(DGIwire) – Common recommendations for better health include maintaining an ideal weight, along with reducing intakes of sodium, sugar and saturated fat.
For people looking to accomplish these goals, increasing water intake can be very helpful.
Earlier this year, a study by the University of Illinois examined the dietary habits of over 18,300 American adults and found that those who increased their water intake by just 1 percent also reduced their consumption of sugar, sodium, saturated fat and cholesterol. Water sources included tap water, bottled water, water cooler and water fountains. Increasing water consumption by one to three cups daily also resulted in decreased overall daily caloric intake.
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 the calculations of the participants’ total dietary water consumption.
These results were consistent across race/ethnicity, education, income levels and body weight which shows that the simple act of increasing plain water intake provides health benefits for everyone and should be included in any weight-loss or health improvement program. Replacing calorie-containing beverages could have an even bigger impact on both weight and overall health without any complicated instruction or guidelines.
“Increasing daily water consumption provides numerous health and weight loss benefits. A steady diet of processed foods and beverages has a dehydrating effect. Often the feelings of thirst and hunger are confused, causing people to eat more when they really just need to drink more water. Adequate hydration is required for optimal health,” according to Tom Griesel, co-author of TurboCharged: Accelerate Your Fat Burning Metabolism, Get Lean Fast and Leave Diet and Exercise Rules in the Dust which contains a full chapter on the benefits of increased water intake.
On average, participants consumed about 4.2 cups of plain water on a daily basis. Increased water intake of just 1 percent was also associated with a reduction in daily caloric intake (8.6 calories) along with the reductions in sugar, sodium, fat and cholesterol.
Griesel adds, “Increasing water consumption is so simple that people seem to underestimate the immense benefits that it can provide. For example, during nightly sleep, on average our weight drops around two pounds. This weight difference is predominately water loss associated with basic bodily functions. One quart of water weighs about two pounds, which means that we all wake up ‘a quart low’! The best thing we can do for our health is replace it as soon as possible, before eating or drinking caloric beverages.”