One day I went for an evening walk. It was one of my losing weight approaches. You know the drill, move as much as you can. If you can’t run, walk. I remember meeting a high school friend of mine. My Goodness! How she’d changed! She was but a shadow of the plump girl I used to know.
As we caught up on how life has been since then, I took up the chance to ask her how she shed off the weight. Her answer was simple, she drank hot water first thing in the morning and also at night before she went to sleep. During the times she was tired of it, she opted for hot lemon water. This answer got me bursting with a fervor of curiosity. Is this true? Could it be that drinking hot water is all it takes to lose the calories?
The chemistry behind hot water
Choosing to drink water, whether warm or cold, is the best decision you can make for your health. It is a fundamental ingredient for improved digestion, increased energy, weight loss, and mental clarity. There is extensive research testifying to the benefits of drinking water to lose weight. Some of these benefits include:
- Improved physical performance. It helps reduce the oxidative stress, and fatigue that you experience during high-intensity training. It is advisable to stay hydrated as you engage in exercise. This will boost physical performance.
- It is a key ingredient that helps your body flush out toxins in sweat and urine. The more you drink, the more you flush out chemical calories out of your system.
- Drinking water helps the body maintain its hydration levels, which in turn enhances energy levels.
- There is research citing the benefits of water in enhancing our cognitive performance and memory.
- It helps boost metabolic rate and increase satiety. Consuming half-a-liter of water increases the body’s metabolism by 24-30% for about 1.5 hours. There are studies that prove this theory (Boschmann et al.,). Based on this study, drinking a liter a day can help you lose up to 48 calories a day. Moreover, when you are hungry, it is advisable to drink some water. There are instances where thirst is confused with hunger. You can try taking it when you feel hungry.
In science, we learn that a majority of physical and chemical reactions are influenced by temperature. Similarly, hot water consists of molecules whose bonds have been weakened. The high temperature increases its energy and increases or decreases the solubility of certain substances. It is because of the physical and chemical changes that occur when water is boiled, that have led to the prevalent myth concerning the benefits it while hot.
One myth states that when we consume hot water, the body works to reduce its temperature in a bid to make it easily absorbable. As a result, the body burns more calories in the process. In reality, though, there is no substantial evidence to support this myth.
Benefits of hot water for weight loss
Although it works wonders at any temperature, hot one has a slight advantage over cold water. First, it is absorbed slowly compared to cold one. As a result, drinking it while its hot gives one the feeling of satiety for a longer period of time. This will help you avoid snacking when you are trying to lose weight.
Although there is little scientific research on the benefits of hot water for weight loss, medical literature is filled with stories of how it contributes to a healthier digestion system, detoxification, and weight loss when taken while it is hot.
In a study published in 2003, researchers observed that whereas drinking 500ml of water before a meal increased metabolism by 30%, raising its temperature by 98.6 degrees resulted in 40% increase in metabolism. This metabolic hype lasted for 30-40 minutes after drinking it.
Drinking water first thing in the morning helps to trigger the removal of built-up impurities in the system. It helps purify the digestive system thereby making it easier for the body to absorb the nutrients drawn from healthy meals. Having a glass in the morning is also a great way of boosting your skin’s radiance and boosting your metabolism by 24%.
Physicians recommend drinking a glass of hot water in the morning to help in the break-down of adipose tissue in the body. In the book, “The Art of Day to Day Instant Weight Loss,” author Harry Kainth recommends a hot water remedy for weight loss as one of the strategies that you can incorporate into your lifestyle. He states that “drinking hot water before and after your meals regularly,” can help in flushing out the fat from the vessels. It is recommended that you leave a gap of at least 30 minutes before a meal. Do not drink it too soon after taking the meal as it will affect the digestive system.
How “hot” should it be?
It should not be scalding hot. Sadly, some people put themselves under the pressure of drinking water that is tolerably hot in a bid to speed up the weight loss process. Sadly, this has no benefit to the body. It should be between 1200F to 1400F.
Drinking hot water is a great addition to your weight loss strategy. You can add a twist to your drinking routing by opting for hot one in the morning before a meal, as well as at night before going to bed. You can boost it by squeezing some lemon juice. Lemon water is good for fat burning purposes. In the morning, take a lemon and squeeze out its juice into the water.
You’ve probably heard of the golden rule, drink 8 glasses of water a day. However, the right amount of varies from one person to another. Whereas I am in no way discouraging you from adhering to this rule of thumb, it is advisable to pay attention to your body and give it enough amount to keep it hydrated. Alternatively, you can take more through incorporating fruits into your diet. Fruits constitute a lot of water. Therefore, if you struggle with the 8 glasses rule, you can incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet.
Lastly, be careful not to overly depend on hacks such as drinking hot water as the key strategy to lose weight. This may sound elementary but it is important to invest in developing a healthy lifestyle. Remember that good nutrition, regular exercise, and sleep/stress management are the key approaches to a healthy you.