and do not give you the optimal output.

But the real issue is what happens to your metabolism. For every percent, the human body is under proper hydration, the metabolism slows down 5%. For a 200-pound male, who consumes 2,000 calories a day, that is 100 fewer calories burned a day. Or several pounds of fat gained a year. Or for a dieter, several fewer pounds burned a year.

That is just one percent under proper hydration. Do you really think you are properly hydrated? I make a point to drink as much water as possible, and at least 32 ounces an hour while at work. I still do not feel properly hydrated all the time.

How Much Water Do I Need?

The conventional wisdom is you should “drink eight glasses of water a day.”  Sadly, this is not exactly right. The only official answer comes from the Institute of Medicine. The magic number is 13 glasses for men or a total of 3 liters. For women, 9 glasses, or 2.2 liters. The eight glasses of water myth bring us to 1.9 liters.

Close, but not quite right. The fact is you need to consume 13 glasses of liquid, not just water. In my opinion, eight glasses are not enough. I aim for more. Drink as much liquid as possible to stay hydrated.

Find all the resources used in this article and the scientific basis of all our article at The Science Behind Fitness.


  1. Mathiah McKinney July 27, 2017
    • Eric July 29, 2017

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