Water is good for you. Research shows that proper hydration offers many health benefits including better digestion, increased energy levels, and improved skin health (17). What most people don’t know is that there might be a right and wrong time to drink water if you’re trying to lose weight. One study found that drinking water before meals can help you eat less and lose weight (6). So, the right time to drink water for weight loss may be before you eat a meal, and all through the day. Many people believe that drinking water before bed will help them lose weight. Unfortunately, there is no scientific evidence to support this claim. Drinking too much water before bed may even lead to weight gain. Let’s find out the reason why.
Does Drinking Water At Night Make You Gain Weight?
Yes, it’s possible that drinking water before bed might make you more likely to gain weight or make it more difficult to lose weight. When you drink water before bed, you’re more likely to wake up in the middle of the night to use the restroom. This can disrupt your sleep, leaving you feeling tired and cranky the next day.
When you’re tired, you’re more likely to make poor food choices or forego exercise altogether. Poor sleep has also been linked to an increased appetite, so you may find yourself eating more during the day if you’re not well-rested (16).
The cortisol-inducing effects of a poor night’s sleep are yet another reason why drinking a lot of water before bed is a bad idea.
When you don’t get enough sleep, your body produces more of the stress hormone cortisol. This hormone can promote weight gain by increasing your appetite and causing your body to store more fat (10).
With that being said, there are several situations in which drinking water before bed may be beneficial:
- Drinking water to curb night-time snacking: If you had an early dinner and find yourself feeling hungry before bed, drinking a glass of water may help you resist the temptation to snack.
- Drinking water to prevent dehydration: If you’ve been sweating a lot during the day or have been drinking alcohol, you may need to drink some water before bed to prevent dehydration. If you feel thirsty, don’t ignore that. Drink some water.
- Drinking water to improve sleep quality: Thirst can disrupt sleep, so it’s better to listen to your cues and drink water when you’re thirsty even if it’s just before you go to bed.
- Drinking water instead of high-calorie beverages: If you’re trying to lose weight, it’s important to be mindful of the calories you’re consuming from drinks. Water has zero calories, so it’s a better choice than sugary beverages like soda or juice.
What Should You Drink Before Bed To Lose Weight?
Can you lose belly fat by drinking water? It depends — if you drink water instead of sugary, calorie-filled drinks like soda or fruit juice, then the answer is yes,
Drinking water can help you lose weight by keeping you hydrated and preventing hunger cravings (6). However, if you are still drinking a lot of other high-calorie beverages, effects may differ.
There are other drinks that have been studied for their weight-loss potential as well. Some beverages, such as green tea and coffee, contain caffeine, which can help you burn a few more calories and may lead to weight loss.
Others, like grapefruit juice, are rich in antioxidants that are said to promote weight loss by helping your body break down fat.
Let’s review the best fat-burning drinks you can count on:
Green tea is made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, and it has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine. Alongside a host of potential health benefits, this beverage has been associated with weight loss (15).
One of the main ways green tea may aid weight loss is by boosting the body’s metabolism. This tea contains caffeine and catechins, which are compounds that have been shown to increase metabolism (15).
Studies have also suggested that green tea can help burn fat, especially during exercise (11).
Another way green tea may support weight loss is by reducing appetite. One study showed that participants who drank green tea felt fuller and ate less than those who drank water (3).
Though more research is needed, green tea appears to be a promising natural remedy for weight loss. It’s generally well-tolerated and easy to add to your diet as well.
Coffee has high levels of caffeine, a stimulant that may boost metabolism and enhance fat burning. What’s more, coffee can give you energy before exercise. This can make you work out harder and longer, leading to more calories burned (12).
However, drinking coffee before bed is a terrible idea because caffeine can disrupt sleep. It’s best to drink coffee in the morning or early afternoon.
Like green tea, black tea also contains caffeine and catechins, which may help with weight loss. It is high in polyphenols, which are antioxidants that might also help with fat burning (8).
A small study showed that those who consumed black tea lost more weight and body fat than those who didn’t drink it (8).
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, which is thought to boost metabolism and burn fat. Animal studies have also suggested that acetic acid can prevent the accumulation of body fat (2).
In addition to having limited research on its effectiveness, apple cider vinegar can cause adverse effects like lower potassium levels and erosion of tooth enamel (9). It’s best to consume it in small amounts or diluted with water to reduce these risks, and talk to your doctor first.
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Ginger is a root that has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for upset stomach and other digestive issues. It’s also associated with weight loss. This root contains gingerol, a compound that may promote weight loss (13).
A study on rats found that ginger water reduced body weight gain (5). Another meta-analysis in humans showed that ginger was effective at reducing body weight, waist-to-hip ratio, and fasting glucose (13).
Ginger tea is easy to make at home by steeping fresh ginger in boiling water. You can also buy it pre-made at most grocery stores.
Grapefruit juice is rich in antioxidants, including naringin and lycopene. These compounds are thought to help reduce inflammation and improve metabolism. Studies have seen a connection between consuming grapefruit products and weight loss, but scientists aren’t sure exactly how it works (14).
However, this research is limited, and more studies are needed to confirm these effects.
In addition, eating whole grapefruits may be more effective than drinking juice. This is because whole fruits contain fiber, which can help you feel full and eat less.
Why Do You Get Thirsty At Night?
You shouldn’t be needing water during the night, right? You’ve just spent the last several hours sipping on water throughout the day to stay hydrated. So, why do you find yourself getting thirsty right before bed?
There are a few reasons for this, such as:
Not Drinking Enough Water During The Day
Your body needs a specific amount of water each day to function properly. If you’re not drinking enough during the day, your body will make up for it at night. How much water you need depends on your activity level, the climate you live in, and your overall health.
It helps adjust your water intake to the climate (drink more on hot days), activity level (drink more when you’re working out), and your overall health (if you’re pregnant or have certain medical conditions, you’ll need to drink more water).
Some medications can cause increased thirst or dry mouth. This can make it difficult to fall asleep and make you wake up feeling thirsty. If you’re taking medication, talk to your doctor to see if this could be the cause of your increased thirst at night.
Eating Salty Meals
If you’re eating a lot of salty foods, you may find yourself feeling thirsty at night. This is because salt makes your body hold on to water. When your body holds on to water, you can feel bloated and uncomfortable.
If you’re eating a lot of salty foods, cut back and see if that helps with your nighttime thirst.
Some medical conditions that can cause increased thirst at night include:
- Diabetes: When you have diabetes, your body doesn’t process sugar correctly. This can lead to increased thirst and urination (1).
- Heart failure: When your heart isn’t pumping blood as well as it should, your body’s ability to regulate fluid levels may be compromised and you may have to restrict your water intake. This can sometimes cause increased thirst (18).
- Kidney disease: When your kidneys aren’t working properly, they may not be able to concentrate your urine appropriately. This can lead to increased thirst (7).
Consult your doctor if you’re constantly thirsty and have other symptoms that concern you.
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The Bottom Line
There is no evidence to support the claim that drinking water before bed will help you lose weight. In fact, it may lead to weight gain if it interrupts your sleep. If you’re trying to lose weight, the best time to drink water may be before meals and throughout the day.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- 3 Reasons Why You May Be Feeling Really Thirsty (2020, clevelandclinic.org)
- Acetic acid upregulates the expression of genes for fatty acid oxidation enzymes in liver to suppress body fat accumulation (2009, pubmed.gov)
- Does green tea affect postprandial glucose, insulin and satiety in healthy subjects: a randomized controlled trial (2010, pubmed.gov)
- Effects of grapefruit, grapefruit juice and water preloads on energy balance, weight loss, body composition, and cardiometabolic risk in free-living obese adults (2011, nih.gov)
- Ginger Water Reduces Body Weight Gain and Improves Energy Expenditure in Rats (2018, nih.gov)
- Glass of water before each meal could help in weight reduction (2015, sciencedaily.com)
- High Water Intake and Progression of Chronic Kidney Diseases (2015, nih.gov)
- Mechanisms of Body Weight Reduction by Black Tea Polyphenols (2016, nih.gov)
- Safety and side effects of apple vinegar intake and its effect on metabolic parameters and body weight: a systematic review (2020, pubmed.gov)
- Stress, cortisol, and obesity: a role for cortisol responsiveness in identifying individuals prone to obesity (2016, pubmed.gov)
- The Effect of Green Tea Extract on Fat Oxidation at Rest and during Exercise: Evidence of Efficacy and Proposed Mechanisms1 (2013, nih.gov)
- The effects of caffeine intake on weight loss: a systematic review and dos-response meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (2019, pubmed.gov)
- The effects of ginger intake on weight loss and metabolic profiles among overweight and obese subjects: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (2019, nih.gov)
- The effects of grapefruit on weight and insulin resistance: relationship to the metabolic syndrome (2006, pubmed.gov)
- The effects of green tea on weight loss and weight maintenance: a meta-analysis (2009, pubmed.gov)
- The impact of sleep deprivation on food desire in the human brain (2013, nih.gov)
- The importance of hydration (n.d., harvard.edu)
- Thirst in heart failure: a systematic literature review (2013, pubmed.gov)