A newly surfaced study disputes the popular theory that drinking a gallon of water a day reduces appetite and speeds up weight loss.
Researchers examined a small group of 14 young adults to determine their results. They found that drinking 16.9 ounces (one-eighth of a gallon) of water did indeed speed up resting energy expenditure (the amount of calories burned prior to exercising). However, these benefits only lasted for one hour and overall didn’t make a noticeable difference. An average adult weighing around 155 pounds will only burn 20 calories per 16.9 ounces of water. Those 20 calories translate to perhaps one or two bites of a cookie.
A separate study with only eight young adult participants showed an increase in energy expenditure if the water was cold, as opposed to room temperature. Cold water resulted in a four percent increase in calories burned. This is likely due to the body using more energy to bring the water up to body temperature. Again, this benefit lasted for only an hour.
The research illustrates that previously held beliefs that water curbs appetite and helps to burn calories are largely exaggerated. Still, there is evidence to suggest that mixing water with other liquids, such as fiber, soups, and sauces, aids the stomach in retaining its contents for longer. That means you’ll feel fuller for a longer period of time, which could over time lead to shaving off some extra calories.
Experts reiterate that, while it may not directly help you lose weight, water is still the most healthful drink on the market. A great way to actually eliminate calories, they advise, is to swap out juices, sodas, and alcoholic beverages for trusty H20.