If you’re looking to lose, drink up.

A recent review by Dr. Rebecca Muckelbauer and colleagues from the Berlin School of Public Health has received attention from the press about a highly questioned issue: does drinking water affect weight outcomes in adults? Or put more simply, will drinking water help you lose weight?


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Dr. Muckelbauer and her peers performed a systematic review, which included 11 studies, three of which came out of  our Water INTERface director’s (Dr. Brenda Davy) lab. Specifically, one study by Dennis and others, on which Dr. Davy was the principle investigator, provided some solid evidence to assist Dr. Muckelbauer’s group in developing their review.

The study by Dr. Elizabeth Dennis, currently a post doctoral fellow at Georgetown University Medical Center’s Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities Research and a graduate from VT and past student of Dr. Davy’s, found that after 12 weeks drinking about two cups of water before each meal was correlated with a greater decrease in weight after 12 weeks versus restricting calories alone. Another publication included in the systematic review was an extension of Dennis and colleagues’ work looking into how self monitoring of weight, fruit and vegetable intake, and water consumption may influence long-term weight maintenance. The lead author for this study was Dr. Jeremy Akers, also a VT alumni and prior member of Dr. Davy’s lab and now an assistant professor at JMU.

Image Source: http://fitsystemsatx.com/2012/12/water-vs-coke/

Studies in Dr. Muckelbauer and associate’s review that examined water intake in individuals who were not primarily dieting or trying to maintain weight were found to show inconsistent results, but this may be due to study design. Overall, the review’s authors concluded that studies examining increased water intake in those dieting or trying to maintain weight imply that more water is better. However, they highlight the need for more thorough studies on this topic before definitive associations can be made.

With the summer months upon us, this study draws attention to one clear notion: Fill ‘er up and drink up…WATER that is.

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