Water: the weight-loss wonder?

Drinking more water as part of your weight-loss efforts can help you shed extra pounds, a recent review of several previous studies has indicated.

The review, led by Rebecca Muckelbauer, a researcher from the Charité University Medical Center in Germany, aimed to find out exactly why dieters were often advised to drink more water in order to lose weight. As such, 11 studies of the relationship between weight and water consumption were examined.

The investigation did not provide the compelling evidence researchers – and dieters! – would perhaps have hoped for, however: only three of the studies showed that drinking more water led to greater weight loss for those trying to slim down.

One of these three studies did find that middle aged and older adults who drank two cups of water before eating a meal lost approximately four pounds more than those who didn’t take in this extra water. Brenda Davy, a professor at Virginia Tech, led this study. “The water enhanced the weight loss,” she told Reuters Health, speculating that this may be due to water diminishing feelings of hunger. “This may have helped them reduce their calorie intake,” she said.

While the review’s leader Rebecca Muckelbauer agreed that the feelings of fullness provided by the extra water consumption are the most likely cause of the weight loss, she also suggested another reason why water-gulping dieters may have seen better weight-loss:

“Drinking water itself increases energy expenditure of your body. It has an energy consuming effect,” she explained.

Ms Muckelbauer explained that this process, known as water-induced thermogenesis, is not very well studied.

Whatever the reason, anyone attempting to lose weight may want to consider upping their intake of water before meals.

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