Does Water Have Calories?

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Water, the simplest and most essential of liquids, is often celebrated for its purity and nourishing properties.

While most of us know that water is calorie-free, the topic of water and its caloric content remains a subject of interest because there are so many different water products available.

In this article, we will talk about the science behind calories, discuss calorie content in water and water related products, and review the benefits of drinking water.

At the end, you’ll have a clearer understanding of why water is your best friend when it comes to hydration and a healthy lifestyle.

📌 Key Takeaways

  • A calorie is a unit of energy that is derived from food and beverages.
  • Water contains zero-calories (unless you choose flavored or protein waters).
  • Since water has zero calories it is an excellent choice to keep you hydrated and support a healthy lifestyle.

🔎 The Science of Calories

Defining a Calorie

So, what exactly is a calorie? You probably learned it some time in science class but since it’s probably been a while, here’s a review: Calories are units of energy derived from food and beverages.

Calories are then used by our bodies for fuel. Understanding how calories work is essential for managing our daily energy intake.

How Calories Are Typically Measured

Calories are measured through calorimetry. Calorimetry is a process where a substance is burned and the amount of heat generated by burning that substance is used to determine its energy or “calorie” content.

Measuring calories

Connection Between Calories and Energy

Calories are basically the energy for our bodies.

Without calories from food, our bodies wouldn’t have the necessary energy to perform daily tasks such as walking and talking to even more complex processes that happen automatically without us thinking about it (like digestion and activities on the cellular level).

When you think about it, it’s pretty cool what the human body does for us day to day!

🤔 Does Water Have Calories?

In this section, we will discuss whether calories exist in water and other water related products.

Plain Water

When it comes down to it, not all substances contain calories. In fact, water, as a pure and simple compound, does not contain calories.

This is because the caloric content of substances is directly related to the macronutrients they contain, such as carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

Water is composed of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom (H2O). It lacks the essential macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, fats) required to provide calories.

Carbonated Water

Carbonated water is an umbrella term for our fizzy water products, such as sparkling water, seltzer water, tonic water or club soda. All of these products contain dissolved carbon dioxide.

While most of these products are calorie free and may contain natural flavors or minerals, tonic water contains added sugars. Since it contains sugar, tonic water also contains calories.

Sparkling water

Fruit Infused or Flavored Waters

Some water products may be flavored with sugar or fruit concentrates. It is important to review the food labels of these water related products because they may be high in sugar or calories.

However, you can also make your own homemade fruit infused water with citrus fruits such as lemons or limes. These are very minimal in calories and the added fruit won’t make much of a difference when it comes down to overall calorie intake.

Protein Waters

There are some products out there called “protein water” that contain whey protein isolate. These products are commonly available due to the increasing popularity to consume protein.

Even though they contain protein, they are fairly low calorie because they are typically sweetened with sweeteners such as stevia.

🆚 Comparing Water to Other Beverages

Calories in Common Beverages

When we compare the caloric content of water with popular calorie-laden beverages like soda and juice it truly highlights the importance of making healthy drink choices.

Particularly if you’re trying to lose weight, limiting high calorie beverages can be an excellent way to springboard your weight loss. Replace these with water instead!

✅ The Benefits of Drinking Water

Water’s Role in Overall Health

Staying properly hydrated with calorie-free water is essential for maintaining overall health. It helps to regulate body temperature, supports digestion and helps eliminate waste products.

How much water should you drink for overall health? For most people drinking 8-12 cups of water per day is sufficient. However, it really depends on a multitude of factors.

To learn more about how much water you should be drinking visit this article.

Woman drinking cold water

The Importance of Water for Weight Loss

While plain water doesn’t automatically result in weight loss, it is a very valuable tool for those looking to lose weight.

This is because it can help you reduce caloric intake (particularly if you’re reducing consumption of high calorie beverages), supports physical activity and helps your body function at its best!

Not only that but when you’re dehydrated the same message is sent to your brain as when you’re hungry. So, sometimes, you may interpret your dehydration as hunger leading to excess eating.

Water is ultimately calorie-free, making it the optimal choice for hydration and supporting a healthy lifestyle.

📑 Conclusion

When we think of overall hydration, water is the simplest answer. Without a doubt, drinking water is what nourishes us, quenches our thirst and supports our well-being.

Not only is water calorie-free but its value in maintaining overall health and supporting weight management is incomparable. Make sure to drink you 8-12 cups of water per day!

❔ Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Water No Calories?

Water contains zero-calories because it does not contain any macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats).

What Food Has 0 Calories?

There are no foods that have zero calories. However, some foods that have minimal calories include fruits and vegetables.

How Many Calories Does Water Burn?

When you drink water, this does not burn significant calories to make a difference. However, since it has zero-calories it doesn’t contribute to daily calorie intake.

  • Roxanne Trotter
    MS, RDN

    Registered Dietitian Roxy, fueled by her love for food and wellness, tackles misinformation head-on. Her Master's in Human Nutrition and diverse experience (weight management, hospitals) equip her to translate complex health topics, especially those related to water quality. Through her own practice (Nutremedies LLC) and writing for Water Filter Guru, Roxy empowers readers with accurate, evidence-based information, helping them make informed choices for a healthier life, one sip at a time.

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