Everything You Need to Know About Japanese Water Therapy

by Marixie Ann Obsioma
Published on February 3, 2021

Since time immemorial, you must have heard that the hydration method for shedding unwanted fat from the body results in clean energy in the body. Water is the main solvent that perpetuates metabolism and assimilation of vitamins and minerals in the body. Water also flushes out the toxins accumulated in the blood. It is an essential element which helps in the proper functioning of the body. This mechanism of water therapy also cures ailments like throat diseases, bronchitis, palpitations, epilepsy, endocrine disorders and constipation apart from fighting obesity.

What is Water Therapy?

Water is known to play a vital role in performing all the functions of the body. It is of paramount importance that the body’s water reserve is continuously replenished to spontaneously enjoy a host of other benefits. It is important to know that the quantity of water to be consumed should be half the person’s body weight. Water therapy demands one and a half liters of water to be drunk immediately after waking up in the morning, and following a proper schedule of drinking water before brushing your teeth and drinking one’s morning beverage after 45 minutes. You must also ensure that nothing is consumed for at least two hours after every meal.

What Are the Health Benefits of Water Therapy?

1. It Improves Physical Performance

If you don’t stay hydrated, your physical performance can suffer. This is particularly important during intense exercise or high heat.

Dehydration can have a noticeable effect if you lose as little as 2% of your body’s water content. 

However, it isn’t uncommon for athletes to lose as much as 6–10% of their water weight via sweat (1, 2).

This can lead to altered body temperature control, reduced motivation, and increased fatigue. It can also make exercise feel much more difficult, both physically and mentally (3).

Optimal hydration has been shown to prevent this from happening, and it may even reduce the oxidative stress that occurs during high intensity exercise. This isn’t surprising when you consider that muscle is about 80% water (4, 5).

If you exercise intensely and tend to sweat, staying hydrated can help you perform at your absolute best.

2. It Forms Saliva and Mucus

Saliva helps us digest our food and keeps the mouth, nose, and eyes moist. This prevents friction and damage. Drinking water also keeps the mouth clean. Consumed instead of sweetened beverages, it can also reduce tooth decay.

3. It Cushions the Brain, Spinal Cord, and Other Sensitive Tissues

Dehydration can affect brain structure and function. It is also involved in the production of hormones and neurotransmitters. Prolonged dehydration can lead to problems with thinking and reasoning.

4. It Regulates Body Temperature

Water that is stored in the middle layers of the skin comes to the skin’s surface as sweat when the body heats up. As it evaporates, it cools the body. In sport.

Some scientists have suggested that when there is too little water in the body, heat storage increases and the individual is less able to tolerate heat strain (6).

Having a lot of water in the body may reduce physical strain if heat stress occurs during exercise. However, more research is needed into these effects.

5. It Delivers Oxygen Throughout the Body

Blood is more than 90 percent water, and blood carries oxygen to different parts of the body.

6. It Significantly Affects Energy Levels and Brain Function

Your brain is strongly influenced by your hydration status.

Studies show that even mild dehydration, such as the loss of 1–3% of body weight, can impair many aspects of brain function.

In a study in young women, researchers found that fluid loss of 1.4% after exercise impaired both mood and concentration. It also increased the frequency of headaches (7).

Many members of this same research team conducted a similar study in young men. They found that fluid loss of 1.6% was detrimental to working memory and increased feelings of anxiety and fatigue (8).

A fluid loss of 1–3% equals about 1.5–4.5 pounds of body weight loss for a person weighing 150 pounds. This can easily occur through normal daily activities, let alone during exercise or high heat.

Many other studies, with subjects ranging from children to older adults, have shown that mild dehydration can impair mood, memory, and brain performance (9, 10, 11).

7. It Supports the Digestive System 

The bowel needs water to work properly. Dehydration can lead to digestive problems, constipation, and an overly acidic stomach. This increases the risk of heartburn and stomach ulcers.

8. It Flushes Body Waste

Water is needed in the processes of sweating and removal of urine and feces.

9. It Helps Maintain Blood Pressure

A lack of water can cause blood to become thicker, increasing blood pressure.

10. The Airways Need It

When dehydrated, airways are restricted by the body in an effort to minimize water loss. This can make asthma and allergies worse.

11. It Makes Minerals and Nutrients Accessible

These dissolve in water, which makes it possible for them to reach different parts of the body.

12. It Prevents and Treats Headaches

Dehydration can trigger headaches and migraine in some individuals (12, 13).

Research has shown that a headache is one of the most common symptoms of dehydration. For example, a study in 393 people found that 40% of the participants experienced a headache as a result of dehydration (14).

What’s more, some studies have shown that drinking water can help relieve headaches in those who experience frequent headaches.

A study in 102 men found that drinking an additional 1.5 liters of water per day resulted in significant improvements on the Migraine-Specific Quality of Life scale, a scoring system for migraine symptoms (15).

Plus, 47% of the men who drank more water reported headache improvement, while only 25% of the men in the control group reported this effect (15).

However, not all studies agree, and researchers have concluded that because of the lack of high quality studies, more research is needed to confirm how increasing hydration may help improve headache symptoms and decrease headache frequency (16).

13. It Relieves Constipation 

Constipation is a common problem that’s characterized by infrequent bowel movements and difficulty passing stool.

Increasing fluid intake is often recommended as a part of the treatment protocol, and there’s some evidence to back this up.

Low water consumption appears to be a risk factor for constipation in both younger and older individuals (17, 18).

Increasing hydration may help decrease constipation.

Mineral water may be a particularly beneficial beverage for those with constipation.

Studies have shown that mineral water that’s rich in magnesium and sodium improves bowel movement frequency and consistency in people with constipation (19).

14. It Helpful with Kidney Stones

Urinary stones are painful clumps of mineral crystal that form in the urinary system.

The most common form is kidney stones, which form in the kidneys.

There’s limited evidence that water intake can help prevent recurrence in people who have previously gotten kidney stones (20, 21).

Higher fluid intake increases the volume of urine passing through the kidneys. This dilutes the concentration of minerals, so they’re less likely to crystallize and form clumps.

Water may also help prevent the initial formation of stones, but studies are required to confirm this.

15. It Reduces the Chance of A Hangover

When partying, unsweetened soda water with ice and lemon alternated with alcoholic drinks can help prevent overconsumption of alcohol.

16. It Strengthens Immune System 

A strong immune system will keep you safe from various diseases and prevent you from falling sick as often. Thus, when you drink water on an empty stomach, it helps the body in flushing and balancing the lymphatic system, which leads to increased levels of immunity.

17. It Prevents Heartburn

You suffer from heartburn when increased amounts of acidity in your stomach, refluxes into your esophagus. Drinking water on an empty stomach pushes down these acids and dilutes them, thereby solving the problem and providing a head start for your stomach for breakfast.

Water Therapy and Weight Loss

Few scientific studies have been conducted on Japanese water therapy specifically, and the weight loss evidence for similar patterns of water consumption is mixed.

That said, the hydration component of water therapy may aid weight loss.

Keep in mind that many other factors are at play, such as your overall diet quality and exercise levels.

Hydration Supports Weight Loss

Drinking more water may have a filling effect, as water takes up space in your stomach. In turn, it may prevent cravings and overeating that may otherwise contribute to unwanted weight gain (22).

One study found that adults with excess weight or obesity who drank 500 mL of water 30 minutes before a meal ate 13% less food than adults who didn’t drink fluids before eating (23). Another study in moderate-weight men produced similar results (24).

What’s more, one review found that drinking water significantly increases resting energy expenditure (REE) in adults. REE refers to the base number of calories your body burns while at rest (25).

Lastly, its 15-minute eating windows and breaks between meals and snacks may further reduce calorie intake.

How to Do Japanese Water Therapy? 

To do the Japanese Water Therapy, you must follow the following steps:

Step 1: As soon as you wake up, drink four glasses of lukewarm or room temperature water; 160 ml each. You can squeeze a lemon to flavor it. Remember, you must drink on an empty stomach.

Step 2: Brush your teeth, thereafter, but don’t eat or drink anything for 45 minutes.

Step 3: Once the time has passed, you can eat and drink as per your normal routine.

Step 4: Drink water at least thirty minutes before eating anything, but not during the two hours following your breakfast, lunch and dinner.

What is the Preferred Temperature of Drinking Water for Weight Loss?

Cold water therapy for weight loss is considered to be very effective as the body has to make extra effort to warm it. But generally speaking, water between 50 and 72 degrees re-hydrates the body quickly because the process of absorption works faster. It is difficult to ascertain cold, or room temperature water is better for the body, but the final opinion is that drinking water is essential to keep the body hydrated regardless of the temperature. Whichever temperature makes a person feel encouraged to drink water should be preferred.

Other Tips to Drinking Water for Weight Loss

1. When You Wake Up, Consume One to Two Cups of Water

Rather than a bleary-eyed reach for the coffee, drink one to two cups of water first. Because you don’t drink while you’re sleeping, you wake up already dehydrated. Having water now can get you back up to your baseline. This can also help if you take medication in the morning. Then, yes, go get your coffee. The good news is that it counts as fluid, too, and, although it is a caffeinated drink, which tends to be dehydrating, moderate amounts of java are not dehydrating, according to a small, previous study in 50 men.

2. To Regulate Hunger, a Glass of Water before a Meal May Help

Water may play a role in weight management. Drinking a cup of water before a meal can help you feel fuller and help prevent overeating. Indeed, a small study found that drinking water before a meal helped men and women eat less and feel just as satisfied as a group who didn’t drink water before. Researchers published their findings in October 2018 in the journal Clinical Nutrition Research.

It may also be better if it’s iced. A small study on men in the European Journal of Nutrition in January 2019 found that participants who drank two cups of iced water at 35 degrees F ate less food compared with groups that drank warm or hot water, as the chilly temp slows digestion and may help reduce appetite.

3. Have a Glass of Water to Help Wash Down a Meal

Drinking water with food aids digestion. Water is especially important to drink alongside high-fiber foods. Fiber moves through your digestive system and absorbs water, helping form stools and promote regularity, she says. So if you’re packing your plate with plant-based foods as you should, sip on water, too.

4. Rather Than Reaching for Coffee to Cure a Mid Afternoon Slump, Drink Water

It’s common to experience the midafternoon dip, a downward slide of energy that happens around 3 p.m. This slump compels many people to get coffee to power through the end of the day, but this beverage choice can cut into your sleep. Even drinking caffeine six hours before bed was found to disrupt sleep compared with a placebo, concludes past research. Reaching for a sugary snack can have similarly unwelcome effects: namely, an energy crash after a spike. Instead of turning to these imperfect solutions, address the root cause, which may be dehydration. A review published in Nutrients in January 2019 notes that in addition to fatigue, dehydration can cause anger, hostility, confusion, and depression. Thus, making water a daily habit can help ensure your energy and mood.

5. Hydrate Smartly Before, During, and After Exercise

Hydrating begins a day or two before exercise. You also won’t want to slam water before a workout in hopes of hydrating up, which will likely lead to uncomfortable sloshing and bloating as you move. Make sure you’re drinking water regularly in the days leading up to a workout, particularly those that are tough or sweaty. In fact, according to Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, you should focus on a hydration strategy starting the week before an endurance race, as a November 2019 study in Sports Medicine shows that going into it dehydrated even by a small amount can decrease performance. For moderate workouts such as a jog outside, a speed walk in the morning, hopping on a recumbent bike, drink a cup of water about 30 minutes prior and sip during exercise. Then be sure to hydrate well after your workout is complete to replace what you’ve lost through sweat.

6. Have a Sip or Two of Water before Bedtime

Don’t drink a cup or two of water before bed. You’ll have to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, and that will disturb your sleep. However, go ahead and bring a glass of water to your bedside at night, just in case you get thirsty. Keeping water nearby can also be helpful. 

Are There Any Side Effects? 

Japanese water therapy is associated with potential side effects and precautions.

Water intoxication, or overhydration, can occur when you drink an excessive amount of water in a short period of time. It’s caused by hyponatremia or low salt levels in your blood due to salt being diluted by excessive fluid (26).

It’s a serious condition that can result in death, but it’s rare in healthy people whose kidneys are able to quickly get rid of excess fluid. People at increased risk of hyponatremia include those with kidney problems, endurance athletes, and people who abuse stimulant drugs (26).

To be safe, don’t drink more than about 4 cups or 1 liter of fluid per hour, as this is the maximum amount that a healthy person’s kidneys can handle at once.

Another downside of Japanese water therapy is that it can be excessively restrictive due to its guidelines on the timing of meals and eating within a 15-minute window.

If you’re trying to lose weight, excessive calorie restriction can lead to rebound weight gain after finishing the therapy. Restricting calories reduces the number of calories you burn at rest and causes spikes in the hormone ghrelin, which increases feelings of hunger (27, 28).

What’s more, there is a risk of overeating or eating too quickly within the allotted 15-minute eating windows, especially if you feel more hungry than normal by the time you’re able to eat. This can cause indigestion or lead to weight gain.

The Bottomline 

Japanese water therapy not only helps you to lose weight, but also has many other benefits such as improving your hair and skin making it radiant and glowing; giving relief from headaches and boosting immunity. 

So, make water therapy a part of your morning routine and reap everlasting benefits!

References: 

(1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5987390/

(2) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27710146/

(3) https://academic.oup.com/nutritionreviews/article/68/8/439/1841926

(4) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19344695/

(5) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4562569/

(6) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9694412/

(7) https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/142/2/382/4743487

(8) https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition/article/mild-dehydration-impairs-cognitive-performance-and-mood-of-men/3388AB36B8DF73E844C9AD19271A75BF/core-reader

(9) https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmolb.2016.00018/full

(10) https://www.researchgate.net/publication/224939328_Water_intake_and_post-exercise_cognitive_performance_An_observational_study_of_long-distance_walkers_and_runners

(11) https://journals.lww.com/acsm-healthfitness/Fulltext/2013/11000/The_Hydration_Equation__Update_on_Water_Balance.6.aspx

(12) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6282244/

(13) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6356561/

(14) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6282244/

(15) https://academic.oup.com/fampra/article/29/4/370/492787

(16) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26200171/

(17) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4325863/

(18) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4604730/

(19) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5334415/

(20) https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD004292.pub3/full?cookiesEnabled

(21) http://www.inaactamedica.org/archives/2013/24448328.pdf

(22) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7025921/

(23) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2743119/

(24) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25893719/

(25) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4049052/

(26) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27803013/

(27) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27739007/

(28) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28481261/

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