Many people actually wonder if drinking large amounts of water on a recurring basis can cause you to gain fat.

Certainly, drinking a lot of water over a short period of time can make you feel bloated and heavy in the middle.

Maybe this is what causes some people to wonder if fat cells can be made bigger by water intake.

Water contains zero calories. It’s the stuff that doctors urge people to drink a lot of for weight loss, yet people think it could ADD fat too.

Where did the idea ever come from that drinking “too much” water can cause one to gain fat? Who knows, but here is some data…

If you drink way too much water, you’ll get what’s called water intoxication. It can be life threatening, and in fact, people have died from this.

If you drink 16 ounces of water all at once, your weight will be 16 ounces heavier than what it was prior.

That’s water weight, even if you feel bloated and even if you can see your belly sticking out a little more (from the fluid).

“NO, you cannot gain fat by drinking water,” says Susan L. Besser, MD, with Mercy Medical Center, Baltimore, and Diplomate American Board of Obesity Medicine and board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine.

Dr. Besser continues, “You may gain weight, temporarily (water weight), but as soon as you get rid of the extra water, the weight goes away.  Water has NO CALORIES; it can’t be converted to fat (or anything else).”

The more water you drink, the more you must urinate. Your body is very efficient at managing water intake – up to a point.

Death, not Fat, by Water

There are rare cases in which a person drinks enormous amounts of water over a very short period of time and dies because of this.

No matter how much water you drink, it will have zero effect on your fat cells, in that it will not increase the volume of fat.

Drinking a ton of water will not indirectly cause fat gain, either.

But what makes someone drink enough H20 to die?

One such case was a high school football player who felt that drinking two gallons of water would alleviate his cramps.

Another was a woman who drank two gallons as part of a radio station contest.

A third person was a college man who drank too much water during fraternity initiation.

Excess water as in these cases causes cells to swell with fluid, which can lead to swelling in the brain and then brain death.

No amount of water causes fat gain.

Have you ever heard of a doctor or nutritionist telling a skinny person who wants to gain weight to drink more water?

Dr. Besser provides comprehensive family care, treating common and acute primary conditions like diabetes and hypertension. Her ongoing approach allows her the opportunity to provide accurate and critical diagnoses of more complex conditions and disorders.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.  



Top image: Shutterstock/Jasminko Ibrakovic
Sources: Can You Gain Fat Drinking a Lot of Water?