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Drinking Water Has More Benefits Than You Think

Update Date: Jun 10, 2017 09:04 AM EDT

A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign revealed that people who increased their water consumption by one percent reduced their daily calorie intake as well as their consumption of sugar, fat, sodium, and cholesterol.

The study, published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietics, examined the dietary habits of more than 18,300 U.S. adults and found that those who consumed more plain water - tap water, bottle, or drinking fountain - reduced their total sodium intake by 78 to 235 milligrams and their total energy intake by 68 to 205 calories daily.

In addition, participants in the study also consumed five to 18 grams less sugar and decreased their cholesterol consumption by 7 to 21 milligrams daily.

"The impact of plain water intake on diet was similar across race/ethnicity, education and income levels and body weight status," Professor Ruopeng An wrote. "This finding indicates that it might be sufficient to design and deliver universal nutrition interventions and education campaigns that promote plain water consumption in replacement of beverages with calories in diverse population subgroups without profound concerns about message and strategy customization."

Throughout the study, Dr. An calculated the amount of plain water each participant consumed as a percentage of their daily dietary water intake from beverages and food combined. Drinks such as herbal tea, unsweetened black tea, and coffee were not counted as sources of plain water, however, their water content was included in his calculations of participants' total water consumption.

The Institute of Medicine recommends men to drink approximately 13 cups (3 liters) of water per day, while women are advised to drink 9 cups (2.2 liters) per day.

While water lacks nutritional value itself, it's been proven to promote weight loss, flush out toxins, maintain regularity, improve skin complexion, prevent cramps and sprains, and boost the immune system. 

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