Weight Loss Support - Need advice on water intake

View Full Version : Need advice on water intake

12-29-2006, 09:44 AM
I would love to increase my water intake....mind you any intake is better than what I used to do....which is avoid water altogether!

I find it so hard to get in all the water that I should be drinking. How do you all do it. I thought about adding some Crystal Light to make it easier to drink, and I will probably start doing that a little until I can get my intake up. I guess I just dont like plain water.....any advice to help me drink more???

12-29-2006, 10:11 AM
I think drinking water is something that grows on you. I never used to drink water, then I started buying gallon jugs of water but I lived in a 2nd floor apartment so I wasn't always eager to buy gallons of water. I started drinking tap water (ok yeah it wasn't the greatest) then I decided to go with a Pur water filter. I would drink other things to but I just started with the goal of drinking more water. Well as the years have gone by, I mainly drink water now or unsweetened tea. It has been a slow progression but I think water just takes getting used to.

12-29-2006, 10:11 AM
have you tried any of the flavored waters? my grocery store (harris teeter) has a store brand that is really good and not as expensive as some of the brand names. Doesn't replace water completely, but does make a nice change in the afternoons.

12-29-2006, 10:31 AM
It helps me if the water is cool--not really icy cold, but not room temperature either. It also helps to squeeze a wedge of lemon or lime into the water and drop it in--gives it some flavor.

I have a plan of 8 oz. every hour while I'm up. 8 oz. is not a big glass, just a medium one. That way I usually get enough during the day, even if a miss a couple of hours.


P.S. I try to drink a glass all at once instead of sipping at it. I don't like to drink water, so it helps to get it "over with."

12-29-2006, 10:55 AM
Water is over-rated. Drink tea, coffee, Crystal Lite, or diet sodas if you prefer. Diet juices can be nice too. Just be careful to watch that you don't start drinking alot of calories with your fluids. You get a significant amount of water from the food you eat as well. You don't have force down extra fluids in order to lose weight. Drink when you are actually thristy, and you'll be fine. (I will point out that once I started losing weight, I started being more thirsty than usual. Expecially when I started exercising regularily. Don't let yourself become dehydrated!)

Really, with all the stresses that comes about from running a calorie deficit, you don't need to stress yourself over something like water intake.

12-29-2006, 11:08 AM
Ack! Water is not over-rated! coffee and tea and even diet sodas will actually cause you more dehydration. These are nice things to have once in a while to break up the 'monotony' of water all the time, but water is REALLY important!

Your body needs the water in order to break down the fat cells. Your body needs water in order to function at a higher rate (which is what you're asking of it when you eat healthy, and excercise a bit).

Even if you weren't trying to lose weight, your body needs LOTS of water. My 14 year old brother complained constantly about his bad skin. I sat him down and told him i didn't expect him to change his eating habits, but i could guaruntee him that if he started drinking more water, (and i gave him a goal of how much he should try for in a day) that within 2 weeks he would notice a huge improvement. And i was right. As long as he keeps up his water intake, his skin blemishes have dramatically decreased, and even the few he does get now (the hormones are gonna get him no matter what at this point!) are not nearly as horrible red and nasty as the ones he used to get all over his face, neck, and back. He also found that he trimmed up quite a bit even in those first 2 weeks with an increased water intake.

Water is very important, and i'm glad your looking for ways to increase your intake. It might take you a while, but i really believe you'll get to liking it. The way it makes you feel, and the way it helps with weight loss.

I have a Brita Filter pitcher in my fridge, and keep it full all the time. At work i have a 1 litre bottle next to me, and usually go through about 3-4 of them a day. Once you get the hang of taking a drink every little while, it's second nature.

Try drinking at least a cup/ 8 ounces half an hour before each meal. Also try drinking a cup with each snack ( i know when i started doing this my intake of water skyrocketed. Sure i was just having grapes for a snack, but that water really went down nicely with them!)

And yes, adding a little crystal light (or the other no-name sugar free brands) are helpful. Try to use the ones made with splenda, or anything other than nutrisweet though! Also, do your best not to make flavoured waters and drinks your only source of 'water' either. But they are a nice change to plain water all the time, that's for sure. (I personally love the raspberry Ice flavour!)

If you wanted to lose weight, and not drastically change your diet, or lifestyle, drinking lots of water every day would actually give you results. Don't let anyone fool you. Water is very important!

12-29-2006, 01:25 PM
Water is important. Drinking exess water is not. http://www.snopes.com/medical/myths/8glasses.asp

12-29-2006, 01:41 PM
If you are eating a lot of raw fruits and veggies, that is an excellent way to get water without the glass! As a processed food culture, we have eliminated the natural waters in our diets (i.e. from fruits & veggies) so we now have this 8 glasses a day rule so our bodies continue to function properly.

If you are doing a lot of fresh fruits & veggies, don't beat yourself up about the water intake as much. But if you rely on lots of processed low calorie foods...better get in your water!

Something that helps me when drinking water is to remember that fat needs a "vehicle" out of your body...the water helps move it on out (sweat, and um, well use your imagination).

:carrot: Keep drinking and move that fat along!:hug:

12-29-2006, 01:57 PM
If nothing else water will fill you therefore making you less hungry. When I feel hungry or when I just want to eat something I have a glass of water first. If that doesn't take away the urge to eat, and most times it does, at least I've gotten another 10 ozs down me. I know for me personally and I'm sure everyone is different, the weeks where I drink a real lot, I lose more weight. I don't know if this is due to the water itself or the fullness factor so therefore I eat less or just plain old coincidence, but that's what I find.

What about carbonated waters and seltzer? Maybe give them a shot.

Just curious how much are you currently drinking?

12-29-2006, 02:14 PM
I find i drink a ton of warter If it's chilled and I drink it through a straw. When I was working I used an old sipper cup that I got from a fast food resaturant. I'd fill it up with cold water and before i knew it 32 ounces would be gone. Having this on my desk made my drink water without even thinking aobut it. When It got warm i'd just go back to the water cooler and fill it up with cold water.

12-29-2006, 02:22 PM
Staying hydrated IS important, no doubt. I am not anti-water and am not trying to discourage anyone from drinking water. We need to keep hydrated.

But do you know where the notion that we NEED at least 8 8oz glasses of water a day comes from?

No one does. There is no evidence that we need that much fluid IN WATER every day. Most of us get plenty through the food we eat and the other beverages we drink. Recent evidence also suggests that the notion that caffeinated beverages cause net water loss is also a myth.

Here's a link to a summary of an article from the American Journal of Physiology

Here's the first paragraph of the summary: "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."

At the end of the summary is the link to the actual research article as it appeared in the journal.

For people who really like to drink water, that's great! Drink up!

But for those of us who don't like it, rest assured, you are probably getting enough water in other ways.

12-29-2006, 02:51 PM
I'm split on the whole water thing- I think it is overrated. I doubt everybody is as chronically dehydrated as some people would make you out to believe. If my body "needed" the 8 glasses of water a day everybody was telling me I did, I'd most likely be dead by now!!

But, on the other hand, I do blieve that water has some terrific health benefits, as you can ask anybody who drinks a lot. Plus, it fills you up for zero calories. When I was a well-behaved teenager (well, on the water front anyway), I had much better skin then the majority of my peers and felt a lot less tired a lot of the time too. So, whilst your body doesn't need all that water, you'd probably be doing yourself a favour if you drank a little bit more.

Like some people have already suggested, adding a slice of lemon or lime makes water taste much better- it weird how much of a difference it can make. Also, make a habit of always having a glass beside you, as you'll be more likely to sip from this when you're thristy than going to find something else. Another great idea is to try and have a glass of water before you go to bed and when you wake up.

If water just isn't for you, herbal teas and juice watered down with sparkling water tend to be the next best thing for hydrating you without filling you up with useless chemicals and empty calories. But I DEFINITLY wouldn't reach for tea, coffee, cola or anything caffefinated if you are thirsty. If you are thirsty, you need hydration and caffefine will dehydrate you. Sure, drink them if you want them, but they're not useful for combatting thirst.

12-29-2006, 04:00 PM
I definitely reach for water when I get headaches. I have found that 90% of the time water will cure my headaches just as well as pain killers. Same with fatigue

I dont usually have a tough time getting my water except when I get busy. I fill 2 1-liter bottles every night and put them in the fridge. I dont drink anything else until they are gone and I make sure I reach for them first before I eat.

Frankly though I think on most days 8 glasses of water (64 oz) would seem like dehydration. I drink at least 6-8 pint glasses most days.

12-29-2006, 04:06 PM
Water is important. Drinking exess water is not. http://www.snopes.com/medical/myths/8glasses.asp

This link is talking about how much water is necessary to keep a body healthy. they're saying, taking the water from the *healthy* food you eat, you need 6 glasses a day to remain healthy. It is not talking about actively losing weight, or if you are excercising, or exerting yourself more than you usually would. In any of these cases, you will need MORE WATER for your body to perform it's job properly, without dehydrating, and storing water for fear of regular dehydration.

12-29-2006, 04:41 PM
This whole water debate is as old as the hills and a comman feature on this board.

Water is important. It keeps your body moving, it hydrates you (and does good things to your skin!), helps reduce bloating and flushes excess toxins out of your system. How much you drink is up to you. I don't agree or disagree with the 8 glasses a day thing, I actually feel better/less bloated the more water I drink and aim for 2 liters a day, I can sometimes manage 3 but any more than that and you might aswell just move my desk into the bathroom :dizzy:. Like I said though, there is no written in stone rule about how much you should drink, it's up to the individual. If you are exercising regularly though you do need to think about replacing lost fluids.

I must, however, disagree with the notion of replacing water with tea/coffee/fizzy drinks. Coffee and tea will dehydrate you more than hydrate you. Like Saoiree (god woman it took me a full minute to spell your name out :lol:)said, every now and again is good.

As for how to drink water, I agree with nelee that it is very much a time will tell thing. I used to hate drinking water. I started off buying those ProPel drinks and crystal light but ProPel was getting expensive (I drink a lot!) and crystal light inconvinient. I then moved onto squeezing lime or lemon juice into my water and now I can drink water plain. Infact, after working out I look forward to my water.

12-29-2006, 04:46 PM
Thanks everyone for all the replies. It has really helped me....not only to realize that I really do need to increase my intake, but how to do it.
Before I started this journey, I rarely drank any water at all, unless it was the summer time. During the summer I drink alot of water, but when the cold temperatures move in, it seems my water consumption goes down!

In the few days since I started, I have increased it so that I am drinking about 3 bottles of water a day. And for me thats alot.
For now, until I can keep drinking the water on a regular basis, I will probably add something to it to make it a little more appetizing!

Somewhere in my head I knew it was important, but actually practicing it is something completely different!!

12-29-2006, 05:16 PM
I must, however, disagree with the notion of replacing water with tea/coffee/fizzy drinks. Coffee and tea will dehydrate you more than hydrate you.

This seems to be an urban myth, too. I'm not sure there's any evidence that caffeinated drinks have a net negative effect on hydration. (I'd love to see some research if anyone knows it)

In fact, recent research suggests that caffeinated beverages do NOT significantly affect our hydration.

The article I linked to discusses an experiment in which men were given beverages with various levels of caffeine. Later, hydration was examined. There was no difference in the hydration levels for those who had caffeinated beverages and those who had not.

Here's a link to the abstract to THAT article, which appeared in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition in 2000. http://www.jacn.org/cgi/content/abstract/19/5/591?ijkey=fafa253c4a9e93f96a352cf8778377dbaef9d136&keytype2=tf_ipsecsha

The conclusion of this research is that: "advising people to disregard caffeinated beverages as part of the daily fluid intake is not substantiated by the results of this study". In other words, they found no evidence that caffeine significantly dehydrates us.

12-29-2006, 05:25 PM
I got curious about the effects of caffeine on hydration, and did a further literature search to see what the researchers have found.

An article from the Journal of Human Nutrition & Dietetics in DEC 2003 looks to be a good review, examining all the relevant literature from 1966-2002.
The link to the abstract is here: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/links/doi/10.1046%2Fj.1365-277X.2003.00477.x

They conclude the following:

"The available literature suggests that acute ingestion of caffeine in large doses (at least 250300 mg, equivalent to the amount found in 23 cups of coffee or 58 cups of tea) results in a short-term stimulation of urine output in individuals who have been deprived of caffeine for a period of days or weeks. A profound tolerance to the diuretic and other effects of caffeine develops, however, and the actions are much diminished in individuals who regularly consume tea or coffee. Doses of caffeine equivalent to the amount normally found in standard servings of tea, coffee and carbonated soft drinks appear to have no diuretic action."

In other words, drinking caffeinated beverages does NOT result in dehydration, except for a short term effect in people who do not regularly drink it.

12-29-2006, 05:48 PM
Wyllen, I'm not saying that your research is wrong, this is going on my own personal experience. I'm a long term tea and coffee drinker. When I drink only coffee (4+ cups a day) and don't drink much water, I generally pee more and feel dehydrated. When I don't drink much coffee (1 cup a day) and drink lots of water, sure I still pee a lot due to the water but I feel refreshed, vitalised, more energy. So based on my personal experience, I have to disagree with your findings, sorry.

I do get frustrated at times with this water debate. I feel there are two camps who are constantly rebuffing each other. It also bugs the heck out of me when I hear someone telling me what I am doing is the "wrong" thing when I know that it's been working for me for as long as I've been doing it ;). Which probably explains if I have come across as a little feisty.

12-29-2006, 06:19 PM
The conclusion of this research is that: "advising people to disregard caffeinated beverages as part of the daily fluid intake is not substantiated by the results of this study". In other words, they found no evidence that caffeine significantly dehydrates us.

This is the same thing I've been taught. All fluids count, even ones with caffeine in them.


12-29-2006, 06:23 PM
When I don't drink much coffee (1 cup a day) and drink lots of water, sure I still pee a lot due to the water but I feel refreshed, vitalised, more energy.

That could be a reaction to the caffeine that has nothing to do with its diuretic effects.

When I'm at work, I drink black tea, getting an extra 20-40 ounces of fluid on those days. On workdays, I am demonstrably better hydrated than on days I don't go to work.

That doesn't mean that everyone should drink lots of black tea. It's what works for me, so I'm the only one I'm talking about.


12-29-2006, 06:36 PM
No one said it's "wrong" to drink a lot of water. Just pointing out that updated, recent research shows that you don't usually need as much as some people try to tell you, and the suggestion for "8 glasses a day" has absolutely no scientific/medical basis (even doctors and researches have no idea where that particular suggestion originated).

The short answer is: there is no magic amount. Everyone is different. If you're eating foods that are filled with sodium and highly-processed junk, then you probably need more water than someone who is eating primarily whole grains, fruits, veggies, and lean meat and dairy because those with a less-processed diet incorporating more "whole" foods will naturally be getting more water from the foods they eat.

Technically, if your urine is a strong yellow color and has an odor, you're likely dehydrated. If your urine is clear or just very lightly colored, you're hydrated. It may take you 3 glasses of water a day or it may take you 20 glasses of water a day to be hydrated, but just judging by how you feel and by other physical signs (like Lynne and like Saoirsee's brother have experienced) is, IMO, the best indicator of how much water you should be drinking. You do not NEED extra water in order to lose weight--it certainly won't hurt, but it's not a requirement.

So, all of that said, you can see I'm on the "ignore everyone and do what works for you" side :p Personally, I drink about 3 liters of water every day in addition to any diet sodas or any other liquids (I don't drink coffee or tea, so my other liquids are really just diet soda and the skim milk in my smoothies). I DO NOT drink this amount because I feel it helps me lose weight, nor do I do it because someone told me it was a good amount. I do it almost accidentally, in fact, by keeping a 1-liter bottle of water on my desk at work all day. I drink nothing but water between breakfast and dinner, and it makes me feel good. Sodas make me feel full, so by drinking too many, I run the risk of not eating enough. Juice has way too many calories for me to be drinking all day, so I just drink water because it's a calorie-free beverage that doesn't have any negative side effects. I run to the bathroom quite a bit, but hey, it gives me an excuse to get up from my desk and move around for a minute every hour or two :)

And for what it's worth, I've seen research as Wyllenn has mentioned--that caffeinated beverages don't really dehydrate you. I saw a study (I'll be darned if I'm going to be able to find it now) that said that even in those who ARE affected by caffeine in a diuretic manner, they released less water as a result of the caffeine than the original caffeinated beverage had contained. So, if caffeine affects you (i.e., you're sensitive to it or consume it very sparingly), and you drink an 8-ounce caffeinated beverage, you would release less than 8 ounces of water as a result, so you still come out ahead.

12-29-2006, 06:44 PM
Hmm. That whole caffefine and dehydration thing is interesting. I swaer I saw some research somewhere that said otherwise, but may that was just some random thing which morphed itself into being research in my head over time. :P It's also interesting that caffefine has a more dehydrating effect on people who haven't had it in a long time - come to think of it, they only times I've felt dehydrated after coffee is when I've gone without for a while.

12-29-2006, 06:53 PM
The best rule I ever heard for water is...if your pee is the color (on average) of weak lemonade you are fine, if it is darker than that you need more water.

12-29-2006, 07:32 PM
Lynne -- By all means, I am not trying to say what you are doing is wrong. I initially responded to BarrieMomof2, who commented on the amount of water she "should" be drinking. I think many of us hear "water and only water" and feel guilty for not drinking enough of it.

Julie -- All that black tea may be good for you -- black and green teas are supposed to have excellent benefits (check out the "Superfoods Rx" book for more research on the topic.)

A number of people are commenting on the color of our urine telling us if we're dehydrated. That original article I linked to discussed this issue as well, also calling it a myth. I don't know much about it myself, but those researchers concluded that "the warning that dark urine reflects dehydration is alarmist and false in most instances." You could check out the original article for more info.

12-29-2006, 08:58 PM
HUGE debate! I think that advising 8 -10 glasses of water each day is an easy way to make someone think that they are indeed doing SOMETHING about their weight! I personally am concerned about my uric acid levels (high levels are associated with gout!!! And I'm far too young to have a gouty toe!!!) and my physician recommended increasing my water intake. Also, a nicely hydrated person has nice full veins! Your blood volume often depends on your hydration level, and my MD recommended that 12 hours before having bloodwork done, I should really drink alot of water as it makes it easier to draw blood. As a result of this advice, it occurred to me that higher hydration levels might make it easier to pump your blood through your system. Result? I drink lots of water. Wyllenn does have a good point, though - the question is "Does it have to be straight water? Does coffee count? Tea???" I think it might be a combo of diet marketing, diet DRINK marketing (sorry, Crystal-lite!), and "work of mouth" (urban legend territory?). I know my diet group leader said that to determine the amount of water you need, you should divide your weight by two. That equals the number of ounces you must drink each day. Divide this number by 8 to get the number of glasses you need. Round the number UP if it is not a whole number. Unless I can find a job I can do from the bathroom, I'll pass on that particular recommendation!!!

12-30-2006, 01:33 AM
Freiamaya brings up an excellent, excellent point. One of the ways to ward off an attack of gout is to drink a lot of water. Many of us here, myself included, are on high protein diets - okay here's another debate - which is directly linked to gout.

12-30-2006, 08:39 AM
My WW leader gave us the same formula for calculating our water intake (your weight, divided by two, and that's how many ounces you drink). I am all about the water, and I know when I stay on top of drinking all day, I DO lose weight faster, but dude... that much water? I would start having tides.

My husband has gone hiking on the Appalachian Trail (stupid skinny husband), and he drank the same amount of ounces every day to keep himself hydrated that _I_ was trying to drink to lose weight. That's with a full pack and a whole lot of exertion. So I don't know if little old me needs that much, really, but I do know that I sure feel better when I drink it! I try to get two or three liters in, depending on whether I've gone to the gym or not that day.

And in answer to BarrieMomof2's original question - the only way I can get my water in is to just keep a full bottle sitting next to me all day. If I do that, I don't even think about it and it gets drank. If I don't carry it around with me, I forget, and then I end up chugging at the end of the day and waking up a million times a night to pee.

And that just annoys the cat. So we can't have that. :D

12-30-2006, 03:02 PM
but dude... that much water? I would start having tides.

Thanks for that! I love it!

12-30-2006, 05:04 PM
To answer the original question, I used to hate water and would never drink it. When I stopped drinking sweet tea and found that diet sodas made me swell horribly, I started drinking water. I'm also a coffee addict and could go all 9 hours at work and have nothing at all to drink other than coffee. Now, when I get a cup of coffee, I get a cup of water. I don't allow myself to drink any of the coffee until the water is gone. It hasn't reduced my coffee intake (but I haven't tried to - I like coffee), but I drink water throughout the day. In the evenings, I only drink water. I have a filtered water dispenser in my fridge so it's very convenient. My husband, on the other hand, drinks little "straight" water, but drinks Crystal Light almost exclusively.

Good luck!

12-30-2006, 06:04 PM
I find the easiest way for me to drink my water is to keep at least a 1 liter bottle with me at all times. I try to drink 1 liter before lunch. Then I drink the other liter before bed time. Drinking a lot at once helps me too. I love to see the END of the bottle!