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TIP: Why drinking water to lose weight

Leaving two glasses of water behind each meal is a good way to lose weight. How do you know if you are drinking enough water. There is a whole list of causes behind it. Drinking plenty of tap water helps to lose kilos if you are too fat. That is actually very logical. Nevertheless, it was only scientifically demonstrated in 2008. Why is it so logical? To begin with because the water is usually colder than your body. Go ahead. Heating one liter of water costs 4,186 kilojoules per degree of heating. A glass of water, let's say 200 ml, needs more than 18 joules of energy to heat up from 15 degrees Celsius to 37 degrees, your body temperature. That is about as much energy as is released in your body when burning half a gram of fat. Well, it's not really that much, but suppose you drink six extra glasses of water a day, then we're talking about 3 grams of fat that you burn extra. On an annual basis it saves 365.25 times as much: a heavy kilo. And that is not even everything. Lose weight by drinking water.

Full stomach

In reality people fall twice as much when they drink so much water daily. There are three causes for this. One: if you drink a lot of water, you will probably take fewer other drinks, such as soft drinks or fruit juice. So you get less energy-rich substances inside. Two: water that you drink just before eating, takes up space in your stomach, which makes you feel full and eat less. That also reduces your energy intake. The third, lesser known reason is slightly more complicated. A glass of water boosts the energy consumption further than the required heating can explain. Slimming American women who drank more than a liter of extra water a day lost, in a year, two pounds of extra weight. Measurements by the German physiologist Michael Boschmann show that a human body burns about 100 kJ extra in the hour and a half after drinking half a liter of water at 22 degrees. If you pre-heat that water to 37 degrees, that extra energy consumption is about 40 percent smaller, he says. "Exactly the energy that you would otherwise need to warm up the cold water with your body." Hot water also draws energy from the body. How that came about has become known step by step in recent years.

It has to do with dissolved substances, Boschmann has known for a few years. He discovered this during tests with volunteers. Drinking half a liter of salt water had hardly any effect on their energy consumption, while pure water did. The difference lies in the effect on the blood, not on salt water and on thinning of pure water, which means that the osmotic value is lower. When the composition of the blood changes, the nervous system reacts almost immediately. The responsible nerve cells were discovered last year. They are connected to sensors in blood vessels of your liver and run to your spine. If the sensors signal that the osmotic value of the blood drops, because the drunk water is absorbed into the blood via the stomach and intestinal wall, then these nerve cells take immediate action to get the excess water out of the blood again.

Fully automatic system

How many liter of water should you drink. Because blood from the digestive system flows linearly to the liver (via the portal vein), your body can intervene before the blood becomes thinner everywhere. Even people with paraplegia can do this, according to Boschmann. "With them, nerve signals can not run from the spine to the head, and that proves that this system works fully automatically, without any influence from the brain. It keeps the osmotic value of the blood neatly constant. What does the nervous system do when extra water is found in the blood? The blood pressure goes up temporarily and the energy consumption too. And this is actually very logical, if you think about it. Your organs, especially your kidneys, have to do extra work and so they consume more energy: about 100 kJ per liter of drunk water. Which corresponds to the burning of 2.5 grams of fat. And that comes on top of the energy you need to heat the water. In total, you could lose five kilos of fat per year with a daily dose of two liters of extra water, Boschmann estimates. Or, of course, prevent those kilos from occurring.

Is water therefore a panacea to lose weight and stay slim? According to Boschmann, it is in any case an underestimated tool that is harmless in normal use, costs almost nothing and is available to everyone. The only drawback is that you have to go to the toilet more often. Simply tap water, he advises, because that is just as good as bottled water and taxes the environment and your wallet about a thousand times less. However, drinking extra water is not likely to work equally well for everyone with obesity, he adds. Tests with a small group of fat volunteers showed that the effect can vary considerably per person. But it is always worth trying. These are the consequences of drinking too little water.

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