It’s no secret that gulping down plenty of water can boost your energy, clear your complexion, and help you resist the urge to snack. (And those aren’t the only benefits of hydration!) But for those worried about packing on the pounds, it could also do wonders for your waistline.
Drinking ice-cold water helps you burn more calories throughout the day, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. Researchers randomly assigned participants to drink 8 ounces of distilled, saline, sucrose, or ice-cold water on different days. Then, they measured each subject’s resting energy expenditure.
Those who drank the ice-cold water burned up to 7 calories per glass, the researchers reported. Here’s why: Ingesting chilly water requires your body to work even harder to warm itself back up. As a result, the energy required to regain your normal body temperature burns a few extra calories per glass.
While that might not seem like much at first, the calories can add up quickly. Just do the math! Drinking 10 cold glasses of water a day for one week burns 490 calories. That’s the equivalent of losing 7 pounds in one year—and all you had to do was stay hydrated. Here are even more ways your body changes when you start drinking enough water.
The Food and Nutrition Board recommends that men drink 3.7 liters of water and women drink 2.7 liters of water each day. But watch out for the signs you’re drinking too much water—because yes, there can be too much of a good thing.
Of course, when you’re aiming to drop a few sizes, every bit of calorie burn counts. Yet experts warn that drinking ice-cold water shouldn’t be the first priority in your weight-loss journey. “In the big picture, it has no significance at all,” dietitian Andy Bellatti, MS, RD told INSIDER. “I think it’s something that is a waste of time for people to think about.”
If you want to change the number on the scale, experts recommend complementing your water intake with a healthy diet and plenty of exercise. And don’t forget these 42 fast, easy tips for weight loss.