Can You Lose Belly Fat by Drinking Water?

Medically Reviewed on 11/23/2021

Drinking water and belly fat

Drinking water is an important part of staying healthy. Staying hydrated is critical if you're trying to lose weight because it helps your body function effectively and will help you feel better overall.
Drinking water is an important part of staying healthy. Staying hydrated is critical if you’re trying to lose weight because it helps your body function effectively and will help you feel better overall.

Drinking water is an important part of staying healthy. Some claim that drinking water is a reliable way to lose belly fat, but it’s not that simple. Continue reading to learn about the relationship between drinking water and belly fat.

When you’re trying to lose belly fat, it’s a common recommendation that you need to drink more water. This is a valid suggestion, but there’s not enough research to prove that increased water intake directly results in weight loss. Although it’s not a magic solution to losing belly fat, water does play a role in weight loss.

What is belly fat?

The layer of extra weight that is typically called belly fat only makes up a part of the fat found on your body. Its technical name is visceral fat. Visceral fat is found in the extra spaces between your abdominal organs, like the stomach, liver, and kidneys. It’s also referred to as intra-abdominal fat

Other kinds of fat include subcutaneous and intramuscular. Subcutaneous fat is loose and can be found immediately under your skin. This is the fat that you can pinch with your fingertips. Intramuscular fat is not as visible. Your skeletal muscles are surrounded by intramuscular fat.

How much water should you drink?

There’s no straight answer to the question, “How much water should you drink?” It depends on your age, gender, physical health, physical activity, how much you sweat, and more. At the very least, you should let your thirst guide how much water you drink. Your body knows how much water it needs!

As a general rule, women should drink about 91 ounces (11 cups) of water every day. Men should drink about 125 ounces (15.5 cups) of water every day. You can get the hydration you need from drinking water and from eating water-rich foods. If you’re wondering whether you’re getting enough water, check out what your urine looks like when you use the bathroom. If it’s dark yellow or brown, you need more water. If it’s light yellow or clear, you’re drinking enough water.

How does drinking water help you lose belly fat?

Although there’s more to it than just drinking water, staying hydrated is critical if you’re trying to lose weight. Drinking water helps your body function effectively and will help you feel better overall.

Drives hunger away

Drinking water throughout the day can help keep your appetite at bay. Your body can mistake thirst for hunger, so when you feel hungry try drinking some water before grabbing a snack. You should never completely replace food with water, but you can cut back on unnecessary eating by always starting with water.

Additionally, if you drink water right before a meal you can help yourself avoid overeating. Drinking a glass or two fills your stomach just enough without filling your stomach completely.

Breaks down fat

In order for fat molecules to break down, you need to keep your body hydrated. Water plays an important part in busting fat so that you can burn it as energy. When you stay hydrated, your body is able to break fat down continually as your body needs more fuel. Limiting your water prevents your body from shedding weight. When your body senses that it’s getting less water, it holds onto as much as possible.

Helps digestion

Taking water into your body results in easier digestion of solid foods. The more hydrated you are, the softer your stools are, and the more easily your digestive system can move feces through and out of your body. You’re less likely to be constipated and bloated, too.

Reduces liquid calorie intake

Water is calorie-free! Juice, soda, tea, and coffee all pump sugar and calories into your body that could keep you from losing weight. Even diet sodas that don’t have any calories can prevent losing belly fat. Water has exactly what your body needs without any additives or drawbacks.

Supports physical activity

Water dissolves electrolytes and takes them to different parts of the body, where they support the muscle contractions your body needs to move. If you don’t drink enough water while exercising, you can experience any of the following side effects:

  • Cramps
  • Less muscle building
  • Difficulty regulating body temperature
  • Fatigue

You need to drink water before you start working out, and you should continue throughout your exercise, too. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty to grab your water bottle.

Listen to your body

Pay attention to your body’s signals when it comes to drinking water and belly fat. If you are struggling to stay hydrated or lose belly fat, get in touch with a healthcare provider to learn what more you can do.

Medically Reviewed on 11/23/2021

Amita Health: "Want to Lose Weight? Just Add Water."

Johns Hopkins University Hub: "Yes, drinking more water may help you lose weight."

JOURNAL OF THE ACADEMY OF NUTRITION AND DIETETICS: "What Impact Does Water Consumption Have on Weight Loss or Weight Loss Maintenance?"

Rush: "Losing Belly Fat."