When to Drink Water For Weight Loss

By now we already know that drinking water to lose weight is a valid practice but on this post we shall be looking at the best time to drink water for weight loss.

In a study that was carried out to determine whether the consumption of water 30 minutes before an “as much as needed” meal reduces meal energy intake in young and older adults showed that water consumption reduces meal energy intake in older but not younger adults. 

Energy intake is defined as the total energy content of foods consumed, as provided by the major sources of dietary energy: carbohydrate (4 kcal/g), protein (4 kcal/g), fat (9 kcal/g) and alcohol (7 kcal/g). Energy intake (calories) should be in balance with energy expenditure. To avoid unhealthy weight gain. [1, 2]

It was also discovered that water consumption increases weight loss during a hypocaloric diet in middle-aged and older adults.

The study which lasted for 12 weeks and involved middle age and older adults was carried out to determine if the ability of premeal water consumption to reduce meal is sustained after a 12-week period of increased water consumption. 

The participants were assigned to one of two groups: (i) hypocaloric diet + 500 ml water prior to each daily meal (water group), or (ii) hypocaloric diet alone (nonwater group). What they discovered was that weight loss was ~2 kg greater in the water group than in the nonwater group, and the water group showed a 44% greater decline in weight over the 12 weeks than the nonwater group.

Concluding that when combined with a hypocaloric diet, consuming 500 ml water prior to each main meal leads to greater weight loss than a hypocaloric diet alone in middle-aged and older adults. Which may be due in part to an acute reduction in meal following water ingestion. [3]

What the above studies are saying is that when to drink water for weight loss is actually before a meal.

When to drink water for weight loss

Because it can create a sense of fullness that can make you eat less instead of more. Which is good when creating a caloric deficit. In other words water is a natural appetite suppressant.

In a study involving 50 overweight female participants who were instructed to drink 500 mL of water, three times a day 30 min before breakfast, lunch, and dinner  for 8 consecutive weeks.

It was discovered that drinking that amount of water causes weight reduction, body fat reduction, and appetite suppression in overweight female participants. [4]

In yet another study carried out by researchers from the University of Birmingham in the U.K. involving 84 obese adult volunteers recruited through their doctors.

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They were divided into two groups. One group made up of 41 volunteers were asked to drink 500 milliliters of water half an hour before meals. Not even sparkling water was allowed.

While the other 43 participants were just asked to imagine they were full before taking their meal.

The study showed that the group who drank water before meals lost an average of 2.87 pounds more than those who just imagined being full.

It went further to reveal that those who preloaded up on water before all three main meals a day lost an average of 9.48 pounds. While drinking water before eating just once a day, or not at all, resulted in an average loss of 1.76 pounds.

“The beauty of these findings is in the simplicity. Just drinking a pint of water, three times a day, before your main meals may help reduce your weight,” says Dr. Helen Parretti, one of the study authors, in a statement. “When combined with brief instructions on how to increase your amount of physical activity and [get] on a healthy diet, this seems to help people to achieve some extra weight loss — at a moderate and healthy rate. It’s something that doesn’t take much work to integrate into our busy everyday lives.”

Dr Parretti added, “Losing a few extra pounds over the course of a year can be significant to an individual, and this could be an easy way to help with that weight loss. It’s a simple message that has the potential to make a real contribution to public health.” [5]

Drinking a glass of water before reaching for something to eat can help to curb unnecessary snacking.

And to prove even further the weight loss benefit of pre-meal water intake in suppressing appetite is another study whose finding showed that pre-meal water consumption led to a significant reduction in meal energy intake in young adults suggests that pre-meal water consumption may be an effective weight control strategy,  strategy.

According to the study “When subjects drank water before eating a test meal, they ate a lower amount of the test meal compared to eating test meals under waterless and postload water conditions” [6]

A research finding presented at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) conformed that just two 8-ounce glasses of the water, taken before meals, enabled weight loss.

The study involved 48 adults aged 55-75 years, separated into two groups. One group drinking 2 cups of water prior to their meals and the other drinking nothing..

They all ate a low-calorie diet during the study and over the course of 12 weeks, the water drinkers were able to lost about 15.5 pounds, while the non-water drinkers lost about 11 pounds.

“We are presenting results of the first randomized controlled intervention trial demonstrating that increased water consumption is an effective weight loss strategy,” said Brenda Davy, Ph.D., senior author on the study. “We found in earlier studies that middle aged and older people who drank two cups of water right before eating a meal ate between 75 and 90 fewer calories during that meal. In this recent study, we found that over the course of 12 weeks, dieters who drank water before meals, three times per day, lost about 5 pounds more than dieters who did not increase their water intake.” [7]

With all the studies provided on this post. I believe by now you should have enough facts to support drinking water before a meal as the right time to drink water to loose that extra body fat.

I hope this post on when to drink water for weight loss was helpful enough? Don’t forget to share!

Disclaimer: This website is not for emergency use, clinical diagnosis, or treatment. This service is not intended to replace a physical physician consultation but to provide additional information. If you have an emergency, please call your emergency services and get prompt treatment.
About Felix Brambaifa 28 Articles
A philosophy graduate from the Niger Delta University in Nigeria but now a personal trainer for weight loss enthusiasts. I have been overweight for most of my life. And by personal research and effort have successfully lost major pounds without spending much. My weight loss journey started during my youth service year in Ekiti State (2015). It was compulsory hunger that finally forced me to try out Intermittent fasting. The results made me a disciple. Since then i have gone ahead to study different weight loss methods, which i will be sharing with you on this blog. I am now a personal weight loss coach and my experience is a valuable tool on this page.

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