A recent study published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics suggests that drinking more water can help reduce your daily caloric intake and help curb your consumption of saturated fat, sugar, sodium, and cholesterol.
University of Illinois kinesiology and community health professor Ruopeng An found that increasing your consumption of plain water—defined as tap water, or water from a fountain or bottle—by 1, 2, or 3 cups each day can reduce…
- Calorie consumption by 68-205 calories
- Sodium consumption by 78-235 milligrams
- Sugar consumption by 5-18 grams
- Cholesterol consumption by 7-21 milligrams
This benefit was seen regardless of race, ethnicity, education, income level, or body weight.
Researchers analyzed data from 2005-2012 survey results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Study. Study participants accounted for everything they ate and drank for two days that fell 3-10 days apart. Professor An calculated participants’ total dietary water intake, which included beverages such as unsweetened black tea, herbal tea, and coffee, and then extracted a percentage of plain water consumed from this total.
On average, participants drank 4.2 cups of plain water every day, which accounts for more than 30% of their total dietary water intake. A 1% increase in plain water consumption correlated with an 8.6-calorie decrease. The greatest reductions were found among men and young- and middle-aged adults; however, these groups also consumed more calories, which may be why their water intake and associated calorie reductions were more pronounced.
Drink It Filtered
Tap water can be contaminated by dangerous elements, such as arsenic, fluoride, aluminum, disinfection byproducts, and even runoff from prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Bottled water doesn’t fare much better, as studies have shown that 40% of bottled water is actually tap water! And drinking from plastic is never a healthy idea, because plastic is made with bisphenol A (BPA), which disrupts hormone function and has been linked to numerous health issues.
Experts recommend investing in a water filter at home as the most economical and healthy way to drink water.