Washington: Water may be the potential secret weapon to achieving a healthier weight, a new study suggests.
People who are obese and have a higher body mass index (BMI) are more likely to be inadequately hydrated and vice versa, researchers said.
“The link between hydration and weight is not clear. Our study further explains this relationship on a population level using an objective measure of hydration,” said Tammy Chang from University of Michigan in the US.
Although the correlation requires further probing, Chang said that hydration has lately been considered a cornerstone of a weight-loss diet.
“We often hear recommendations that drinking water is a way to avoid overeating because you may be thirsty rather than hungry,” she said.
Researchers looked at a nationally representative sample of 9,528 adults from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).
Roughly a third of the adults, between ages 18 to 64, were inadequately hydrated.
The study suggests that people with higher BMIs – who are expected to have higher water needs – might also demonstrate behaviours that lead to inadequate hydration, researchers said.
Chang said eating healthy foods high in water content, such as fruits and vegetables, can improve hydration status though more studies are needed to know whether hydration status can influence weight.
“Hydration may be overlooked in adult weight management strategies. Our findings suggest that hydration may deserve more attention when thinking about addressing obesity on a population level,” she said.
“Staying hydrated is good for you no matter what, and our study suggests it may also be linked to maintaining a healthy weight,” Chang added.
The findings were published in the journal Annals of Family Medicine.