Should You Drink Water Before a Meal


What’s the one thing you can do to improve your skin, lose some weight, and energize your body? Believe it or not, it’s very simple, but it’s also something that most people take for granted or are unaware of all the benefits it can have. That one thing is – drinking water. It is said that drinking one glass of water before every meal can be beneficial, and not just because it takes up some space in your stomach.


In 2015, the results of a study conducted by a team of experts led by the NIHR Clinical Lecturer at the University of Birmingham, Dr. Helen Parretti, were published. They have shown that drinking 500ml of water half an hour before eating the main meal can help obese people with their weight loss program.

Research participants were obese older adults who were monitored over a period of 12 weeks. Each of them received weight management consultations, so they could improve their levels of physical activity and diet, as well as learn how to adapt their lifestyle. Forty-three of them were told to imagine their stomachs full before having a meal, while 41 were asked to drink 500ml (roughly 2 glasses) of plain, noncarbonated water half an hour before their meals. Those from the first group reportedly lost, on average, 2.87lbs (1.3kg) less than the participants who were instructed to preload with water. Over the 12 weeks, those who were asked to drink water before all three main meals in the day lost 8.48lbs (4.3kg), while those who only drank it once lost an average of 1.76lbs (0.8kg).

Benefits of Drinking Water before Main Meals

Skin improvement. Consuming enough water each day can help improve dry, rough skin that’s especially common during winter. The condition of your skin is worsened due to dehydration. During the cold winter months we don’t feel as thirsty as during summertime, but nonetheless should drink enough water, no matter what the weather is.

Energizing effects. Another important reason to drink more water is that it fuels your muscles. During your work at the gym, your muscles lose water through sweat. They become tired due to the lack of water, so drinking more of it can help you finish that final set of bench presses. By drinking water, the fluid balance of the body is maintained, and it is important for food digestion, regulation of body temperature, and transportation of nutrients through the body. Energy levels tend to drop, even in a case of slight dehydration. About 60% of the body is made of water, so it’s not hard to realize its importance for the proper functioning of almost every system in the body. Drink water regularly throughout the day, as well as before your meals.

Weight loss. As mentioned above, research from the University of Birmingham has shown the benefits of water for those who are trying to lose weight. Substituting water for caloric beverages is also very helpful for losing weight, while foods with high water content (which makes them look larger) are absorbed slower than other foods. It helps you eat less, but feel full.

Water helps your kidneys. Blood urea nitrogen is the main toxin in the body. Waste products such as this one are transported through body fluids in and out of cells. It is a water-soluble waste that passes through the kidneys and is excreted in the urine. As long as your fluid intake is adequate, your kidneys will be able to cleanse and rid your body of toxins. With enough fluids, urine is free of odor, light in color, and flows freely. Otherwise, the odor and color increases, because the extra fluid (needed for bodily functions) is trapped in the kidneys.

Simplicity is the foundation of these findings. Three pints of water before main meals each day can help you in various ways, from helping you to lose weight to reducing the risk of kidney stones and energizing your body. Along with a healthy diet and the right amount of physical activity, you’ll easily maintain your health and achieve fitness goals a bit faster. All in all, your body reacts naturally when it lacks in fluid. Water is life.

Samantha has a B.Sc. in nutrition, and has spent two years working as a personal trainer. Since then, she has embarked on a mission to conquer the blogosphere. You can read more of her posts at