In a new study published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, they measured the water consumption of over 18,000 people and found that those who added just two to three cups of water daily, consumed 68 to 205 fewer calories a day. Their sodium or salt intake also decreased significantly. (1)
Perhaps most profound was that the sugar consumption of those who drank the most water decreased significantly, falling anywhere from 5 to 18 grams of sugar, and their cholesterol intake (animal fats) fell by almost 21 grams. (1)
This study suggested that increasing water intake by even a little helped create a level of natural satiety, and thus curbed cravings for salty and sweet foods and cut calories. On a not-so-healthy note, the average total plain water consumption was just 4 cups of plain water per day. (1)
In another study, 50 overweight females were instructed to drink 500mL of water 30 minutes before breakfast, lunch and dinner for eight weeks. The results were pretty amazing. Drinking a total of 1.5 liters a day before the meals above and beyond the normal water intake: (2)
- Lowered body mass index (BMI)
- Reduced water weight
- Reduced body fat
- Suppressed appetite
Note: This study is not to be confused with drinking lots of water right before or with the meal. Excess water with the meal can potentially dilute stomach acid and weaken digestion. Sipping hot water or room temperature water with the meal is OK.
In these studies, the benefits were seen with filtered, tap or bottled water. The more pure the water you can drink, the better. Much like food, the more “man” messes with it, the worse it is. I suggest to avoid any water filtration system that has a storage tank. Unfortunately, reverse osmosis (RO) water typically has a storage tank and wastes a lot of water in the RO process. Often, after the water has been filtered for chlorine and other containments, the water sits in the tank where bacteria can grow. It’s better to use an on-demand water filtering system.
I also like the idea of carbon filtering the water as you go, with either a Brita, Pur or Zero filtering system that you can buy locally. I like them in that order, with Zero water being the most effective OTC water filter that I have found that is commercially available.
Dr. John’s Rehydration Therapy
Make water your only beverage for one month and see how you feel. Replace your coffee and tea with hot water and your soft drinks with room temperature water. Try to follow this hydration protocol for one month:
- Wake up: Drink one glass of water.*
- Breakfast: Sip room temperature or hot water with breakfast.
- Between breakfast and lunch: Drink a glass of water.
- 15-20 minutes before lunch: Drink a glass of water.
- Lunch: Sip room temperature or hot water with lunch.
- Between lunch and supper: Drink a glass of water.
- 15-20 minutes before supper: Drink a glass of water.
- Supper: Sip room temperature or hot water with supper.
- Between supper and bedtime: Drink a glass of water.
In Addition: Hydration During Exercise
- 15-30 minutes before exercise: Drink a glass of water.
- During exercise: Take sips or small drinks of room temperature water.
- After exercise: Drink a glass of water.
Total: Drink 6-8 glasses of water per day.
*A glass of water means 8-12 ounces, depending on your size and weight; 6-8 ounces for vata men and women, 8-12 ounces for pitta or kapha men and women. Don’t know your type? Take our free Body Type Quiz here.