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Can drinking water REALLY help me lose more weight?

There's not a day that goes by that someone doesn't have a new or exciting out-of-the-box way to shed the fat.

 One we hear from time to time is: "drinking more water will help you lose more fat!"

 But is it really true?

 A recent study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, performed at the University of Medicine in Berlin, brings some interesting results.

 They found that drinking just two glasses of humble tap water causes a rise in calories.

 Sure, sounds great....but how many more calories?

Well, just 23 calories to be exact.

We've known for years that drinking water increases our energy consumption, which is metabolically costly. 

 Crunching the numbers sees a subject losing up to 2.4kg of body fat extra a year just by drinking six glasses of water daily. But a year is a long wait!  

 Playing a part in this is the temperature of water, which is colder than body temperature and therefore warming it up costs calories.

 On the other hand, water does fill us up. But just how much does a full stomach (and the changes in relation to adrenaline that occur) impact this calorie cost?

Well, it's just that our scientific friends were investigating. 

 So in their study, the researchers gave their subjects (8 overweight men and women respectively) water on three different occasions.

Occasion 1: 0.5 litre water on one occasion

Occasion 2: 50 ml water

Occasion 3: 0.5 litre water containing a small amount of salt. The salt solution was what's called isotonic; the same salt concentration as is in the blood. Why? Because water enters the bloodstream only when it contains the same amount of salt your blood does.

 Why the salt on occasion 3? Because drinking water ordinarily sees your body get the salt from within your stomach. When the right blend is created, alakazam! 

 Ever wondered why "isotonic" is written on your commercial sports drinks? Well, wonder no more!

So what did the study find?

 On occasion 3, when the salt was added, the energy expenditure disappeared. So our expanding stomachs isn't the issue here. 

What they actually found was that our stomachs getting salt to them after water consumption was in fact where the energy was required! So it's this that causes the rise in calorie expenditure. 


Whilst isotonic drinks are important for some athletes, hitting your Plus Fitness bubbler after lifting weights or running on the treadmills won't only help for hydration, but for some additional calories burnt, too.

 Water can be a vital aid in the war on fat, but of course, it's not going to have a massive effect.

 Shoot for 8-10 glasses a day, knowing it'll be beneficial, but ultimately make sure it's your diet that's in check, and that you're getting to your Plus Fitness gym as much as you need to!

(1) Boschmann M1, Steiniger J, Franke G, Birkenfeld AL, Luft FC, Jordan J. Water drinking induces thermogenesis through osmosensitive mechanisms. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2007 Aug;92(8):3334-7. Epub 2007 May 22.

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