Effect of excessive water intake on body weight, body mass index, body fat, and appetite of overweight female participants

J Nat Sci Biol Med. 2014 Jul;5(2):340-4. doi: 10.4103/0976-9668.136180.


Objective: Drinking plenty of water is commonly recommended in weight loss regimens; however, very limited scientific evidence is available to justify this. Here we studied the effect of drinking 1.5 L of water, over and above the usual intake on body weight, body mass index (BMI), body fat, and appetite score in overweight female participants.

Materials and methods: The study was done on 50 overweight female participants, who were instructed to drink 500 mL of water, three times a day 30 min before breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The 1.5 L water intake was over and above their daily water intake and was continued for 8 consecutive weeks. Body weight, BMI, body fat, and appetite score was measured pre and post-study; and the values were compared by paired t-test using Statistical Packages for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 14.0.1.

Results: All the parameters tested were lower after 8 weeks: body weight (pre-study 65.86 ± 3.614 kg vs post-study 64.42 ± 3.704 kg; P < 0.01); BMI (pre-study 26.7002 ± 0.9423 vs post-study 26.1224 ± 1.0632; P < 0.01); sum of skinfold thickness (pre-study 79.626 ± 10.385 mm vs post-study 76.578 ± 10.477 mm; P < 0.01); and the appetite score (pre-study 36.880 ± 4.170 vs post-study 34.673 ± 3.845; P < 0.01).

Conclusions: Our study establishes the role of drinking 1.5 L of excessive water in weight reduction, body fat reduction, and appetite suppression in overweight female participants.

Keywords: Body mass index; overweight; skinfold thickness; visual analogue scale for appetite; water-induced thermogenesis.