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Old 07-24-2007, 03:55 PM   #1
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Default How much water should I be drinking?

Hi all, just a quick health question here. I know that drinking lots of water is good for you and can speed the weight loss process, but how much water should I be drinking? Weight Watchers recommends "6 servings" a day... is that 6 8-0z servings? I drink water by the pint (ie a regular bottle of Poland Spring)... how many pints a day should I be drinking? I've looked on the web but answers are vague and often vary.

Thanks in advance for your feedback!!

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Old 07-24-2007, 04:52 PM   #2
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My fitness instructor told me to divide my body weight in half and that's how many ounces I should drink a day.

I have done that plus no longer drinks sodas or coffee. Not even diet sodas and am losing an additional pound a week. I went from 1.3 lbs a week to 2.3 just with drinking water. It's a slow process but I have lost 16 lbs in about 3 months. So it works for me.
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Old 07-24-2007, 06:07 PM   #3
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Staying hydrated is very important. However, it seems that a lot of the advice floating around out there isn't based on any evidence. The idea that we need 8 8 ounce glasses of water a day (or more) seems to be a myth.


According to researchers at the Dartmouth Medical School:
It has become accepted wisdom: "Drink at least eight glasses of water a day!" Not necessarily, says DMS physician Heinz Valtin, MD. The universal advice that has made guzzling water a national pastime is more urban myth than medical dogma and appears to lack scientific proof, he found.


As this link suggests, when researchers actually studied how this advice originated, they couldn't tell!


Valtin thinks the notion may have started when the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council recommended approximately "1 milliliter of water for each calorie of food," which would amount to roughly two to two-and-a-half quarts per day (64 to 80 ounces). Although in its next sentence, the Board stated "most of this quantity is contained in prepared foods," that last sentence may have been missed, so that the recommendation was erroneously interpreted as how much water one should drink each day.


Then the research began on how much people DO need:

He found no scientific studies in support of 8 x 8. Rather, surveys of fluid intake on healthy adults of both genders, published as peer-reviewed documents, strongly suggest that such large amounts are not needed. His conclusion is supported by published studies showing that caffeinated drinks, such as most coffee, tea and soft drinks, may indeed be counted toward the daily total. He also points to the quantity of published experiments that attest to the capability of the human body for maintaining proper water balance.

The author stresses there may certainly be times when people need more water (when it's hot, when we exercise, or to prevent some disorders), but in terms of hydration purposes, "he concludes that we are currently drinking enough and possibly even more than enough."

This research came out a few years ago, but has been subsequently backed up by additional research. From what I read, there is no scientific evidence we need to drink lots and lots of water. We get lots of fluids in what we eat, and in all forms of beverage (including caffeinated ones -- this has been researched recently as well).

So, if you like drinking water, or find it helpful for other reasons, then by all means keep drinking! But there seems to be no need to worry we are not getting enough for hydration!

I haven't seen any evidence that water itself assists weight loss -- if anyone knows of any, I'd love to see it.
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Old 07-24-2007, 07:49 PM   #4
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Maybe it's the placebo effect, but I ALWAYS lose more weight if I stop drinking diet coke and replace it with water. I don't know if it is because diet coke is evil (IMHO) or because it is the water. Drinking water - unless you have a disorder called polydipsia which is an obsession to drink a LOT of water/fluids, enough to kill you - can't hurt you. It is a calorie-free way to fill up!

My Doc says if your urine is pretty clear, then you are drinking enough. If it's really concentrated, then you need to drink more.

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Old 07-24-2007, 08:58 PM   #5
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I drink a lot of water. I go more by how I feel than any guidelines. If I'm sweating a lot I drink more. I've learned to add some other stuff to my water, especially if I'm sweating. Juice or Gatorade. Otherwise I start craving salty junk food.

I think Diet Coke is evil too. When I stopped drinking it 2 things happened. First, I stopped craving sweets as much and 2nd - for whatever reason my night vision improved. Don't know about that one, there doesn't seem to be any reason for it to affect my vision. Must be how my body reacts to the artificial sweetener. I did drink regular coke for awhile, but have given that up too.
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Old 07-25-2007, 12:50 AM   #6
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I drink around 6 to 8 liters per day. 1/2 liter is 16.9oz so saz my deerpark bottle in front of me.
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Old 07-25-2007, 01:26 AM   #7
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Drinking too much water is possible. Not common, but possible (my mother was hospitalized for water intoxication because drinking a gallon of liquids a day diluted her blood to dangerous levels. She was hospitalized for a week as they tried to get her blood levels back to normal, and the water poisioning caused permanent kidney damage). If you are on a blood pressure medication, or any medication that might affect your sodium level, you are at a much greater risk for water intoxication.

There's no evidence that larger people require larger amounts of water than thinner people. In fact, heavier people are more likely to be on blood pressure medications and other medications that can affece kidney function and electrolyte levels. If you want to drink more than 3 liters a day, discuss this with a doctor first.
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Old 07-25-2007, 03:23 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luja View Post
My Doc says if your urine is pretty clear, then you are drinking enough. If it's really concentrated, then you need to drink more.
My old doctor said the same thing, so I go by this. I drink anywhere from 90-135 ounces of water a day, depending on how much exercise I do and how thirsty I am. I do include caffeine free drinks as part of my water intake (Crystal Light, Totally Light 2 Go beverages, etc). I don't have much caffeine (once in a blue moon, some chocolate with TOM), as it makes my heart race if I consume too much of it.
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Old 07-25-2007, 03:34 AM   #9
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Caffeinated beverages, should be counted in your fluid intake. Part of the reason mom was drinking so much is her WW leader told the group that coffee didn't count towards their water total and they should drink an extra 8 - 12 oz of water for every 8 oz of coffee. This is hogwash. If you use caffein regularly, the diuretic effect disappears or diminishes, and even if you've never had caffeine in your life, a cup of coffee is going to be nearly equivalent to a cup of water.
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Old 07-25-2007, 11:32 AM   #10
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My WW leader told us the same thing. I've given up on caffeine for the most part, but not for anything water related. I just don't have as strong of a desire for it as I used to. When I drank Diet Coke I would really crave caffeine. Or maybe I was craving something else and thought it was caffeine. Once I gave that up the craving went away and I didn't really get any headaches or other symptoms of withdrawal.
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Old 07-25-2007, 12:04 PM   #11
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Yeah I should say that I work outside and I sweat a lot so I depleat my body often. I also tend to drink room temp water as it doesn't shock my system like cold water will.
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Old 07-25-2007, 01:57 PM   #12
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My mom's kidney specialist pointed out that if you truly needed to drink an extra cup of water to "compensate" for caffeinated beverages, people who drink no beverage except coffee would die of dehydration (they don't).

Even dilute alcoholic beverages like beer and wine contribute more water than they take away - NOT that these should be your first (second or third) choice to satisfy thirst.

I gave up caffeine and artificial sweeteners for a year, but when a doctor suggested that I try adding caffeine back in to treat my fibromyalgia related fatigue before trying prescription medication, I added caffeinated beverages back in. I think for me, it actually helps with appetite control, as I don't confuse fatigue with hunger anymore.
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Old 07-25-2007, 06:55 PM   #13
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I was thinking about this water thing today. I think some of us (not all for sure) who weight a lot confuse thirst with hunger. I've started having a glass of water when I THINK I am hungry to see if I am really hungry or just thirsty. I haven't listened to my body for so long I have no idea what it is saying. If I am still hungry in 10-15 minutes, then I think about food. Turns out a lot of the time I am just thirsty! I suppose the trick is to learn to listen to what one's body is really asking for.
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Old 07-25-2007, 08:54 PM   #14
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Luja, I've had the same experience. I've been trying to make sure I simply drink enough so that I'm not thirsty, and that has actually shown me that I probably wasn't drinking enough before. I know (and I'm glad to know) that I don't necessarily need 64 oz. a day, but I'm also pretty sure that I did tend, like you, to eat when I was thirsty.
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Old 07-25-2007, 09:53 PM   #15
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Bless you Wyllenn for posting that. I can't tell you how many weight loss websites I have visited where there is a group of "water police" that make you feel like if you're not drinking 100 ounces a day, you may as well give up trying to lose weight and just eat spoonfuls of sugar.

Now if we could just get rid of the old wives tale that soda, diet or regular, is full of sodium and makes you retain water, I could live happily ever after. If I had a dollar for every time I've read how some poster didn't lose weight one week because they were retaining water from all the sodium in the diet cola they've been drinking, I'd be skinny and rich and living on my own island somewhere.
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