J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2006 Sep;91(9):3598-602. Epub 2006 Jul 5.
Water-induced thermogenesis reconsidered: the effects of osmolality and water temperature on energy expenditure after drinking.
Brown CM1, Dulloo AG, Montani JP.
A recent study reported that drinking 500 ml of water causes a 30% increase in metabolic rate. If verified, this previously unrecognized thermogenic property of water would have important implications for weight-loss programs. However, the concept of a thermogenic effect of water is controversial because other studies have found that water drinking does not increase energy expenditure.
The objective of the study was to test whether water drinking has a thermogenic effect in humans and, furthermore, determine whether the response is influenced by osmolality or by water temperature.
This was a randomized, crossover design.
The study was conducted at a university physiology laboratory.
Participants included healthy young volunteer subjects.
Intervention included drinking 7.5 ml/kg body weight (approximately 518 ml) of distilled water or 0.9% saline or 7% sucrose solution (positive control) on different days. In a subgroup of subjects, responses to cold water (3 C) were tested.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:
Resting energy expenditure, assessed by indirect calorimetry for 30 min before and 90 min after the drinks, was measured.
Energy expenditure did not increase after drinking either distilled water (P = 0.34) or 0.9% saline (P = 0.33). Drinking the 7% sucrose solution significantly increased energy expenditure (P < 0.0001). Drinking water that had been cooled to 3 C caused a small increase in energy expenditure of 4.5% over 60 min (P < 0.01).
Drinking distilled water at room temperature did not increase energy expenditure. Cooling the water before drinking only stimulated a small thermogenic response, well below the theoretical energy cost of warming the water to body temperature. These results cast doubt on water as a thermogenic agent for the management of obesity.
PMID: 16822824 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
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