Water is essential for the human body. A normal human body can last weeks without food, but only a few days without water. Our body is 50–75% water, which forms the basis of blood, digestive enzymes, urine, and sweat. It is also contained in the skin, lean muscle, fat tissue, and bones. The body performs virtually every metabolic process in the presence of water and also helps rid the body of toxins, suppresses the appetite, and keeps everything running smoothly. Replenishing this water is needed each and every day. Its shortage can be harmful, and even fatal. Babies and the elderly are most susceptible to dehydration.
Water is also an important part of our diets. As being overweight is a growing public safety concern in America and many other countries, people are trying to follow different diets and weight management plans. There is one thing that all healthy plans most certainly include in their diet – water.
Researchers from the University of Birmingham in England discovered a simple method to help people lose weight. They believe that the normal intervention in water intake could be incredibly valuable, and be easily promoted in public health campaigns by healthcare professionals.
To conduct the study, British researchers enrolled obese adult participants and monitored them over a period of 12 weeks. Each participant was given a weight management consultation on how to adapt their lifestyle and improve their diet and levels of daily physical activity. The first group of recruited individuals was asked to fill up with water before each meal, while the members of the control group were directed to imagine they had a full stomach before eating.
Participants of the group who preloaded with water lost on average, 2.87lbs, more than those in the control group. Moreover, those who reported preloading before all three main meals in the day reported a loss of 9.48lbs over the 12 week period.
Whereas, the participant who preloaded with water once or not at all only lost an average of 1.76lbs. It is to be noted that participants were encouraged to drink tap water only. Sparkling water, sodas, carbonated or sweetened drinks were not allowed as part of the study.
NIHR Clinical Lecturer at Birmingham University, Dr. Helen Parretti, explained the beauty and simplicity of these findings. Just by drinking a pint of water 3 times a day before meals, may help reduce your weight significantly. It’s simple as that! When combined with a healthy diet plan and steady physical activity, the findings will help people to achieve some additional weight loss. It’s not something that takes much work to integrate into our busy everyday lives, she added.
The published study showed promising initial results for the trial, and the researchers are confident that these findings will lead to further research into the benefits of water preloading before meals. It’s thought to be a simple verdict that has the potential to make a positive influence on public health. They also hope to receive support for a trial with a greater number of subjects and over a longer period of time to reconfirm the findings.
How Much Water Should We Drink?
According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, women should drink about 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day men should drink about 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day for men. One cup equals 8 liquid ounces. These fluids can be from water, other beverages and food. About 20% of daily fluid intake usually comes from food and the rest from drinks.
For more information on water and health click these links.