Can Drinking Too Much Water Cause Weight Gain?

Every time I drink a lot of water, I notice that I gain a few pounds. I brought this up to my mom and she said it was just water weight that I’ll lose over the next few days. I never really understood what this meant and how our body works. I thought drinking a lot of water would help you lose weight. Here is a blog clarifying this!

Water is necessary for your body to function properly and is necessary for the transport of oxygen and nutrients. The Mayo Clinic says that water makes up 60% of our body weight and every system in our body depends on it. “For example, water flushes toxins out of vital organs, carries nutrients to your cells and provides a moist environment for ear, nose and throat tissues,” Mayo Clinic. “Your metabolism is basically a series of chemical reactions that take place in your body,” says Trent Nessler, who is managing director of Baptist Sports Medicine. By drinking a lot of water, one can keep their chemical reactions smoothly running. Even being just 1% dehydrated can make ones metabolism drop. Too little water can lead to dehydration. Additionally, Water helps to decrease your appetite so it helps you to not overeat. However, drinking a lot of water at one time can backfire and actually make you gain weight.

The extra pounds that I gain from drinking water are called water weight. If a person drinks a large amount of water at one time, their kidneys won’t be able to keep up and won’t be able to dismiss the extra water. This extra water that’s left over in your body disrupts the electrolyte balance that is responsible for regulating the water. One quart of water is equal to two pounds. This weight will be on the scale immediately after you drink the water, however, in about 24 hours it will cycle and your weight will return to the normal. Additionally, if a person’s diet is very high in sodium, and very low in potassium, then a person has a greater risk for holding water in.

On the other hand, water can also help one lose weight. Adding a lot of water to a person’s diet can help them not feel as hungry throughout the day. “When your body realizes it is getting enough water, it will allow you to release retained waters from your cells through digestion,” (Discover Good Nutrition).

Hypernatremia can come from drinking too much water. This occurs when someone drinks a lot of water at one time. Hypernatremia causes a persons blood and electrolytes to be diluted and also leads to nausea, confusion, seizures, muscle spasms, swelling of the brain and vomiting.

Stew Smith, a fitness author, had a client that lost 20 pounds in one week by just adding water to their diet. His client was very bloated and this was removed when he drank water because the bloating was caused by dehydration and a diet filled with a lot of sodium.

One study found that the people who drank water before they ate consumed less food during their meal. Approximately they consumed 75 fewer calories during each meal. It does not seem like a lot, but if you times it by 365 for every day during the year, then you can avoid eating 27,000 calories.

There is no universal standard for the amount of water one should drink in a day. It is different for each person and depends on their environment and their personal activity level.



8 thoughts on “Can Drinking Too Much Water Cause Weight Gain?

  1. Hung Chieh Wang

    Very interesting topic! I didn’t know that water can help you lose weight. I always drink water while eating, some say it bad for your stomach, but I do it anyway. Water is very important, but I think it important to control the amount of water we drink. Drinking woo much is really bad for the body, actually, people can be killed by drinking too much water. Here is the article about people killed by drinking too much water Strange but True: Drinking Too Much Water Can Kill. Those water will enter the cell and make cells swell, eventually cause death. Although there are only a few cases about people killed by drinking too much water, we still need to be careful.

  2. Rebecca Danielle Schneider

    I really enjoyed your blog post, especially how you made it so controversial, leaving the topic up to interpretation if water makes us gain or lose weight more. I have definitely heard of water weight gain before, however I don’t find it to be a health concern since it usually goes away fairly quickly. With Smith’s client, I am very skeptical about how he lost 20 pounds in only ONE week just by drinking water. By including this in your argument, I think that the reader should be given more information, such as this person’s weight prior to the “water diet” and other factors, such as exercise, that could have contributed to this extreme weight loss in such a short amount of time. However, I did find a more realistic and recent study on water weight loss. The first group comprised 41 people who were instructed to drink 16.9 oz. of water 30 minutes before their three daily meals every day for 12 weeks. The second, a control group, comprised 43 people who were told to imagine having a full stomach before every meal without drinking any water. The results are clear. The group that drank water before their meals lost an average of 9.48 pounds in 12 weeks, an average of 2.87 pounds more than the control group.

  3. Stephen Connelly

    I know of water weight, which like you said, disappears usually within 24 hours. Interesting to hear of the anecdote of people losing 20ilbs by just increasing water intake. Where do the ilbs go though whether it is weight gains or losses? It’s strange that water can make you bloat and decrease bloating, but in what way does it have this affect both ways?

  4. Catherine Mott

    This is a very interesting post. I drink 4-6 bottles of water each day and i never thought it could make me gain weight. I know that water weight is in fact a thing but i always thought drinking a lot of water was a good thing for your health because it is one of the main thing your body needs on a daily basis. You wrote “Hypernatremia can come from drinking too much water. This occurs when someone drinks a lot of water at one time. Hypernatremia causes a persons blood and electrolytes to be diluted and also leads to nausea, confusion, seizures, muscle spasms, swelling of the brain and vomiting.” This is interesting to me because i never thought a person could actually develop a sickness/disease from drinking too much water. It would be interesting to do a study on how many people this sickness affects yearly, and what traits those people have or do not have, or a third variable that could be causing them to get the sickness. This is overall a good blog, and interesting topic!

  5. Margaret Kreienberg

    My mother is obsessed with drinking water. She tries to drink at least three bottles of water a day. Wherever we are, she always a has a bottled water with her. Whenever I see her chug these bottles I always wondering if she is overdoing it. She claims that it makes her healthier, especially because she has had internal body issues in the past. I believe that water is good in moderation. There are also newly discovered benefits to drinking a good amount of water daily. Check out this list to learn about other ways that water helps the body.

  6. Jaehong Lim

    Thank you for your post. When I asked about a same thing to my mom, she also answered exactly same with your mom. I also did not understand water and weight gain clearly. I just accepted it, because everybody says like that. So, by reading your post, I think I fully understand about water and weight gain. It was really helpful for me.
    Throughout my life, I always drank water to keep focus on something and when I drank much water I felt like refresh. Also, I I heard about that water is good for our body. But still, it was kind of surprise for me that water can help to lose weight. Moreover, it is really interesting that water which can be gained easily in our daily lives, has many advantages for our body. I think I can use water to maintain my body in shape.

  7. Daniel Christopher Gallagher

    I believe water is the foundation of staying healthy. I have also noticed in my body when I have a high sodium diet that my body does retain water more, kind of like a natural creatine. I believe staying hydrated will help boost your metabolism as well as giving you the energy to get through an exercise session. It’s not only important for fitness purposes but also a necessity, but I feel like no matter how much I consume I believe that you can never drink too much water. Maybe that’s just my body personally since I do indeed have a faster metabolism. Still a very intriguing post, especially in the study that showed that drinking water before meals made test subjects consume less food.

  8. las6099

    This is a really interesting post! I have friends who say that they do not like to drink too much water at once because they feel bloated, but I had no idea that it takes two days for your weight to return back to normal. I do believe, however, that drinking water is an important key not only when you are trying to lose weight, but just when you are trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle in general. Growing up, my mom would always say not to fill up on water while waiting for dinner, because then we would be too full to eat. Looking back, it’s kind of funny because a major tip for people who are trying to lose weight is to drink a full glass of water before each meal, so that you will not be as hungry!
    Aside from drinking water to fill your stomach, water is also very good for your metabolism. If you are trying to train your body to have a faster metabolism, it is a good idea to drink a big glass of water first thing when you wake up. That way, the first think into your body that day is water to help flush out toxins in your body before you start taking in new ones!

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