The research on drinking water to enhance weight loss is controversial. Studies have found greater weight loss, less weight loss, and even weight gain with increasing water consumption. Replacing sugar-sweetened carbonated beverages and fruit juices with water leads to the greatest weight loss. Zero-calorie sweetened diet drinks can be more/equally effective for weight loss than water.
IS SPARKLING WATER GOOD FOR WEIGHT LOSS AND FAT LOSS?
- Is sparkling water good for weight loss compared to regular water?
The research on drinking water to enhance weight loss is controversial. Studies have found greater weight loss, less weight loss, and even weight gain with increasing water consumption.
Replacing sugar-sweetened carbonated beverages and fruit juices with water leads to the greatest weight loss.
Zero-calorie sweetened diet drinks can be more/equally effective for weight loss than water.
Replacing calorie beverages (i.e., soft drinks, fruit juices, etc.) with water led to weight loss ranging from. Pre-meal water load (i.e., drinking water before meals) also had a weight loss effect. Increasing water intake without changing diet was the least effective strategy for weight loss.
CAN DRINKING WATER HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT?
Over the past 50 years, obesity has increased to epidemic proportions worldwide, representing an important global health concern. (Blüher, 2019) Water is essential for life. Water comprises about 60% of the human body weight.
Water is important for cell hydration and normal cell functioning, which is why is water so important for metabolic reactions. Increasing water intake has been suggested as an important component of weight loss. (Boschmann et al., 2003)
The most common claims regarding drinking more water are increased weight loss, increased calorie and fat burning, and greater appetite control. I am sure you have seen all the detox water for belly fat loss ads, but what does the science say about water and fat loss?
DOES DRINKING WATER HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT AND BURN FAT?
The studies have been mixed regarding the effects of water on enhancing weight loss long term. Some studies have found water increases weight loss, has no effect on weight loss, and even increases weight gain! (Stookey, 2016) Much of the conflicting research revolves around the subjects used, the amount of water consumed, the duration of the study, and whether the person was following a calorie-restricted diet.
CAN DRINKING WATER HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT WITHOUT EXERCISE?
In a 2019 review of the literature investigating studies lasting >12 weeks, there was generally of positive effect for increasing water and weight loss, but the effects ranged from mild to moderate. Most of these studies involved no exercise. The average weight loss ranged from .88 lbs. to 19 lbs. (i.e., -.4 kg to -8.8 kg).
Weight loss ranged from .46% to 9.41%; the average weight loss across the studies was 5.15%. (Bracamontes-Castelo et al., 2019) The most effective strategies for increasing water to enhance weight loss were:
- Replacing calorie beverages (i.e., soft drinks, fruit juices, etc.) with water led to weight loss ranging from 7.62% to 9.41%.
- Pre-meal water load (i.e., drinking water before meals) had a weight loss effect of 2.6% to 7.8%.
- Increasing water intake without changing diet was the least effective strategy, with weight loss ranging from .46% to 2.98%.
The study found that replacing beverages with extra calories with water led to the greatest weight loss changes. The studies that found water did not result in further weight loss when:
- there was no replacement of liquid calories,
- when the volume of liquid was not enough to dilute urine,
- when the subjects started the study with a low intake of sugary beverages, or
- when water was compared to a zero-calorie beverage such as a diet soft drink.
IS SPARKLING WATER GOOD FOR WEIGHT LOSS AND FAT LOSS?
Interestingly some studies showed better weight loss with carbonated, zero-calorie sweetened beverages compared to water. Some researchers have suggested that sweet-tasting, zero-calorie drinks can lead to greater weight loss than water alone. One study found that a zero calories diet beverages led to a 14-pound weight loss while the water group lost 10 pounds when used in conjunction with a reduced-calorie diet. (Peters et al., 2016) The subjects in the water groups experienced more hunger than the diet beverage group. The zero-calorie, sweetened beverages may have an appetite-suppressing effect compared to water alone.
DOES WATER BOOST METABOLISM?
The most common claim for increasing water intake is that it speeds up metabolism. Is cold water good for weight loss, or is this all hype? The calorie-boosting effects of water consumption are very small.
Water does not have an effect on increasing fat metabolism when high-glycemic foods are consumed or when small amounts of water are consumed (<. 5 liters), when at rest, or when consumed during low to moderate-intensity exercise. (Stookey, 2016). Although cool water may not contribute to increased fat burning during exercise, it can help keep body temperature lower during hot weather. Drinking cold water has resulted in lower core temperatures in hot weather. (LaFata et al., 2012)
The amount of water you need daily depends on your training intensity, the number of calories consumed, and other factors. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine states that women need about 2.7 L (91 oz) of total water daily, and men need about 3.7 L (125 oz) daily.
IS SPARKLING WATER GOOD FOR WEIGHT LOSS
Numerous companies sell detox drinks and apple cider vinegar tonics that are supposed to eliminate toxins and result in a flat belly, improve the digestive system, and improve health. No research supports using detox diets for weight management or toxin elimination. (Klein & Kiat, 2015) A case study reported that a woman was admitted to the emergency room for electrolytes dysfunction from a “detox tea” that likely exhibited a diuretic effect.(Gillett et al., 2021)IS
SPARKLING WATER GOOD FOR WEIGHT LOSS SUMMARY
- Based on the research, drinking water seems beneficial while dieting. Despite all the articles that say we are all dehydrated. You should be more concerned with total water.
- Your total water intake includes all of the water from fluids and foods. 20% to 30% of our daily water intake comes from food, while the rest comes from water and other beverages. (Platania et al., 2018)
- Drinking sweetened seltzer water may be beneficial while dieting to curb appetite. Don’t be scammed into buying detox products for weight loss. Zero-calorie sweetened carbonated drinks with no added sugar may be beneficial for reducing appetite while dieting.
- One of the biggest myths is that drinking coffee dehydrates you, as studies have found that moderate daily coffee consumption is not associated with dehydration. (Killer et al., 2014) A 2015 study found that hydration was the same for people drinking the same amount after drinking coffee, soda, tea, and water.(Maughan et al., 2015)
Blüher, M. (2019). Obesity: global epidemiology and pathogenesis. Nat Rev Endocrinol, 15(5), 288-298. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41574-019-0176-8
Boschmann, M., Steiniger, J., Hille, U., Tank, J., Adams, F., Sharma, A. M., Klaus, S., Luft, F. C., & Jordan, J. (2003). Water-induced thermogenesis. J Clin Endocrinol Metab, 88(12), 6015-6019. https://doi.org/10.1210/jc.2003-030780
Bracamontes-Castelo, G., Bacardí-Gascón, M., & Jiménez Cruz, A. (2019). Effect of water consumption on weight loss: a systematic review. Nutr Hosp, 36(6), 1424-1429. https://doi.org/10.20960/nh.02746 (Efecto del consumo de agua sobre la pérdida de peso: revisión sistemática.)
Gillett, G., Shivakumar, N., James, A., & Salmon, J. (2021). Acute Severe Hyponatremia Following Use of “Detox Tea.” Cureus, 13(3), e14184. https://doi.org/10.7759/cureus.14184
Killer, S. C., Blannin, A. K., & Jeukendrup, A. E. (2014). No evidence of dehydration with moderate daily coffee intake: a counterbalanced cross-over study in a free-living population. PLoS One, 9(1), e84154-e84154. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0084154
Klein, A. V., & Kiat, H. (2015). Detox diets for toxin elimination and weight management: a critical review of the evidence. J Hum Nutr Diet, 28(6), 675-686. https://doi.org/10.1111/jhn.12286
LaFata, D., Carlson-Phillips, A., Sims, S. T., & Russell, E. M. (2012). The effect of a cold beverage during an exercise session combining both strength and energy systems development training on core temperature and markers of performance. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 9(1), 44. https://doi.org/10.1186/1550-2783-9-44
Maughan, R. J., Watson, P., Cordery, P. A., Walsh, N. P., Oliver, S. J., Dolci, A., Rodriguez-Sanchez, N., & Galloway, S. D. (2015). A randomized trial to assess the potential of different beverages to affect hydration status: development of a beverage hydration index. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 103(3), 717-723. https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.115.114769
Peters, J. C., Beck, J., Cardel, M., Wyatt, H. R., Foster, G. D., Pan, Z., Wojtanowski, A. C., Vander Veur, S. S., Herring, S. J., Brill, C., & Hill, J. O. (2016). The effects of water and non-nutritive sweetened beverages on weight loss and weight maintenance: A randomized clinical trial. Obesity, 24(2), 297-304. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1002/oby.21327
Platania, A., Castiglione, D., Sinatra, D., Urso, M. D., & Marranzano, M. (2018). Fluid Intake and Beverage Consumption Description and Their Association with Dietary Vitamins and Antioxidant Compounds in Italian Adults from the Mediterranean Healthy Eating, Aging and Lifestyles (MEAL) Study. Antioxidants (Basel, Switzerland), 7(4), 56. https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox7040056
Stookey, J. J. (2016). Negative, Null and Beneficial Effects of Drinking Water on Energy Intake, Energy Expenditure, Fat Oxidation and Weight Change in Randomized Trials: A Qualitative Review. Nutrients, 8(1). https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8010019