How long have people been looking for a magic potion they could drink to improve their health? Monks were known to drink ale for their nutrients while fasting in the old days, health tonics were sold out of the back of traveling caravans through the Old West and some people today mistakenly believe that drinking diet soda erases calories. Then there are meal-replacement drinks like Slim-Fast. But really, the best thing you can drink for a healthy life and your figure is water.
A new study shows that drinking more water, especially before meals, contributes to weight loss. The team led by Brenda Davy of Virginia Tech ran a 12-week trial and published findings earlier this year, but they just unveiled the results of a year-long follow-up study that confirms and expands that finding.
The researchers divided 48 inactive Americans, aged 55 to 75, into two groups. Members of one were told to drink about a pint of water (2 cups) shortly before each of three daily meals. The others were given no instructions on what to drink. Before the trial, all participants had been consuming between 1,800 and 2,200 calories a day. When it began, the women’s daily rations were slashed to 1,200 calories, while the men were allowed 1,500. After three months the group that drank water before meals had lost about 15½ lbs. each, whereas those in the thirsty group lost only 11 lbs.
And it seems to be easy enough to make it a habit. In the 12 months that followed, though the participants have been allowed to eat and drink what they like, those told to drink water during the trial have stuck with it. And they have continued to lose weight, whereas the other participants have put it back on.
Plus there are additional overall health benefits to drinking water! Find additional resources on how to lead a healthy life.
Photo credit: Greg Riegler Photography