How Much Water Do You Need To Lose Weight?

Reviewed by Jess Wharton, Registered Clinical & Holistic Nutritionist
Written by Charushila Biswas
ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition

Drinking water is the best thing you can do to lose weight. Scientists and researchers agree that water reduces energy intake, increases satiety, and revs up metabolism. That’s why fitness experts advise drinking “more water.” But how much water is enough water to induce weight loss? Swipe up to find out. 

Does Drinking Water Help You Lose Weight?


Yes, drinking water aids weight loss. Research has confirmed that water helps increase thermogenesis (1). It increases heat production in the body, which essentially means your metabolism gets boosted.

A Korean study states that water consumption before a meal prevents excess food consumption (2).

Another study by American scientists found that premeal water intake resulted in 2 kg greater weight loss and 44% more weight loss over 12 weeks in subjects as compared to people who did not consume premeal water (3).

Water also increases lipolysis or breaks down fat, which is then used as a source of fuel (4).

Replacing diet beverages with water decreases BMI (BMI determines whether you are underweight, overweight, or obese) and improves carbohydrate metabolism and insulin sensitivity (5).

Last, but not the least, water helps flush out toxins, thereby reducing toxin build-up and inflammation in the body.

Main Idea: Drinking water can help you lose weight. It works by reducing food intake, increasing satiety, improving metabolism and insulin sensitivity, decreasing BMI, and stimulating fat breakdown.

Can Water Help Burn Calories?

Drinking water helps increase thermogenesis, which helps burn calories. However, drinking water has to be complemented with a low-calorie diet and exercise.

Does Drinking Water Affect Appetite?

Yes, drinking water does reduce appetite and improves satiety. Most of the time, thirst is mistaken as hunger. Instead of drinking water, we end up consuming more calories. So, it is always best to drink water 20-30 minutes before and after a meal.

Main Idea: Water increases thermogenesis and helps burn calories. You will also feel less hungry and more satiated if you drink water 20-30 minutes before and after a meal.

How much water should you drink per day to stimulate more calorie burn, fat breakdown, and increased satiety and insulin sensitivity? Let’s find out in the next section.

How Much Water To Drink In A Day For Weight Loss?


Drink 2200 mL (women) or 3000 mL (men) of water per day if you do not work out (6). But if you workout regularly for 60 minutes, your water intake should be more. Drink 900 mL of water or sip on 150-300 mL of water every 15-20 minutes while exercising (7), (8).

You also have to keep the weather of a particular area in mind. Dry or humid areas can cause more water loss through sweating. This means you must keep sipping on at least 150-200 mL of water every 15 minutes if you sweat a lot.

So, on an average, consume 4-5 liters (women) or 6-7 liters (men) of water for weight loss (if you participate in vigorous workout regularly and tend to sweat a lot).

Also, water isn’t the only factor. Keeping your cells hydrated is important to support the detoxification and weight loss process. If the right mineral balance is not present in your cells, more fluid can be lost. The ideal amount is 500ml/d (6).

Adequate electrolytes are needed for cellular detoxification, including weight loss. However, unless there is an extensive workout regimen, eating mineral-rich hydrating foods throughout the day should suffice. You can consume the following foods:

  • Celery
  • Watermelon
  • Cucumber
  • Kiwi
  • Bell peppers
  • Citrus fruit
  • Carrots
  • Pineapple
  • Iceberg lettuce
  • Radishes

Note: If you are planning on engaging in extreme fitness or activity, it is advisable to talk with a professional, such as a registered nutritionist or your primary health care professional, about increasing electrolyte doses.

Main Idea: Consume 2200 mL (women) or 3000 mL (men) of water per day for general health. As exercise increases, consider introducing hydrating foods and coconut water in your diet.Be mindful of electrolyte balance with extensive exercise.

Now, let’s take a quick look at the benefits of drinking enough water per day.

Benefits Of Drinking Enough Water 

  • Water helps prevent non-communicable diseases (9).
  • Water helps lower toxicity in the body.
  • Drinking adequate water helps reduce stress.
  • Water boosts brain function and helps improve mood (10).
  • Water helps improve skin health (11).
  • Water, along with dietary fiber, helps improve bowel movement (12).

Main Idea: Keep yourself hydrated with water to get rid of toxins in your body and maintain good cell and brain functions.


Water plays a crucial role in stimulating weight loss. Water is the main catalyst in burning fat and calories – from boosting metabolism to keeping you active. Set alerts (use an app if required) to drink the required amount of water for weight loss. You will see a huge difference in the way you feel and the way your skin looks. Make drinking water a part of your lifestyle to reap immense benefits. Take care!

Frequently Asked Questions

How much water should I drink for my weight?

Approximately, 3L for women doing gentle activity and 4L for men. You should typically aim to drink between 25% to 50% of your body weight in ounces of water each day.

Can drinking water help lose belly fat?

Belly fat is stubborn. Along with drinking water, you have to do specific exercises and be on a weight loss diet. Check out this article to know how to get rid of belly fat.

Can drinking too much water make you gain weight?

Drinking too much water can be dangerous. Read more about it here.


    1. Effect of ‘Water Induced Thermogenesis’ on Body Weight, Body Mass Index and Body Composition of Overweight Subjects” Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, National Institutes of Health.
    2. Effect of Pre-meal Water Consumption on Energy Intake and Satiety in Non-obese Young Adults” Clinical Nutrition Research, National Institutes of Health.
    3. Water Consumption Increases Weight Loss During a Hypocaloric Diet Intervention in Middle-aged and Older adults” Obesity, National Institutes of Health.
    4. Increased Hydration Can Be Associated with Weight Loss” Frontiers in Nutrition, National Institutes of Health.
    5. Effects of replacing diet beverages with water on weight loss and weight maintenance: 18-month follow-up, randomized clinical trial.” International Journal of Obesity, National Institutes of Health.
    6. How much water do we really need to drink?” Nederlands tijdschrift voor geneeskunde, National Institutes of Health.
    7. Fluid consumption, exercise, and cognitive performance” Biology of Sport, National Institutes of Health.
    8. Water and electrolyte requirements for exercise.” Clinics in Sports Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    9. Water, hydration, and health.” Nutrition Reviews, National Institutes of Health.
    10. Effect of Water Supplementation on Cognitive Performances and Mood among Male College Students in Cangzhou, China: Study Protocol of a Randomized Controlled Trial” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, National Institutes of Health.
    11. Does dietary fluid intake affect skin hydration in healthy humans? A systematic literature review.” Skin Research and Technology, National Institutes of Health.
    12. Water supplementation enhances the effect of high-fiber diet on stool frequency and laxative consumption in adult patients with functional constipation.” Hepato-gastroenterology, National Institutes of Health.

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Charushila Biswas is a Senior Content Writer and an ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition. She is an alumni of VIT University, Vellore and has worked on transgenic wheat as a part of her Masters dissertation from NRCPB (IARI), New Delhi. After completing her Masters, she developed a passion for nutrition and fitness, which are closely related to human psychology. This prompted her to author a review article in 2015. She has written over 200 articles on Fitness and Nutrition. In her leisure time, Charushila loves to cook and enjoys mobile photography.