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Can the Japanese water therapy really help you lose weight? Here’s what science says

Updated on:1 February 2021, 10:22am IST
Japanese water therapy involves drinking lots of water, especially on an empty stomach, to aid good health and promote weight loss. But does it really work?
Geetika Sachdev
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Drinking water will eradicate bacteria from your system. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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If carbs, proteins and fat are an essential part of our lives, so is water. It is essential for survival and makes up up to 60% of our body. No wonder then that health experts advise us to drink at least eight to ten glasses of water every single day to flush out the toxins, and ensure the smooth functioning of the body. 

There are some who suggest starting your day with a glass of warm water with lime and honey because it kick starts metabolism. And in fact, reports suggest that the Japanese consider this morning ritual ‘sacred’. This is part of something called the Japanese water therapy that has become popular in the last few years, and claims to help with weight loss and improved gut health. 

What is Japanese water therapy?

The practice, as the name suggests, advocates the use of water in daily life to regulate your health. As we know, most illnesses begin with an unhealthy gut. In the same manner, Japanese water therapy works by cleansing your stomach, and improving the digestive system. It involves drinking water right after waking up early in the morning, because this is the period that’s considered most effective. It only is supposed to help with weight loss, but can also be helpful in treating other illnesses.

Japanese water therapy is that one move that will promote weight loss like no other. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

But there’s one important thing to remember: room-temperature water is used for this practice. The Japanese believe that cold water is harmful for health, because it causes fats and oils in your food to harden in your digestive tract. This, in turn, disturbs digestion and causes several diseases. 

Here’s how you can follow the Japanese water therapy 

Make sure to follow these steps when you go for Japanese water therapy: 

  • Drink four to five glasses of room-temperature water on an empty stomach, upon waking up and before brushing your teeth. Wait for another 45 minutes before you eat breakfast. 
  • When you eat a meal, do not prolong it for more than 15 minutes. Then wait for another two hours, before eating or drinking anything else. 
  • Elderly people who have pre-existing health conditions or even those who just started out with this practice should start with one glass of water, and then increase the number of glasses. 
  • If you are unable to have all four to five glasses of water at a point, then wait for a few hours between each glass of water. 

The practice also recommends people to walk quietly every day for at least 30 minutes. Also, every night, before hitting the sack, gargle at least 4-5 times with warm water mixed with salt. Lastly, do not eat or drink anything, while standing, because it causes problems in the digestion process. 

Does it help with weight loss?

It is believed that drinking more water during the day leaves you with a satiated feeling, thereby helping you curb cravings and overeating. A small study conducted on adults showed that those with excess weight who had 500 ml of water every 30 minutes before a meal ate 13% less food than adults, who didn’t do the same.

There’s another study that shows that drinking water can significantly increase resting energy expenditure, which is the base number of calories your body burns at rest.

Chug down that glass of water if you want to lose those inches. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Similarly, when you replace sugary drinks with water, you reduce your overall calorie intake that helps with weight loss. 

Yet, there are some studies that show that hydration has really no drastic effects on weight loss. It is believed that although this could help with initial shedding of kilos, it won’t really be effective in the long run. 

But all in all, water does help to clear the digestive system, improve gut health, prevent constipation, and lowers your risk of type 2 diabetes, cancer, and high BP. There is no scientific evidence to prove the same though. 

Potential side effects of Japanese water therapy 

If you do the Japanese water therapy, make sure to be careful about water intoxication or overhydration. It is a phenomenon that occurs when you drink excess water in a short period of time, and is triggered by hyponatremia or low salt levels in your blood. It is a serious condition that can also cause death. 

Do not have more than four cups of water every hour, because this is the amount your kidneys can handle at a point. 

All in all, there’s no harm going for Japanese water therapy, but do it at your own risk. There really is no scientific evidence to prove that it works! 

Geetika Sachdev Geetika Sachdev

An independent writer and journalist, Geetika loves sharp and fresh humour, just like her coffee! If not writing, you'll find her cafe-hopping and raiding the best book stores in town.