We all know that we need to drink water to stay healthy and happy, and there is a great deal of research that suggests that drinking water on a regular basis can also play a key role in weight management, curbing appetite, and helping you feel fuller for longer.
But what about the idea that drinking more water could actually help you gain weight?
This is a notion that has gained some traction in recent years; but does it actually have any truth to it? We took a closer look.
How Can Drinking Water Help You To Lose Weight?
There are a number of ways in which drinking water can help you to lose weight, and these include:
It Helps You To Stay Hydrated
When you’re dehydrated, your metabolism slows down, meaning that you burn fewer calories than usual.
If you don’t replenish yourself with adequate amounts of fluids, then you run the risk of becoming even more dehydrated, which can lead to further weight loss difficulties.
It Keeps Your Appetite In Check
Drinking plenty of water helps to keep your hunger levels under control, as well as keep your blood sugar levels stable.
When you’re hungry, your brain sends signals to your stomach telling it to release hormones that stimulate your appetite.
These hormones are released into the bloodstream, where they travel throughout your body until they reach your brain.
Once they get there, they tell your brain to send messages to your digestive tract, causing it to start producing more food-related hormones.
It Makes You Feel Full For Longer
Drinking lots of water keeps your stomach full, which makes you less likely to snack between meals.
This is important, as snacking between meals can cause you to eat too much at each mealtime, leading to overeating over time.
If you’re regularly consuming large quantities of water, then you’ll find that you tend to weigh less than those who aren’t drinking enough.
This is because water fills up your belly, making you feel fuller for longer, which in turn causes you to eat less.
It May Help You Burn Fat Faster
If you’ve ever tried dieting, then you’ve probably noticed how quickly your body starts storing fat once you stop eating.
This is because your body uses stored energy (fat) to fuel itself during times of stress and starvation.
Can Water Cause Weight Gain?
Despite the numerous advantages to drinking water, there remains a persistent belief that drinking too much water could actually lead to weight gain.
This is likely from the presence of so-called water weight, or water retention, which refers to excess fluid that has accumulated inside your body due to dehydration.
Water retention occurs when your body holds onto extra water, which can happen when you’re exposed to heat, cold, or emotional stress.
It also happens when you consume foods that contain high levels of salt, such as processed meats and fast foods.
The amount of water that your body retains varies depending on what type of food you consume, as well as your age, gender, and overall health status.
The presence of water retention means that your body will hold onto any additional water that you consume, which can make it harder for you to shed pounds.
As a result, you may end up gaining weight instead of losing it.
What Are Some Common Causes Of Water Retention?
There are several common reasons why people experience water retention, including:
Too Much Salt Intake
When you consume foods that have high levels of sodium, this can increase your chances of retaining water.
Foods like bread, pasta, and canned soups all contain high levels of sodium, which can contribute to water retention.
Stress can affect your ability to lose weight by increasing your appetite.
In addition, it can also cause you to retain water through other mechanisms, such as increased production of cortisol – a hormone that increases your appetite and slows down your metabolism.
Lack Of Exercise
Exercise stimulates your muscles to burn calories, which can help you to reduce water retention.
If you don’t exercise often, however, then your body may not be able to keep up with its normal metabolic rate, which can lead to water retention.
Certain medications can cause water retention, including diuretics, antihistamines, and blood pressure medication.
These drugs work by causing your kidneys to remove more water from your bloodstream than they normally would.
As you get older, your body tends to hold onto more water.
This is because your skin becomes thicker, which makes it harder for your body to release water into your urine.
Women typically hold onto more water than men do, and this is thought to be because women produce more estrogen than men, which helps them to retain water.
Other Medical Conditions
Medical conditions that can cause water retention include polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), diabetes, heart failure, kidney problems, thyroid disease, liver disease, and cancer.
How Can I Reduce My Risk Of Water Retention?
There are some things that you can do to reduce your risk of water retention, including:
Eating Healthy Food
You should try to eat a balanced diet that includes lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein sources, and low-fat dairy products.
Avoiding foods that contain added sugar, saturated fats, trans fats, and artificial sweeteners can also help you to avoid water retention.
Drink Plenty Of Water
Drinking enough water each day can help you to stay hydrated and maintain proper fluid balance in your body.
It can also help to flush out toxins from your system, which can improve your overall health.
You should also cut down on the booze; alcohol has been shown to cause water retention, so if you drink alcohol regularly, you might find that you gain weight instead of losing it.
Coffee and tea both contain caffeine, but drinking too much coffee or tea can actually make you retain water.
Instead, opt for decaf versions of these drinks.
If you want to lose weight, you need to exercise on a regular basis. Exercising burns calories boosts your metabolism, and improves your cardiovascular fitness.
Don’t Skip Meals
If you skip meals or overeat at mealtimes, you could end up gaining weight rather than losing it.
Eating small, frequent meals throughout the day will help you to feel fuller longer, which can prevent you from overindulging later.
Water retention can be common, but there are ways to reduce your risk of retaining extra water.
By following the tips above, you can learn how to control your weight without having to worry about water retention and ensure that you remain happy, healthy, and hydrated.