Drink more water to lose weight, lower blood pressure and improve gut health

Drinking more water improves blood pressure, heart and gut health – and even helps you shed lbs

Man drinking water at desk
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Do you drink enough water? Despite all the messaging, the answer is "probably not". We're often told to drink eight glasses of water a day, but it's quite rare (for us, anyway) that we ever really hit that amount. This is a shame, because drinking more water is one of the simplest and most effective ways to improve our health. 

We all know water is good for our skin and our kidneys, but (relatively) recent research has found it's worth picking up the biggest size you can get when browsing our best water bottles guide. A joint study between Hokkaido and Keio Universities in Japan examined healthy, adult men and women who increased their water intake from 1.3 liters per day to 2 liters (the recommended intake). 

The results were surprising. An extra 700ml of water meant the respondents had significantly lower systolic blood pressure after properly hydrating for 12 weeks. High blood pressure is a potential indicator of cardiovascular problems, as it can damage arteries by making them less elastic, and is often caused by lifestyle concerns such as stress and metabolic syndrome. 

Always on the go? Drinking water can help alleviate your blood pressure issues caused by a high-stress lifestyle.

Sports player drinking water after a game

(Image credit: Getty Images)

What's more, the extra water was found to benefit respondents' kidney health, increase body temperature and even promote the "existence of an intestinal microbiome", encouraging the development of healthy gut bacteria. Good gut health is instrumental to the human body's good health, from your skin to your mental health, as well as aiding digestion.

An extra 700ml, or two large glasses of water, is enough to cause these improvements. If they were in a pill, you'd take it every day without question. So why aren't you drinking enough water?

It's even been found to aid with weight loss. Research from as far back as 2016 found that adequate hydration aided with the process of lipolysis, or burning fat, "reducing the risk factors in the development of obesity and type 2 diabetes". Drinking water before meals also increases your perceived satiety levels, helping with your tendency to overeat.

Too often we confuse thirst for hunger, especially as we eat salted, sugary foods. Coupled with a session on one of the best exercise machines to lose weight, drinking more water is one of the easiest things you can do today to burn off your spare tire.

Matt Evans
Matt Evans

Matt Evans is an experienced health and fitness journalist and Channel Editor at Fit&Well. He's previously written for titles like Men's Health and Red Bull, and covers all things exercise and nutrition on the Fit&Well website. Matt originally discovered exercise through martial arts: he holds a black belt in Karate and remains a keen kickboxer and runner. His top fitness tip? Stretch.