You’ve probably heard that drinking water burns calories. There are many diets that claim that that drinking water burns calories for free. I have also found many websites that support this claim. What does the science say?
According to an article entitled “Water-Induced Thermogenesis” published in the The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Volume 88, Issue 12, drinking 500ml of water increases the metabolic rate by 30%. The increase occurred within ten minutes and reached a maximum after 30–40 minutes.
The energy expenditure is not a lot. The article states that drinking 2 litres of water will burn 400 kj. That is roughly 100 calories. It is believed that some of calories are burned by the body to raise the temperature of the water.
Be careful of drinking too much water, as drinking too much water can have serious adverse affects.
Our bodies are roughly 70% water. Drinking water is thus essential to our health. When one chooses water to drink we should make sure that it is good quality water and that it does not contain chlorine.
So does water burn calories for free? It makes sense that drinking water burns calories as one would think that the body requires energy to process the water, pass it through the kidneys etc. I can also believe that the body will burn energy after consuming colder water to either warm the water or itself. However, one needs to understand that the amount of calories burned when drinking water is small and we must be careful not to drink too much water.
For more information, please see https://academic.oup.com/jcem/article/88/12/6015/2661518