Cold Water, Increased Weight Loss
Looking for an edge in weight loss? It seems everyone has a trick they can share about what you should be doing, but who knows if any of it works? You are already eating less and trying to burn more calories. What else can you be confident will work? If you’re doing your research or asking around, you may have heard a straightforward little trick.
How could that possibly work? The answer you are likely to receive is that the body has to expend energy merely to bring the water temperature up to match the body’s resting temp. This well-known process within the body is known as thermogenesis, the conversion of stored energy into heat. The increased calorie burn from this production adds a minimal-effort, low-impact way to improve how much weight you are losing.
Does Drinking Cold Water Burn Calories?
In 2003, a study of fourteen men and women in an average weight-range, German researchers conducted a test to attempt to observe and measure the effects of thermogenesis. Using microdialysis, they monitored the metabolism of adipose tissue after subjects were given 500ml of water to drink. They found an increase in the metabolic rate of thirty percent. The increase began ten minutes after ingesting the water and peaked nearly a half-hour later. According to their estimates, the results may lead to burning an extra hundred calories per day.
What do a hundred calories translate to? Well, assuming you’re already watching what you eat and sticking to the FDA’s recommended 2,000 calories-a-day diet, a hundred calories is nothing to dismiss. If you were to cut out that many calories, you could have a cup of popcorn as a snack three times a day and it wouldn’t count against you. You could have two Oreos as a treat instead of a flavored ice-pop and it would almost be negated. Or it would be like leaving part of your dinner on the plate instead of finishing the whole thing. But, not so fast…
Could Cold Water REALLY Burn Fat?
So, the rationale is that when cold water enters the body, it has to use its energy bringing the water up to its internal temperature. But through what mechanism would the body actually heat the water? When you drink hot coffee, hot tea… does the body then expend energy trying to cool the fluids down to match the internal temperature? It seems the water’s temperature would equalize naturally, after all it’s being stored in a tank that runs an average 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit?
Further, can it really be said the temperature of the water played any role at all in weight loss?
A subsequent Swiss study set out to the test the original findings. This test allowed for more variables, including distilled water, a saline solution and slightly sweetened water. Some of this water had been chilled. To test what role temperature really played, some water was provided at room temperature.
The results found that cooler temperature does in fact play a role in increasing the metabolic rate, though only slightly. Room temperature water that was either distilled or slightly saline showed no effect. However, the effect observed in cold water was too small to account for the dramatic increase previously indicated. In fact, the biggest metabolic gains were in the slightly sweetened water.
Should You Drink Water to Lose Weight?
Sure, there are contradictory studies regarding cold water and weight loss. There continue to be studies that assert, yes, it is effective. However, regardless of the results, hydration is essential to a healthy body. In fact, drinking more water, regardless of the temperature, may aide your mitochondria in utilizing the potential energy within you, maximizing the effectiveness of your metabolism.
At this point, warm or cold seems to be a matter of preference. Actively drinking water may be one of the most beneficial practices you can have when it comes to improving your health.