Dieters are often told to drink more water, but does it actually help you lose more weight? Perhaps, according to a new literature review that analyzed the results of several studies.
Researchers in one study found that “water enhanced weight loss” for dieters who drank water prior to eating.
Earlier research on the effects of water for weight loss has been inconsistent, and researchers from Germany sought to clarify the issue with a meta-analyses of 13 different studies.
In one study, women who increased their intake of water experienced greater weight loss than those who consumed less than a liter a day. In another study, older and middle-aged people who drank two cups of water before meals lost four more pounds on average compared to people who hadn’t drank the additional water.
Researchers still don’t know why water may affect weight loss. One likely explanation is that sipping on water before a meal could reduce hunger, which may help people limit their calories. Another theory is that “drinking water itself increases energy expenditure of your body. It has an energy consuming effect. This is not very well studied,” said lead researcher Rebecca Muckelbauer from the Berlin School of Public Health, Charité University Medical Center Berlin in Germany.
And even though water may have helped dieters with weight loss in several studies, another study found that water consumption didn’t alter weight in people who weren’t on a diet.
This led researchers to conclude that there still isn’t enough evidence to decisively say that drinking water leads to greater weight loss. Although more research is needed, increasing your water intake has been shown to have several other beneficial effects like reducing the risk of kidney stones and diabetes in women.
Many chiropractors can advise patients on safe, effective weight loss methods to improve wellness and reduce your risk of musculoskeletal conditions like back pain.
Muckelbauer R, et al. Association between water consumption and body weight outcomes: a systemic review. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2013; doi: 10.3945/?ajcn.112.055061.