What are the benefits of drinking water before each meal?

Drinking water before a meal could help you lose weight.

In a trial done in the U.K. and published in 2015, obese participants were told either to drink 500 ml of tap water (that's about 2 cups) before each meal or to imagine that their stomachs were full. After 12 weeks, those who had the liquid appetizer lost about 2.5 pounds more than the people in the comparison group -- not a huge difference, but not too shabby, either, for such an easy trick.

The concept behind the study is "preloading," the idea that eating or drinking something low-calorie before a meal can fill you up, so you consume fewer calories during the meal. Other research has tested the theory with other foods, such as soup, juice, fruit and even whole-grain fiber bars, with varying degrees of success. Some experts claim that ice-cold water works best, since theoretically your body burns calories to warm the water up to body temperature. But temperature doesn't actually appear to matter. Basically, the water (or soup, or whatever) is just taking up space in your stomach. 
John Douillard, DC
Herbal Medicine
Studies show we can lose more weight and have better digestion by drinking warm water 15-30 minutes before a meal. Watch Ayurvedic specialist John Douillard, DC, explain how pre-hydrating your stomach before eating strengthens your digestive fire. 

Continue Learning about Water


Plenty of water in your diet helps digestion, skin, and muscle tone. It can help prevent cramping during exercise and even relive stress. Many times we are low on water - dehydrated, and don't realize it. Being dehydrated can mani...

fest with symptoms like fatigue and depression. In fact, by the time we are feeling thirsty, we're already slightly dehydrated. That's one reason that we hear the recommendation to drink eight standard glasses of water daily. Adequate water helps you digest food an helps your body get rid of wastes. Your kidneys need to process water for you to eliminate waste by urination, and getting enough water ensures that these wastes are diluted. Not getting enough water can encourage the formation of painful kidney stones.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.