Water is the Robin to your Batman when it comes to losing weight. It may not seem like it would make much of a difference, but let’s look at 5 reasons drinking water can improve your health and help you to lose weight.

1. Drinking water helps reduce your calorie intake

You would be surprised at how many calories you are drinking every day. That soda you drank at lunch is about 200 empty calories. That sports drink you had after your workout? 300 empty calories. Just with those two drinks and you’ve already consumed 500 calories without even eating any food! Water, on the other hand, has zero calories, so by substituting calorie-laden, sugary drinks with water, you can significantly reduce the number of empty calories in your diet.

TIP – try adding fruit, herbs, and vegetables to your water to mix things up a bit if you get bored! For example, adding lemon and basil or even cucumber and strawberry can add some flavor. 

2. Water helps stave off false hunger pangs

Often people mistake thirst for hunger. If you think you’re hungry, try drinking a glass of water first, and then see if you still feel hungry. Since the hunger mechanism is stronger than thirst, keeping hydrated will eliminate the false feeling of hunger.

TIP – try not to get to the point where you feel thirsty. Aim to drink water throughout the day from as soon as you wake up in the morning. Carry a water bottle with you to remind yourself to stay hydrated.

3. Water reduces the chance of injury

Water can help reduce injuries when you’re training because it helps to keep your joints lubricated. If you don’t get injured, you’re less likely to have to take time off from training to recover. Also, training when you’re dehydrated can make you dizzy and lethargic. Plus, your muscles won’t work as well, and you’re more likely to get cramps.

TIP – always keep water close by when you are exercising!

4. Water flushes out unwanted toxins

Water allows your kidneys to filter toxins and helps your cells take in nutrients and remove waste. If you don’t drink enough water, then you might be suffering from a buildup of toxins throughout your body—from your kidneys to your bloodstream—and the effect compromises your immune system. More water equals less of a chance of being ill and a healthier body!

TIP – sports drinks often marketed as being a good source of electrolytes (a type of salt made of positively and negatively charged ions that are essential to keep our bodies functioning), but drinking plenty of water coupled with a good diet will supply you with all the electrolytes you need. So don’t fall for it, and stick to water even after a good workout!

5. Drinking water helps you manage your meals

Studies have shown that drinking one or two glasses of water half an hour before a meal makes you feel fuller, helping you make better decisions about portion sizes and preventing you from overeating.

TIP – make a habit of drinking a glass of water before every meal, perhaps while cooking or as soon as you wake up.

Water holds no magical fat-burning properties, but it helps your weight loss efforts in a lot of little ways that can add up to some big changes. Staying hydrated is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, so embrace the H2O!