Water for weight loss?

Water for weight loss?

The majority of dieters and those who prescribe them emphasize the importance of water in a healthy diet .


Does water make you lose weight?

The answer is clearly negative: if it were positive, we would burn additional calories with every sipped glass of water . Obviously, this does not happen, because if on the one hand water does not provide energy, on the other it has no intrinsic capacity to increase the body’s metabolism , as nerve foods such as tea and coffee do instead .

Drinking excessive amounts of water in the hope of losing weight can even prove to be a dangerous practice for your health. Making an effort to drink more during meals, for example, “extinguishes the fire with which food burns” (it slows down and impairs digestion , excessively diluting digestive juices). Water, once absorbed in the intestine, ends up in the blood, regulating its volume; if we drink too much, therefore, the plasma volume increases and with it the arterial pressure . Finally, the excessive dilution of electrolytes , especially sodium (people who love low sodium waters should bear this in mind), can be very dangerous and even lethal in extreme cases.


Does drinking water help you lose weight?

In this case the answer can become positive on the basis of some considerations. Let’s see them in detail.

If water is drunk instead of alcohol , fruit juices , sweetened drinks, etc., the lower caloric intake can only help slimming.

In people who drink little, and there are really many of them, it can happen that a need for water is confused with a need for food; it seems silly but there is some truth to it, since food contains a certain percentage of water (close to 80-90% in most vegetables and fresh fruit).

Drinking cold water, in theory, can help you lose a few more calories, but it is obviously a very dangerous and not recommended practice.

Drinking one or two glasses of water before meals helps to stimulate the sense of satiety , decreasing the amount of food ingested.


Does drinking too little make you fat?

Again, there may be some truth to this. We know, for example, that adipose tissue is very poor in water, which instead abounds in muscle tissue; not surprisingly, obese subjects have a lower percentage of body water than lean ones . Even the synthesis of glycogen , unlike lipogenesis , requires large quantities of water, since each gram of this polysaccharide binds almost 3 grams.

In athletes engaged in endurance sports , the lack of water favors muscle catabolism , with an inevitable decrease in metabolism (the stress hormone cortisol has an anti-diuretic activity and its secretion increases in the absence of water; at the same time, dehydration reduces testosterone secretion )*.

Furthermore, a correct intake of water favors the elimination of toxins from the body, which by virtue of their lipophilicity tend to accumulate in the adipose tissue. An excess of toxins in the circulation due to reduced water intake could therefore have a fattening effect, as well as being decidedly unhealthy.

Even if our body has extremely effective mechanisms for regulating water losses according to water intake, drinking in the right quantities is very important. More than doing it in the hope of losing weight, therefore, it makes more sense to drink to feel good and avoid all the unpleasant consequences of dehydration.

*( Judelson, A. et al. Effect of hydration state on resistance exercise-induced endocrine markers of anabolism, catabolism, and metabolism. Journal of Applied Physiology. July 10, 2008).



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