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Your Weight Loss Depends on How Much Water You Drink: Here's Why

Your Weight Loss Depends on How Much Water You Drink: Here's Why

Who knew that drinking the right amount of water depending on your weight can make you shed the pounds quicker?

Our body is made up of approximately 60% water on average. It's present in our organs, our skin, and even our bones. Its numerous functions include regulating body temperature, digestion, lubricating joints, transferring oxygen and nutrients to various cells and helping the minerals get absorbed into our body the right way. It can also improve your heart health, prevent headaches, increase alertness and boost your cognitive functions. 

H.H. Mitchell in his scientific paper, states that the brain and the heart are composed of 73% water, while the lungs are about 83% water. He also says that the skin contains 64% water, the muscles and kidneys contain 79% water and even the bones have water — 31%. 

According to Dr. Jeffrey Utz, a specialist in neuroscience and pediatrics at Allegheny University, water percentage in the body depends from person to person. He states that babies have the most with 78% water percentage in their body. When they turn 1, that amount drops to about 65%. Adult men have about 60% of water in their body while women have about 55% of water. This difference is because fat tissue doesn't hold as much water as lean tissue and women have more fat composition than men. 

What does it have to do with losing weight?

Water has many health benefits of which one is the boosting of metabolism. So the more you keep yourself hydrated, the easier it is to lose weight in a healthy manner. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism yielded results stating that drinking 17 ounces (0.5 liters) of water increases metabolic rate by 30% in healthy men and women.  

Researchers from the University of Birmingham, U.K. conducted a 12-week experiment with a sample of 84 obese adults to find out the effect of water on weight. They found that consuming water before meals leads to accelerated weight loss. So drinking water is good for dropping those pounds.

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Adda Bjarnadottir, MS, says, “Drinking water increases the amount of calories you burn, which is known as resting energy expenditure. In adults, resting energy expenditure has been shown to increase by 24–30% within 10 minutes of drinking water. This lasts at least 60 minutes."

But the real question is how much water do we need to consume in order to lose weight.

Why is the amount we drink important?

Since each person has a different water composition in their body, the amount of water you drink matters. “In my experience, most people are not aware of how much they’re drinking and are not drinking enough -- many, as little as half of what they need,” says Amanda Carlson, RD, director of performance nutrition at Athletes’ Performance. 

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) suggests that men drink at least 101 ounces of water per day while women should drink at least 74 ounces. 

It used to be that drinking 64 ounces a day was the correct formula. However, that has changed. Drinking the right amount depends on how much you weigh.

“It depends on your size and weight, and also on your activity level and where you live,” says Trent Nessler, PT, DPT, MPT, managing director of Baptist Sports Medicine in Nashville. “In general, you should try to drink between half an ounce and an ounce of water for each pound you weigh, every day.”

Drinking too little water can cause dehydration and even drinking too much can cause hyponatremia.

So how do you find out what is the right amount for you? 

There is a formula that can help you drink the amount of water that you require to lose weight:

Step 1: Weigh yourself

Since your water intake will need to increase based on your body weight, it's important to get your weight as accurate as possible.

Step 2: Divide your weight in half

If you have a decimal number, round it up. The result of that division is how much water you need to drink (in ounces).

Step 3: Track your activity levels

Water intake is also affected by how active you are. This is because we lose water through functions like sweat or urine. So in order to compensate for that, add 16 ounces of water for every 30 minutes of exercise. 

Step 4: Calculate the total water intake you need

Add all the numbers you got from the first 3 steps. The number you get (in ounces) is how much you water you need to drink. 

While this is one method, Good Housekeeping mentions another method that factors in age as well. That method includes the following steps:

1. Measure your weight in pounds and divide it by 2.2

2. Then take that number and multiply it depending on your age. If you are:

— Younger than 30, multiply by 40

— Between 30 and 55, multiply by 35

— Older than 55, multiply by 30

3. Taking the result, divide that by 28.3

4. The total you get is how many ounces of water you should drink daily. 

5. Divide the total by 8 to see how many cups of water you should be drinking. 

 References:

https://academic.oup.com/jcem/article/88/12/6015/2661518

https://www.healthyfoodhouse.com/heres-how-much-water-your-body-needs-to-lose-weight/

https://water.usgs.gov/edu/propertyyou.html

https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/news/latest/2015/08/Abottleofwaterbeforeeachmeal260815.aspx

https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/water-for-weight-loss-diet#2

https://www.healthline.com/health/hyponatremia

https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/diet-nutrition/a46956/how-much-water-should-i-drink/

https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/water-for-weight-loss-diet#1

https://www.healthline.com/health/how-much-water-should-I-drink

https://www.nap.edu/read/10925/chapter/6

http://www.jbc.org/content/158/3/625.full.pdf

https://www.healthline.com/about

http://www.jbc.org/content/158/3/625.full.pdf

https://www.linkedin.com/in/amanda-carlson-phillips-ms-rd-cssd-b77b264

Disclaimer : This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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