Sipping water throughout the day helps keep your body hydrated. However, drinking too much can cause dehydration. People who exercise often, sweat a lot or live in warm temperatures, or take certain medications may need to drink more water than others.

Swapping sugary drinks like soda and sweetened coffee or tea for flat or sparkling water can reduce liquid calories consumed each day. Water also stimulates calorie burning even while you’re at rest.

1. It helps you feel full

Water is calorie-free, and replacing high-calorie beverages such as soda, fruit juice, alcohol, and sugary coffee with water can help reduce total calorie intake. Water also makes the stomach expand, which can lead to a feeling of fullness and prevent overeating. Some people mistake thirst for hunger and may eat when they are actually thirsty, which can cause them to consume more calories. Drinking a glass of water before eating can prevent this.

A 2013 study published in Nutrition & Diabetes found that drinking water half an hour before breakfast, lunch, and dinner resulted in reduced body fat among participants. Drinking water before meals can also help reduce hunger, allowing you to eat smaller portions of food and fewer calories.

Another reason to drink more water is that it can help stimulate your metabolism. When you drink cold water, your body has to expend energy to warm the liquid to room temperature, which can cause your resting metabolic rate to slightly increase.

In addition to helping you feel full and stimulating your metabolism, drinking water can also boost your metabolism during exercise. This is because the fluid helps your muscles function properly and prevents them from experiencing early fatigue due to dehydration, which can make exercise less effective at burning calories. In addition, water can prevent the loss of nutrients and minerals during vigorous activity.

2. It helps you burn calories

Sipping water throughout the day has many benefits, including burning calories. Ingesting ice-cold water requires your body to expend energy to warm it up to body temperature, which can burn an extra 7 calories per glass, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. The added calorie-burn from drinking water may help speed up your metabolism, a natural process in which your body converts what you consume into fuel.

Drinking a glass of water before a meal may reduce your appetite, as it takes up space in the stomach and tricks the brain into thinking that you are full. This can help you eat less and lose weight. In fact, in a study, 50 overweight women who drank two glasses of water half an hour before breakfast, lunch and dinner lost 2 pounds over eight weeks without making any other changes to their diets.

In addition to helping you eat less, drinking plenty of water may also keep your muscles and joints healthy so that you can work out longer without getting fatigued. If you are exercising and sweating a lot, it is especially important to replenish your fluids by drinking water, as well as sports drinks with electrolytes if necessary. Staying hydrated will also reduce the risk of cramps, as most cramps are caused by dehydration.

3. It helps you maintain a healthy weight

Adding water to your daily diet can be an easy way to support weight loss, especially when you’re trying to limit fried foods and sugary beverages. As a liquid, water is zero calories, so replacing high-calorie drinks like juice, soda, alcohol, and even some herbal teas with water can help reduce calorie consumption.

In addition, drinking water often suppresses appetite. This is because when you drink water, it passes through the stomach quickly and stretches it, which sends signals to the brain to signal satiation. In fact, one study found that middle-aged adults who drank 500 milliliters of water before meals consumed 22% fewer calories than those who did not.

Drinking water also helps stimulate lipolysisi or fat breakdown, which can help your body burn additional calories for energy. However, this is only true if you’re drinking adequate amounts of water. If you’re dehydrated, this process will be much less effective.

If you want to get into the habit of drinking more water, try setting an alarm on your phone or buying a water bottle with a lid that keeps it sealed tight so you can’t forget to sip. You can also spruce up plain water with healthful add-ins like sliced lemon or lime, a slice of cucumber, mint, or slightly mashed bits of seasonal fruit. This is a great way to make it more fun without adding extra calories.

4. It prevents dehydration

Water also helps the kidneys remove waste and toxins. It dissolves minerals and nutrients so they can be absorbed by the body, and it also carries away waste products. Water is recommended for people with chronic diseases, especially diabetes and high blood pressure. It is also recommended for people taking some medications, such as diuretics.

Being dehydrated can slow down your thinking, make you feel fatigued and affect your performance during exercise. This is because without enough fluids, your body cannot properly regulate its temperature, and your heart rate may increase. You can avoid dehydration by drinking adequate amounts of water and eating fluid-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables, throughout the day.

In one study, women who drank two cups of water before each meal lost more weight than those who didn’t. In addition, they consumed fewer calories and less sugar, sodium and fat. If you’re trying to lose weight, drinking water can help because it takes up space in your stomach, which makes you feel full and leads to consuming fewer calories. Water can also help you cut back on sugary sodas and other beverages that are high in calories. The amount of water you need to drink each day depends on your age, gender, health conditions and lifestyle. But eight glasses per day is a good rule of thumb. You should also drink more fluids if you’re active or exercising, in hot or humid weather or if you’re sick with vomiting or diarrhea.

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