Water is essential for life. Our bodies are composed of about 60% water. We need it to carry out basic bodily functions like regulating temperature, transporting nutrients, removing waste, and much more. With how important water is, many people wonder: does water have calories?
In this informative article, I will explain what calories are, discuss calories in food and drinks, outline the benefits of drinking water, look at types of waters that do contain calories, examine if water can help burn calories, and provide a summary on the calorie content of plain drinking water.
An Introduction to Calories
First, let’s cover the basics. What exactly are calories? Calories are units of energy found in food and drinks. They are measured to describe how much potential energy a food provides. When we eat and drink, our bodies break down calories and use them as fuel to keep us energized and power bodily functions.
The number of calories a food or drink contains indicates the amount of energy it provides. The key macronutrients that contain calories are carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Alcohol also provides calories.
Understanding calories is important for maintaining energy balance. We get calories from food and drinks and burn them off through exercise, digestion, breathing, circulating blood, and other bodily functions. The key is balance. Weight management depends on not consuming significantly more calories than your body uses.
Calories in Food and Drinks
Different foods and drinks contain different amounts of calories based on their macronutrient makeup. Fat provides 9 calories per gram, carbohydrates and protein both provide 4 calories per gram, and alcohol provides 7 calories per gram.
Foods higher in fat and sugar tend to be higher in calories. Examples include fried foods, desserts, pizza, burgers, and soft drinks. Foods with more protein and complex carbohydrates are lower in calories, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, lean protein, and whole grains.
When it comes to beverages, soda, juice, sports drinks, coffee drinks, and alcohol are high in calories while plain water contains no calories.
All About Water
Water is essential for survival. Our bodies depend on water to carry nutrients, remove waste, regulate temperature, provide moisturization, and keep tissues and organs functioning properly. Water helps digest food, absorb nutrients, and transport them around the body.
Medical experts recommend drinking about eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily, which equals around 2 liters, to stay hydrated. The exact amount needed varies by factors like age, physical activity level, and climate.
Water contains no fat, no carbohydrates, no protein, and no alcohol. Therefore, it provides zero calories for energy. Even though your body uses a minimal amount of energy to digest, absorb, transport, and eliminate water, the calorie expenditure is negligible.
Benefits of Drinking Water
Drinking plenty of water provides many benefits:
- Keeps you hydrated and prevents dehydration
- Promotes weight loss by increasing feelings of fullness
- Replaces high-calorie beverages and snacks
- Boosts mental and physical performance
- Helps maintain glowing skin and hair health
- Regulates body temperature and promotes comfort
Water is always accessible, calorie-free, and easy to obtain. There’s no simpler way to stay hydrated and healthy.
Water Types with Calories
While plain water contains zero calories, some types of water do contain minimal calories:
- Carbonated water has 0-5 calories per serving.
- Flavored water has about 5-30 calories per serving.
- Lemon water made with fresh lemon has approximately 10 calories per serving.
- Store-bought fruit-flavored water often has added sugars and 50+ calories per serving.
Check the nutrition label to be informed, but these types of waters have very low calorie contents compared to sports drinks, sodas, juices, etc.
Can Water Help Burn Calories?
Research shows drinking water can temporarily increase your metabolism and energy expenditure. Here are some of the ways water may help burn calories:
- Increases feelings of fullness and prevents overeating
- Replaces high-calorie beverages that add extra calories
- Boosts metabolism and fat burning for about an hour after drinking
- Helps the body eliminate toxins and byproducts that require energy to flush out
While the calorie burn is minimal, staying hydrated with water has comprehensive health benefits and supports maintaining a healthy weight when combined with diet and exercise.
Summary: Does Water Have Calories?
In conclusion, plain drinking water does not contain calories or macronutrients and therefore provides zero calories. Drinking water supports whole-body health, hydration, and weight management.
Some types of waters like carbonated, flavored, and lemon water contain very few calories. But they are still excellent low-calorie options compared to fruit juices, sports drinks, soda, and other beverages.
Water is the healthiest calorie-free drink option. Just be mindful of additives like sugars when choosing store-bought flavored waters. Otherwise, feel confident knowing regular water has no calories while improving your overall health.
Hi, I’m Ben Holland. I love cooking, traveling, and spending time with my family! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes, travel tips, and stories about my adventures with my wife and kids.