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Drinking water - Is it the secret to fat loss?

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Drinking water - Is it the secret to fat loss?

Postby A_Corner_Of_The_Earth » Sat May 26, 2007 9:11 pm

Will an extra litre or two of water each day speed your metabolism and get you in shape faster? Let's see what the research says?

Drinking enough water is vital to keep your body hydrated. But what effect does water intake have on metabolic rate, which in turn can enhance fat burning? Two recent scientific studies have attempted to answer this question with very different results.

Impressive results

In 2003, German researchers tested the idea that drinking cold water would stimulate sympathetic nervous activity and boost thermogenesis. They thought that the energy cost of heating cold water to body temperature would show up as an increase in metabolic rate (1).

The results were impressive, with a 30% increase in the metabolic rate of study subjects in the hour after drinking 500 mL of water at 22 degrees Celsius. This increase was equivalent of around 100 kJ.

The Germans concluded that drinking 2 litres of water a day could increase energy expenditure by 400 kJ. This is more energy than in an apple and less than in a low-fat breakfast bar. It doesn't sound like much, but over a year you could burn an extra 146,000 kJ or the equivalent of roughly 4.5 kg body fat, just by knocking back an extra 2 litres of water a day.

Based on this study, water was looking like a wonder treatment for obesity. The researchers said, "If confirmed in other studies, this cost-free intervention may be a useful adjunctive treatment in overweight and obese individuals to attain and increase in energy expenditure."

Not so hot

However, three years later in 2006 a Swedish research team repeated the study, finding only a 4.5% increase in metabolic rate after drinking 500 mL of water at 3 degrees Celsius (2).

This would only represent 675 g of extra body fat burnt off over a year. Even though the liquid was colder, they still didn't see a water-induced thermogenic boost. And they were keen to point out that almost a dozen previous studies had found little or no change in metabolic rate after drinking water.

The Swedes suggested that most of the energy cost of heating the water to body temperature was more likely to come from a reduction in body heat loss rather than any boost in metabolism. They thought this because you'd expect a peripheral blood vessels to constrict after water drinking.

They concluded, “Cooling the water before drinking only stimulated a small thermogenic response, well below the theoretical energy cost of warming the water to body temperature. These results cast doubt on water as a thermogenic agent for the management of obesity.”

So, on balance the evidence based on drinking 500 mL of water and extrapolating to 2 L a day shows you shouldn't get too excited about the metabolism-boosting properties of cold water.

This is not to say that water isn't the secret to fat loss for some people. A big drink of water may help stave off a hunger craving and reduce the calories you consume.
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Postby gea » Sat May 26, 2007 9:35 pm

Interesting find.

Some people swear by drinking cold water to burn more calories.

I think the key is to drink enough water rather than the temp.
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Postby kate_turner2000 » Sun May 27, 2007 4:40 pm

water definately helped me lose weight. i dont know how or why - i dont trust scienitific research sometimes because a year or two later theyre telling you the total opposite! like how chocolate really is good for you!

but yeah i always tell people to drink water! it helps!
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Postby A_Corner_Of_The_Earth » Sat Jun 09, 2007 10:09 am

As a whole, we are made up of 70% water. Water regulates every functionin your body. Water flushes out all the waste and toxins in our bodies.It also transports all the necessary nutrients our bodies need to lookand feel good. It flushes out impurities in the skin; when skin cellsare hydrated, they plump up to give you a good complexion. Also,muscles that are hydrated look more toned because they are made of 70%water. Not drinking enough water is similar to depriving thatless-than-vibrant plant you water every few weeks. The plant willsurvive, but at what expense… Other benefits to drinking water include:

Helps digest food
Lowers Blood pressure
Reduces Constipation
Lessens Asthma
Eases Depression
Metabolises fat
Supports healthy hair and nails
Carries more blood and oxygen to your face
Eases irritability
Regulates body temperature so you don't get too cold or too hot
Suppresses appetite
Prevents water retention
Reduces stress

Thereare so many aches and pains that most people attribute to being old,sick or tired, when in all actuality, it’s probably just a case of dehydration. Even a lack of concentration and focus can be attributed to a lack of water. It only makes sense, considering our brains aremade up of 90% water. Those nagging headaches we often get, that mostpeople shrug off as part of life or the common cold can also just be acase of dehydration. What about those painful joints that we complainabout? Water works as a lubricant – the two opposing surfaces (for example, the femur and the tibia at the knee) will glide freely and minimise friction damage, causing less pain.
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Postby Zero » Wed Jun 27, 2007 8:21 pm

I think drinking water is my biggest problem.... i find it so hard to get more than a litre water of day in me.... i have to mix it with something... or have it in the form of tea and stuff.... but i know its not the same...

Ah well. Guess i'll keep trying :)
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Postby emma21 » Sat Jun 30, 2007 9:14 pm

Last week I was probably flat out drinking 4 glasses of water the whole week :shock: I was in coffee mode :?

This week I made an effort to drink water and kept a record of it with my food intake. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday I had 8 glasses, Friday I had 5 and today I have only had 3 so far.
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Postby Melissa » Wed Jul 04, 2007 4:22 pm

I can only get through about a bottle or 600ml a day...how many mls are we supposed to be getting, anyone know?
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Postby kate_turner2000 » Wed Jul 04, 2007 4:37 pm

they say 2litres or 8 glasses a day. but i think if you can drink any amount of water its better than none
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Postby bit_o_dust » Thu Jul 05, 2007 2:03 am

Sometimes if I'm feeling pickish or bored (which means I tend to eat junk), I force myself to have a glass or two of water. Not only does it mimic the eating/drinking process, (which cures my boredom), but it makes me feel full so I don't have the desire to eat either.

Oh, and apparently it's good for you too :)
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Postby Suminoya Buffet » Wed Aug 08, 2007 3:40 am

I really cant find myself to drink 2 litres of water a day, most of the time I just get my fluid intake from excessive amounts of coffee :shock:

I should start but it's just so... boring. I suppose it's one of those things that you just have to make a habit, a good one at that.
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Postby Zero » Wed Aug 08, 2007 11:39 pm

If you keep a bottle of water at hand, you'll be surprised how much you'll drink. I've had days where I've easily topped 3litres...... yes i spent most of the day in the bathroom, but thats not the point right!
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Current Weight: 63.00
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Postby Ophir » Mon Aug 13, 2007 8:36 pm

I keep a 1L bottle on my desk and i make sure i drink 2 of these through the working day. I generally have 1 in the morning and 1 in the afternoon.
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Postby A_Corner_Of_The_Earth » Mon Aug 13, 2007 9:12 pm

Last week I bought a mug that holds 1/2 a litre. It's still too cold to drink cold water so I have boiled water with a slice of lemon. I'm finding it so much easier to drink my 2L now.
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Postby madeline » Mon Aug 13, 2007 11:13 pm

Zero wrote:If you keep a bottle of water at hand, you'll be surprised how much you'll drink. I've had days where I've easily topped 3litres...... yes i spent most of the day in the bathroom, but thats not the point right!


hehe i know, i think i went pee at least 7 times today :oops:

when i brush my teeth- so 2 glasses total
when i get home from uni-1 glass
at dinner time- 1 glass
i keep a bottle of mt franklin in my bag to sip at uni during class- approx 2 glasses
i keep a bottle of mt franklin next to me when i'm on my laptop at home, saves me having to get up to make a drink, and it doesn't matter if it goes cold while i'm working- approx 2 glasses
also keep a bottle of water near me at work, i make green tea in a mug but put it next to the water so I can sip at both

It definitely takes your mind off food because your hands and mouth are occupied, and most of the time when you're "hungry" you're really thirsty anyway, so a lot of the time you stop feeling hungry altogether!
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Postby Butterfly_Dawn » Tue Aug 14, 2007 11:16 am

I have now resumed my big bottle of water next to the computer trick.

Another thing I am doing is, when making a cup of tea tea (you know, black tea with milk) I also make a cup of green/mint tea. I drink the tea straight away, cause it has milk in it making it cooler. Then by the time I've finished that, the green/mint tea is cool enough to drink, so I have that, which I count towards my water consumption (that is ok isn't it???)
35kg lost. (November 2005 - October 2006)
15kg gained again (as at October 2010).
Back to the drawing board - Let's do this thing!

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