Fact-check: Japanese water therapy & weight loss

Fact-check: Japanese water therapy & weight loss

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Japanese water therapy & weight loss

While drinking water on an empty stomach can temporarily boost metabolismthere is insufficient scientific evidence to support the dubious weight loss claims made by advocates of Japanese water therapy.

In recent years, Japanese water therapy has gained popularity as a method for weight loss. Advocates claim that drinking water first thing in the morning on an empty stomach can boost metabolism, aid digestion, and promote weight loss. First Check delved into the scientific evidence to fact-check the weight loss claims and here’s what we found: While drinking water can temporarily boost metabolism, the effect is modest and it does not lead to significant weight loss on its own. 

“Japanese water therapy involves consuming four-six glasses (160 ml - 200 ml) of water at room temperature on an empty stomach, immediately upon waking up and before engaging in other activities such as eating or drinking coffee. It also encourages strict eating windows of 15 minutes, with long breaks between meals and snacks,” informs Debjani Gupta, nutrition and wellness expert from Mumbai, India. 

Proponents suggest that this practice jumpstarts the metabolism, flushes out toxins, and helps the body to function optimally throughout the day. It is also touted as a cure for a variety of conditions such as constipation, diabetes 2, hypertension and cancer. “A lot of these assertions have been overstated or lack scientific backing,” asserts Debjani.

An interesting study found that drinking water temporarily increased metabolic rate by 24-30 per cent in healthy men and women. However, this effect diminished shortly, after 30-40 minutes. The study also did not evaluate the long-term impact on weight loss.

Scientific research on the benefits of Japanese water therapy for weight loss is limited. Most studies examining the effects of water consumption on metabolism and weight loss focus on hydration’s general benefits rather than the specific timing advocated by Japanese water therapy.

Sustainable weight loss, Debjani maintains, requires a comprehensive approach involving balanced nutrition, regular physical activity, and lifestyle modifications. While staying hydrated is essential for overall health, relying solely on Japanese water therapy for weight loss is unlikely to yield significant results.

It’s also important to note that excessive water intake can lead to hyponatremia, a condition characterised by low sodium levels in the blood, which can be dangerous and even life-threatening.

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