Like oxygen, water is essential for maintaining our vital functions. It is also given many virtues, some of which would have a role to play in a process of weight loss. What are these exactly?
1. Water makes you lose weight
FALSE, but it can be a slimming ally. It is true that water provides no calories, but drinking more, or drinking one to two glasses 30 minutes before a meal, does not cause you to lose weight. In addition, water has an appetite suppressant effect, but this effect disappears after about fifteen minutes.
2. Drinking during meals is bad
FALSE. Contrary to popular belief, drinking a little water while eating does not affect digestion. The reason is simple: the amount of gastric juice secreted by the stomach adapts to the consistency of the meal (solid or liquid foods) to maintain the right degree of acidity. So, if you drink or consume liquid foods, the digestive system will produce more stomach juices and enzymes to help you digest them. The only caveat is that the volume of water in the stomach can cause discomfort for some people, especially those with gastro-oesophageal reflux and pregnant women who are prone to nausea and vomiting.
3. You must drink eight glasses of water a day
TRUE AND FALSE. In fact, it is advisable to drink 1.5 to 2 liters of liquid per day, and not just this amount in water: you can hydrate with other drinks (milk, coffee, tea, herbal tea, etc.) and liquids (soup, smoothie, etc.) as well as foods with a high water content such as fruits and vegetables (cucumber, watermelon). The actual amounts of fluid needed for the body to function properly vary according to several factors, including a person's basic metabolism, lifestyle, climate, etc. Needs also vary by age: we must multiply its weight in kilos per 30 ml if you are under 60 or 25 ml if you are over 60 to define the amount of liquid we need. During a physical activity, it is suggested to drink 1 liter more water, per hour of exercise. A very hot temperature, fever or breastfeeding (the production of breast milk) can also influence our needs.
4. Drinking a lot of water promotes beautiful skin
FALSE. Certainly, water ensures the hydration of the skin. But drinking more than the amount necessary for the proper functioning of our organs and cells will not bring miraculous benefits in terms of the firmness, elasticity or overall appearance of the epidermis. The important thing is to drink enough to promote blood circulation and stay well hydrated.
5. Drinking hot water after a meal helps with digestion
FALSE. Water alone, whether hot or cold, will have no direct effect on digestion. On the other hand, lemon juice can be mixed with water to increase acidity in the digestive system. Thanks to its citric acid content, lemon improves the secretion of gastric juices. Lemon also stimulates the liver to produce bile, which helps digest fats.