LA Weight Loss - Drinking water...Have you ever heard this?

07-09-2007, 04:59 PM
I went to the doctor the other day and he asked me about my water intake. I told him that I drink at least 64 ounces a day and sometimes a little over. He said 64 ounces was good but not to drink over this amount unless I was actually thirsty due to working out, strenuous activity, etc. because you can over work your kidneys and if you do that, the water starts seeping into your tissues. I told him that I thought the more water you drink helps remove the retained water from your tissues. He looked at me like I was crazy.....and said it doesn't work like that. Your kidneys can only process so much liquid a day and it isn't good to over work them. He said drinking water would not remove excess retained fluid from my tissues unless I just wasn't drinking enough liquid throughout the day and was eating too much salt. He said if I continued to drink more that 64 ounces a day without being thirsty it would do more damage than good. Any thoughts?

07-09-2007, 05:09 PM
It's true! Your body can only absorb and process so much water before the tissues start drowning in it. Although it's rare, people do die from too much water consumption. Some doctors will also say to only drink water when you are thirsty. That however, does not mean drink soda, coffee, etc. instead. I drink that much water anyway because I always have to have something to drink next to me and I don't care for soda or other alternatives. Well, there's coffee. Some days I think I need to add blood to my coffeestream.

When I was pregnant with my daughter I had pre-ecampsia. I guess they just didn't know as much about it then as they do now. My kidneys shut down and the doctor's answer was for me to drink gallons of water. All of that water was not processing. EVERYTHING on me was swollen. My ankles and feet got bigger than my thighs (I've never seen anything like it) and I couldn't even read because I couldn't bend my neck from the water in my neck and chin. It was horrible and truly amazing that my daughter and I lived through it.

07-09-2007, 05:15 PM
OOOH Liza...what an does make since but I just kept thinking I needed to drink as much water as possible to get the fluid out but I may be drinking to much and building the fluid up.

07-09-2007, 05:19 PM
Wasn't it about a year ago that some lady entered a radio station contest and drank the most water without going to the bathroom and it ended up killing her. I can't remember the details. She was a mother of two and the family was going to sue the radio station.

07-09-2007, 05:24 PM
Katy, I heard about this also, but I think she drank gallons in a very short time period.

07-09-2007, 05:24 PM
It's called water intoxication and yes it does happen and it can kill you. A co-worker ended up in the hospital from drinking excesive amounts of water. It took her a long time to get over it.

07-09-2007, 05:26 PM
That radio station thing was in California, I think...I have heard that drinking too much water wasn't good, but I didn't realize that it is absorbed into your tissues. Maybe I am drinking too much. :shrug:

07-09-2007, 05:30 PM
Here's an article about it:

A. You've probably heard that it's important to 'drink plenty of fluids' or simply 'drink lots of water'. There are excellent reasons for drinking water, but have you ever wondered if it's possible to drink too much water. Here's what you need to know:

Can You Really Drink Too Much Water?

In a word, yes. Drinking too much water can lead to a condition known as water intoxication and to a related problem resulting from the dilution of sodium in the body, hyponatremia. Water intoxication is most commonly seen in infants under six months of age and sometimes in athletes. A baby can get water intoxication as a result of drinking several bottles of water a day or from drinking infant formula that has been diluted too much. Athletes can also suffer from water intoxication. Athletes sweat heavily, losing both water and electrolytes.

Water intoxication and hyponatremia result when a dehydrated person drinks too much water without the accompanying electrolytes.

What Happens During Water Intoxication?

When too much water enters the body's cells, the tissues swell with the excess fluid. Your cells maintain a specific concentration gradient, so excess water outside the cells (the serum) draws sodium from within the cells out into the serum in an attempt to re-establish the necessary concentration. As more water accumulates, the serum sodium concentration drops -- a condition known as hyponatremia. The other way cells try to regain the electrolyte balance is for water outside the cells to rush into the cells via osmosis. The movement of water across a semipermeable membrane from higher to lower concentration is called osmosis. Although electrolytes are more concentrated inside the cells than outside, the water outside the cells is 'more concentrated' or 'less dilute' since it contains fewer electrolytes. Both electrolytes and water move across the cell membrane in an effort to balance concentration. Theoretically, cells could swell to the point of bursting.

From the cell's point of view, water intoxication produces the same effects as would result from drowning in fresh water. Electrolyte imbalance and tissue swelling can cause an irregular heartbeat, allow fluid to enter the lungs, and may cause fluttering eyelids. Swelling puts pressure on the brain and nerves, which can cause behaviors resembling alcohol intoxication. Swelling of brain tissues can cause seizures, coma and ultimately death unless water intake is restricted and a hypertonic saline (salt) solution is administered. If treatment is given before tissue swelling causes too much cellular damage, then a complete recovery can be expected within a few days.

It's Not How Much You Drink, It's How Fast You Drink It!

The kidneys of a healthy adult can process fifteen liters of water a day! You are unlikely to suffer from water intoxication, even if you drink a lot of water, as long as you drink over time as opposed to intaking an enormous volume at one time. As a general guideline, most adults need about three quarts of fluid each day. Much of that water comes from food, so 8-12 eight ounce glasses a day is a common recommended intake. You may need more water if the weather is very warm or very dry, if you are exercising, or if you are taking certain medications. The bottom line is this: it's possible to drink too much water, but unless you are running a marathon or an infant, water intoxication is a very uncommon condition.

07-09-2007, 05:43 PM
That makes me question things too now that I think about it. I had a WI today and I gained 2 lbs. since Saturday where I had lost 6 lbs. since last Monday. But I GAINED those 6 lbs. over last weekend - 2 days! I honestly have no idea how or why and it's very frustrating.

Friday 6/29 I weigh and have lost 2.6 lbs. for the week. Good deal. Head out of town for a wedding at the beach, stay on plan - take fruit with me, eat fish, etc, etc. I noticed my hands, feet, eyes, face, were more swollen than normal so all day Sunday coming home I drank water (I attributed the swelling to the heat - it was HOT down there!). I must have drank 8 of the 17 oz Dasani bottles just on the way home alone (stopped to pee probably 3 times in the 5 hour drive). I have WI the next day and I gain 6 lbs. Stay on plan and go down those 6 lbs. by Saturday to weigh exactly what I weighed the Friday before. I haven't done anything different since last week and thought I was doing great - especially losing 6 lbs. this week. Played tennis Sunday from 9:00 am - 11:30. During that time I drank 64 oz of water but it was so humid outside my shirt was litterally drenched from the sweat. Came home, had a tuna salad for lunch and continued to drink water for the rest of the day. I was still drinking water last night at 8:00. This morning I had 2 17 oz bottles with breakfast and weighed in at 11:30 before lunch. Bam - up 2 lbs. Yeah, I was confused, frustrated, etc, etc. Even got the COD manager to come in and look everything over to see if she could offer some insight. She just told me to not eat pork, steak or heavy starches and we'll see how I do on Wednesday. I told her that I was wearing a heavier skirt and I am almost tempted to go home and change into the shorts I weighed in last Friday to see if a cotton skirt could weigh 2 lbs. Honestly it has me baffled but it makes complete sense. I've always heard that the more you drink the more you flush out but geez....when you're drinking and not (ahem)...expelling anything, it's got to go somewhere right? It does make sense!

07-09-2007, 06:14 PM
Hi Alabama girl. I live in Gadsden and work in Birmingham. Where are you?

I feel your pain (bloat) because I really struggle with water retention. I, too, can easily gain 6 pounds over a weekend without overeating (too much - just a little over plan). It's so frustrating when your water weight fluctuates so. I work with a nutrition sciences department which has the very sophisticated scales that measure body composition. Last year I was weighing in with them for a while and I could easily see little or no change in my weight on the scale but a dramatic change in my body. My water weight would be up while I was losing fat.

Interesting article - If the body can process 15 liters of water a day, then that is roughly 495 ounces!!! That has to almost be physically impossible. I am going to have to ask my MD friend in nutrition sciences about the phenomenon of water seeping into the tissues if you drink excessive amounts.

07-09-2007, 06:14 PM
That makes me question things too now that I think about it. I had a WI today and I gained 2 lbs. since Saturday where I had lost 6 lbs. since last Monday. But I GAINED those 6 lbs. over last weekend - 2 days! I honestly have no idea how or why and it's very frustrating.
Are you weighing at the exact same times, and eating/drinking the same things beforehand? A ton of things can cause body weight to fluctuate mysteriously (that's why a lot of folks weigh after the restroom in the AM, before they eat/drink/shower/dress/etc.).

You all had me really scared for a minute there about the water! I drink about 120 ounces a day (almost a gallon), but it's over the course of the WHOLE day. A lot of days I go even over that, but that's from 6:30am to 9 or 10pm. I try to stop drinking before bed so I'm not out of bed all night ( :lol: ) but I usually do it anyway out of habit. :o

07-09-2007, 06:32 PM
Thank you for that article! I was getting scared there for a second.
I drink 2-4.5 L of regular water a day.

07-09-2007, 06:34 PM
Hi Cathleen! Nice to see a fellow Alabamian on board! I live in Trussville and work in Irondale so we aren't too far from each other. I go to the Trussville location, right off 59 - exit 141 the Trussville/Pinson exit. I would be interested to know what your friend says about it. Ask her/him and let me know! I have just started noticing a real problem with retention in the last 3 months or so. I have never had a problem with swollen ankles/hands, etc before then. At least it hasn't been as bad for me to notice it like I have been. I used to play tennis 4-5 times a week and now only play once or twice a week so I attributed it to the decrease in exercise. Who knows!

Ethereal - I do weigh in at the same time each day. Well, close to it. I go on my lunch hour and typically have my normal breakfast and don't do anything different. I'm usually in my work clothes but it's not like I'm wearing down parka's or anything. LOL. It is July in the South! :) I try to not look at the Mon and Wed WI's and go by my Friday to Friday weekly change. I've always drank alot of water and can easily down a big liter bottle of Perrier in the span of an evening. I like to drink regular water during the day and save the Perrier as a 'treat' at night with dinner. I love the stuff!!!! :)

07-09-2007, 11:01 PM
Definitely confusing! The clothes will make a little difference, but you're right - summer clothes shouldn't be more than a pound or so different. :yes: While I know there are a lot of factors that affect fluctuating weights, I don't know many of them myself. :o I hope it's not the water, because that's a healthy habit!

07-09-2007, 11:17 PM
I keep going back and forth with this stuff. I drink at least 100oz a day and feel great! I worry bc sometimes I do drink it kind of fast...I guess I should watch it.

The radio station death happened here in Sacramento. The family has dropped the criminal charges but I believe they are still developing a civil case against the company that owns the radio station. The contest was "Hold your wee to win a Wii" the nintendo video game. It was a tragedy, but something I don't think we would worry about. She was drinking gallons of water in a very short period of time.

07-10-2007, 12:19 AM
I heard a tip a few years back that I've followed. I can't remember the source, but it seemed to be credible. To assist in weight loss, especially if you are exercising regularly, you might want to target consuming 1/2 of the number of your weight in ounces. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds then 100 ounces of water would be your target. That's certainly beyond the 6-8 or 8-10 eight ounce servings typically suggested.

Just a thought. Wish I could remember which diet or exercise guru I that I heard make this suggestion.

Update on water retention...Saturday morning I was down 3 pounds from the day before (BNWI first thing in the morning), then today I was back up the 3 pounds (overate a bit yesterday, including too much salt). Sometimes I feel enslaved by my body's reaction to fluid and sodium. Oh well - today was a good day OP so I expect to see it drop back off quickly.

07-10-2007, 12:25 AM
I have also heard that there is a formula for figuring out how much water you should have:

"At the International Sports Medicine Institute, we have a formula for daily water intake: 1/2 ounce per pound of body weight if you're not active (that's ten eight-ounce glasses if you weigh 160 pounds), and 2/3 ounce per pound if you're athletic (13 to 14 glasses a day, at the same weight)."

So according to this, if you weigh 200 lbs and aren't excercising much, then you should have 100 ounces! But I have also heard that for every caffeinated drink you have, you have to add that to your water intake for the day. So if you weight 200 lbs and have an 8 ounce coffee, it goes up to 108 ounces. So careful with the caffeine!

07-10-2007, 12:31 AM
Cool. I'm glad that you were able to find a source for this type of tip.

07-10-2007, 01:05 AM
It's unfortunately sourceless, but I've also read that on top of the usual 8 - 10 glasses per day you should drink another glass for every 20 pounds you want to lose, and that you should add another to compensate for climate (if you live in a very hot location) and of course exercise. It works out to be pretty close to the ISMI's calculation.

For me I picked 8 as my base, +1 for AZ weather, +1 for exercise, +4 for the 80 lbs I'm working to oust, for a total of 14x 8oz glasses of water. Since I use big 24oz glasses/water bottles I just round up to 5x 24oz glasses (120oz) per day. It seemed like a lot at first, but I guess that means I could gradually decrease my water intake as I lose weight without any negative effects, if I wanted to.

07-10-2007, 07:55 PM
I've been on LA Weight Loss since October 2006 and I've been drinking 120 oz. a day since I started, never has seemed to hurt me. I didnt even like water, had to just make myself drink it. Now I dont drink much else, learned I actually liked water just fine LOL