Ruopeng An, Ph.D., a kinesiology and community health professor at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, studied the hydration and dietary habits of more than 18,300 American adults and found that drinking more water each day can impact the overall calories and nutritional value of food consumed.
Reviewing data from four waves of the National Center for Health Statistics National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, in which participants were asked to recall their food and drink intake during two non-consecutive days, An determined the percentage of plain water drunk by each person. He found an association between a one-percent increase in the subjects’ daily intake of plain water and an 8.6-calorie reduction in food intake. An also discovered a slight reduction in foods high in fat, sugar, sodium and cholesterol with the change.
Participants that increased their plain water consumption by one to three cups reduced their calorie intake by 68 to 205 calories per day. The same increase in water correlated with a daily reduction in sodium intake by 78 to 235 milligrams, five to 18 grams less sugar and seven to 21 milligrams less cholesterol.