For years there has been a myth that the liquid that flows under our nose also helps us lose weight. Now, English researchers have lifted the gauntlet and checked whether this argument really holds water
You’ve probably heard that water has a sea of health benefits – and it’s true . Maybe over the years you’ve heard quite a few times that they can help you lose weight, but you didn’t really believe it.
Researchers from the University of Birmingham in the UK decided to take up the gauntlet and check whether this assumption holds water. “In every weight management program they say that drinking a lot of water is a really good thing. So we said to ourselves: let’s see if there is actual evidence for this,” said Dr. Amanda Daly.
From the study conducted by Dr. Daly and her friends and published in the journal Obesity, it became clear that drinking water before each meal helped obese people lose weight. How much water? When? What is the logic at all? Immediately all questions are answered.
Lose Weight: Half a liter before every meal
84 obese men and women were recruited for the study , after being referred by their family doctor. Each was given advice on how to lose weight with the help of a healthier diet and exercise. Then a random division was made into two groups.
41 people who made up the “water group” were asked to drink half a liter of tap water only half an hour before each of the breakfast , lunch and dinner meals. The second group (hereafter “the imagination group”) included 43 people who were asked to imagine that their stomachs were full before each of the meals. The experiment was set for a period of 12 weeks.
The researchers checked the weight of the participants at the beginning, middle and end of the experiment. The members of the “water group” lost an average of 1.4 kilograms more than the “imagination group” over the course of the experiment.
Even within the “water group” there were clear differences: those who made sure to drink half a liter of water before each meal lost an average of 4.3 kilograms, and those who drank water only before one meal a day, or not at all, lost only 800 grams.
For those of you wondering how the researchers were able to make sure that the participants followed their water routine, they explained that they used several methods, including taking urine samples.
Lose Weight: Not only for those who count calories or suffer from obesity
And why did water do the job, and why exactly before a meal, you ask? The researchers were also unable to find an unequivocal answer. They hypothesize, among other things, that drinking water before a meal fills the stomach and gives a feeling of satiety, which can make you make smarter decisions about what you eat.
“We all gain weight over time, so this method may work as preventive medicine for the entire population. After all, we want people to drink more water,” said the researchers. They believe that drinking water before a meal can help anyone who wants to manage their weight better, regardless of BMI .
“Combined with brief instructions on how to increase physical activity and a healthy diet, people were able to achieve further weight loss – at a moderate and healthy rate,” said the study’s senior author, Helen Partey. The beauty of these findings is in their simplicity.”
Linking drinking to meals can be a good way not only to reduce the amount eaten and thus help with weight loss, but also to remember to drink in general.
In addition, large studies conducted in the past found that water, fiber and proteins are the strongest influences on the feeling of satiety. Therefore, starting a meal with a drink of water, vegetable salad (which is rich in water and fiber), vegetable soup, boiled vegetables, can help a lot in regulating the amounts eaten.
The researchers now hope to conduct a larger, longer study that will help them both confirm the findings of the current study and help better understand how consuming water before meals affects weight loss.
Please note: water can also be dangerous
Drinking large amounts of water, more than 2 liters in a very short time, can cause the cells in the body to swell, especially the brain cells, until they explode and collapse and die within a few hours.
The phenomenon is called “water poisoning” and its symptoms are headaches , nausea, vomiting, muscle distortion, convulsions, numbness, blurred vision and blindness. That is why it is forbidden to overdo it in drinking and drink according to the feeling of thirst.
However, it is important to note that water intoxication is a rare phenomenon that usually occurs in athletes who have lost a large amount of fluids, and at the same time drink a large amount of water.
There are also groups of patients, for example those suffering from heart or kidney problems, for whom consumption of half a liter of water before meals may not be recommended.