Hydration is paramount to health and wellness and can even contribute to weight gain or weight loss. It’s no secret that sugary beverages, laden with empty calories, (alcohol, soft drinks, cordials, energy drinks) could be one of the biggest culprits leading to global fatness and obesity (2). However, sugar-free drinks like water, coffee and tea (not ideal but are beneficial) have been linked to better weight-loss success.
As described in the European Journal of Obesity, there are many beneficial effects of ample fluid intake on potential weight loss and weight maintenance, because the act of ingesting healthy fluids can help prevent the ingestion of excessive calories from foods (2). Also, proper hydration plays a role in counteracting overeating. Thirst can often be mistaken for hunger so food is eaten instead of drinking water or other fluid (1). A good idea is to first hydrate with a glass of water, herbal tea, fresh juice, fresh brewed coffee, or sugar free (not with artificial sweetener) beverage before grabbing a snack.
Staying properly hydrated also plays a role in thermoregulation. A body that is properly hydrated burns more calories than a body that is dehydrated. Some water-containing fluids can help, too. Coffee is also rich in polyphenolic compounds and caffeine, which are linked to increased metabolism that provides the potential for greater calories burned (3). Just be careful that excess coffee or tea is not drunk in the place of water.
Although water consumption will vary according to height, weight, activity level, temperature etc drinking 35-40 mls per kg is a good place to start and make sure you have more if you exercise and on hot days.
1. Lafontan M. Visscher TL. Lambert NF et al. Opportunities for intervention strategies for weight management: Global actions on fluid intake patterns. Euro J Obesity. 2014. 10.
2. Borys JM. Ruyter JC. Finch H et al. Hydration and obesity prevention. Euro J Obesity. 2014.
3. Sterns RH. Maintenance and replacement fluid therapy in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. 2014.