MILAN – The first few hot days of the year are here, it’s time for the beach, for lightweight dresses and, as every year, for the unmissable first swimming costume challenge. The countdown has started but do not fear: in addition to a healthy diet and a regular exercise regime, adequate hydration can also help us to regain our own right weight. Water, with no calories, has been demonstrated to be a valid ally in regulating our feelings of hunger, eliminating excess toxins and accelerating the effects of a hypocaloric diet through the mechanism of thermogenesis.
Water speeds up metabolism
“Scientific literature highlights the role of water in activating a series of metabolic mechanisms known as thermogenesis, that is the production of heat by burning energy, that really help us to lose weight - states Prof. Nicola Sorrentino, expert at the Osservatorio Sanpellegrino, lecturer in Nutritional Hygiene at the University of Pavia, scientific director at the Terme Sensoriali in Chianciano Terme and author of the book “The Water Diet”.
In relation to the phenomenon of thermogenesis, that is the production of heat by the organism, international studies have demonstrated that drinking two glasses of water at room temperature three times a day, preferably with the three main meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner), increases the metabolic rate of both the men and women involved in the study by 30%. The increase starts 10 minutes after drinking and reaches its peak after 30 minutes. According to scientists, this is due to the fact that the water, once introduced in our organism, is heated from 22°C to 37°C, an increase in temperature able to “burn” fats in men and carbohydrates in women.
Also, drinking throughout the day and in particular before meals can make a significant contribution to reaching and maintaining a balanced body weight.
“I advise drinking 8-10 glasses of water throughout the day and not just a large quantity only once – continued Prof. Sorrentino – but also always to drink two glasses of water a few minutes before breakfast, lunch and dinner, one glass mid-morning and one mid-afternoon; finally, to consume large quantities of water-rich foods, especially vegetables and fruit”.
Water as fast-breaker
Drinking water before meals also serves to curb the appetite, not so much because water fills the stomach, but because the stimulus of thirst and that of hunger are correlated to each other, allowing water to reduce appetite. In this way it will be possible to consume, without any sense of loss, more modest meals, smaller portions and, ultimately, also fewer calories.
Another suggestion to maintain a good physical form is to enjoy adequate sporting activities. With regard to this, Prof. Nicola Sorrentino adds: “reduce consumption of drinks other than water and drink during physical exercise so as to remain more active and eliminate the toxins that slow down your metabolism”.
In fact it is worth remembering that adequate hydration in association with a consistent physical activity can be an efficient way to obtain visible and lasting results. Various international studies have underlined the role of the “metabolic push” of muscles after hydration so that hydrated muscle tissue is more active from a metabolic point of view. In fact water is able to help with weight loss because, by drinking, the body sets off a series of metabolic mechanisms that facilitate weight loss.
In conclusion, in addition to representing an essential nutrient for the organism, water is one of the secrets to achieve a good shape in preparation of the good weather, thanks to its filling, detoxing and “fat-burning” qualities.
by Alessandro Michielli
June 13, 2017