Increasing your daily water consumption could be the key to losing weight, a new study has suggested.
Researchers found that those who increased their water consumption by one to three cups per day consumed between 68 and 2015 fewer calories on a daily basis.
They hope people will take heed of the findings and replace calorie-filled beverages with water.
Out of the 18,300 US adults who were monitored, the majority found that increasing water consumption led to a 1% reduction in their total daily calorie intake.
On average, people who drank between one and three cups of water more than usual consumed 5-18 grams less sugar and decreased their cholesterol consumption by 7-21 grams daily.
Researchers said that it didn't matter whether the water consumed was through a drinking fountain, tap or bottle. It all had the same impact.
Health professor Ruopeng An, from the University of Illinois, said the finding was the same regardless of race, education, income levels and body weight status.
"This finding indicates that it might be sufficient to design and deliver universal nutrition interventions and education campaigns that promote plain water consumption in replacement of beverages with calories in diverse population subgroups without profound concerns about message and strategy customisation," An said.
Professor An studied data from four waves (2005-12) of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in the US.
Participants were asked to recall everything they ate or drank over the course of 48 hours, every three to 10 days.
Professor An calculated the amount of plain water each person consumed as a percentage of their daily dietary water intake from food and beverages combined.
Beverages such as unsweetened black tea, herbal tea and coffee were not counted as sources of plain water, but their water content was included in An’s calculations of participants’ total dietary water consumption.
On average, participants consumed about 4.2 cups of plain water on a daily basis, accounting for slightly more than 30% of their total dietary water intake.
Participants’ average calorie intake was 2,157 calories, including 125 calories from sugar-sweetened beverages and 432 calories from foods such as desserts, pastries and snacks.
A small but statistically significant 1% increase in participants’ daily consumption of plain water was associated with a decrease in calorie intake, as well as slight reductions in participants’ consumption of fat, sugar, sodium and cholesterol.
While Professor An found that the decreases were greater among men and among young and middle-aged adults, he suggested they could have been associated with these groups’ higher daily calorie intakes.
The study was published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics.
The trick to this is pouring yourself a glass of water before bed and then drinking it as soon as you get up. Even if the thought of pouring water down your throat right away feels overwhelming, try it for four days in a row and see if you don't start doing it automatically after that.
There's are plenty of apps out there to keep track of your water intake, if you like that kind of reminder (Daily Water Free, picture here, is a favourite). But a another option is to set an alarm on your phone or calendar to remind you to drink every two hours or so.
Yes, that's right — your caffeinated (or decaf, if you're so inclined) morning beverage also has plenty of water in it, so you can include that in your count. According to WebMD, their diuretic effects do not take away from also hydrating you.
There's no science here, just pure superficiality that somehow still works. If you have a nicer water bottle, you may just be more inclined to use it. We love this Lifefactory glass option that holds one-quarter of your daily water intake in one go!
There are plenty of fruits and veggies that contain a fair amount of water, including cucumbers, iceberg lettuce, watermelon (obviously), strawberries, grapefruit, zucchini, radish and celery. Plus, of course, the many other nutrients this produce contains.
When you're bogged down at work, even the 20-foot walk to the kitchen can feel too far, so set yourself up for the day with a big bottle — or even a pitcher — in the morning so you can dip into it all day.
We know, you've heard enough about "infusing" your water to last you a lifetime. But it really does make it taste better — and has the bonus effect of even more water, if you use some of those hydrating foods we mentioned. Some other good options: kiwi, lemon, strawberries or grapes.
It's so easy to make ice pops at home — all you need is a mold, some water, and the fruit of your choice. That way, you get to control what goes in it (i.e. the sugar), eat a delicious snack, and you're upping your water intake at the same time. Check out these recipes for homemade popsicles at Real Simple.
No one's expecting you to give up other drinks entirely in lieu of water, either sugar-filled or alcoholic. Instead, make yourself a deal — for every "other" kind of drink you have, drink a glass of water.
If you've gotten out of the habit of rinsing out your mouth after brushing your teeth, now's the time to start setting that glass by your sink again. A rinse, a refill, then a few gulps — and like that, you're hydrated before bed.