London, July 13 (IANS) Looking for ways to shed those extra kilos around your waistline? Worry not, according to a study, drinking water along with a meal can fill the stomach and signal the brain to stop eating.
The findings showed that the brain listens to the stomach during eating.
Drinking more water can alter messages from the stomach which can be interpreted as fullness by the brain.
Further, intake of water along with a meal can increase stomach distension, curb appetite in the short term as well as increase the regional brain activity.
This means anyone who is looking to lose weight or cut down on eating would benefit from a large drink with their meals.
For the study, the team collected data from 19 participants during two separate sessions with different consumption procedures.
In the experiment, participants drank a milk-shake on an empty stomach, which was followed by a small (50 mL) or large glass of water (350 mL).
The large glass of water doubled the content in the stomach compared to the small glass. Those who drank the large glass also felt less hungry and felt fuller.
The real time data of the brain, the stomach, and people's feelings of satiety was measured simultaneously during the meal.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) images were used to see how the different amounts of water affected stretching of the stomach -- the large glass of water doubled the stomach content compared to the small glass.
"Combining these types of measurements is difficult, because MRI scanners are usually set-up to perform only one type of scan," said lead author Guido Camps from Wageningen University in the Netherlands.
"We've been able to very quickly switch the scanner from one functionality to another to do this type of research," Camps added.
This new research approach can be used to investigate the interplay between satiety feelings, volume of the stomach and activity in the brain, the researchers suggested.
The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior, held in Portugal.