Weight Loss Support - Question about water intake...

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11-27-2007, 09:33 AM
I hate drinking water when it's not hot outside. I am NEVER thirsty in the winter for some reason. I can drink water all day in the summer, but in the winter I never feel thirsty. I can go a whole day without drinking anything, and when I try to force myself to drink, I feel sick. Any ideas?

11-27-2007, 09:47 AM
I would say that if you aren't thirsty, and aren't sweating a lot, don't force yourself. While it's important to stay hydrated, it appears there was never any evidence that all of our hydration had to come from water. Our hydration comes from many sources, including caffeinated beverages (which do not take fluid away from us) and our food. You are most likely hydrated enough from other sources.

Here's a link to some of the recent research that backs up the idea that we don't need to drink 8, 8 oz glasses of water.


I'm not trying to bash drinking water -- in fact, there are lots of reasons it's good for us! But I think this whole journey gets harder (and we are more likely to give up) if we force ourselves to do things we hate.

11-27-2007, 09:53 AM
Wow, Heather, interesting article! I never knew that!

I have not been too thirsty since it's gotten cooler, either, but I always thought I had to drink 8-12 glasses of water for good health.

11-27-2007, 10:51 AM
I just wanted to add... Many people are out of touch with their bodies. Many don't know what thirst feels like, don't know what hunger feels like, eat whether they feel hungry or not, can't tell when they are overexerting... and so on!

I am a person who rarely wants to drink water. A few years ago I had my first bout of kidney stones. My urologist said that by definition, people who get kidney stones are not drinking enough water. So, I have to consciously remember to drink water, because otherwise I won't drink enough.

So, I'm not the one to ask about what "normal" people should do about water. It doesn't hurt anyone to drink 8 glasses a day. And kidney function depends on water intake. If you retain water in your tissues from salty foods, drinking more fluids (without salt in them) is the way to flush it out.

And that's my story.


11-27-2007, 11:05 AM
Jay -- I don't disagree with anything you said! I am always of two minds when I post about not worrying about water intake, because it IS important, and I don't want anyone to think it's not. And I fully agree that drinking 8 glasses of water won't hurt anyone.

But I also think many of us do get plenty of fluid from other places, but feel like failures because we don't drink "enough" pure water.

As usual, there's never just one answer around here!

11-27-2007, 11:28 AM
Doesn't green tea also count as water? Can't remember.

11-27-2007, 11:51 AM
I let go of the idea that I had to drink a certain number of glasses of water a while back. I do feel much better when I drink a lot of water, but I know I'm getting hydration from other sources too. I used to hate drinking water, but I can't even believe that now. Now it just seems so...necessary to me. I feel better when I just have water with me and sip on it all day, even though I drink other beverages too with my meals and snacks. I'm not big on drinking water with food -- something about that grosses me out, unless I'm eating something sweet or fruit or something. Anyway, my point is this: you may not like drinking water because you're just not used to it. If it becomes a habit, you may find yourself wanting it more often. I think water is most important when you're working out, though. I see people work out and not drink a thing, and that worries me. We had a few cross country runners pass out this season because they didn't drink enough water all day leading up to a race, so it's important that you're hydrated in advance of a hard workout as well, not just during or after it.

11-27-2007, 01:04 PM
By the time you feel thirsty, you are dehydrated. Going all day without drinking water is an invitation to kidney stones and disease. Your body needs water for health. If you didn't need fluids, do you think they would be giving people IVs in the hospital?

11-27-2007, 01:18 PM
I used to hate water too. But i started out drinking the flavored waters and then just started drinking regular water. Now water is about all drink except my coffee in the morning. I've heard different debates on whether water helps you lose weight or not...but here's what i've learned. Water helps me to see my true weight. When i don't drink much water, i gain a pound or two....like over the holiday i didn't drink any water and "gained" 2 pounds. But when i drank like 8 glasses or more that Sunday, come sunday night and monday morning, I was not only down those 2 pounds, but i was down another one. Water helps flush out the sodium and other fluids your body holds on to....does it help me lose weight?? I don't think so. But i do think it shows me my true weight without me retaining stuff.

Good luck!!

11-27-2007, 02:05 PM
i guess i must be the abnorm here...i'm always thirsty..even in the winter...i am still drinking around 2 L of ICE (yes even in winter) water a day. I know when i haven't had enough..i can read my body...i feel a bit more hungry and a lot more tired. Its amazing what water will do. I think its even more important for fluid therapy in the winter because you do still let go of water in the form of breath and metabolism to keep you warm...you just don't always feel you've lost water. I think making yourself get some fluids is very important...even if it is flavored water...its better than nothing.

11-27-2007, 02:23 PM
Doesn't green tea also count as water? Can't remember.

From what I have read, yes, it does. Even caffeinated beverages overall add to your hydration levels (there were fears that they are diuretics, but the research isn't bearing that out). Green tea has the added benefits of some antioxidants as well as I understand it...

11-27-2007, 02:40 PM
We do not need nearly as much water as popular dieting culture tells us. Some of the water myths are actually dangerous, because they can lead to water intoxication even in healthy individuals, but especially in individuals on certain medication or people who may have even mild kidney disfuntion.

Every liquid we consume, except high proof alcohol, contributes to our water needs. Most foods, even foods that seem "dry" contribute some water to our water needs.

My mother (as some of you probably are tired of hearing) was hospitalized with water intoxication brought on, in large part, by not counting caffeinated beverages, as she had been instructed. She was only drinking about a gallon of fluids (not counting solid foods) per day. She was taking a mild blood pressure medicine which lowered her resistance to water intoxication. The water intoxication permanently damaged her kidneys, and she's now at about 50 - 60% kidney function (which incidentally, does not cause any symptoms that she can detect, so you definitely can have kidney disfunction and not know it).

The symptoms of water intoxication in her case were similar to the flu, but with some mild confusion. Something about the confusion seemed off to my dad (who had been an EMT and ambulance driver), so he took her to the emergency room. If they hadn't taken her to the emergency room, it's very likely that she would have died. My dad was really shaken up, because he tells us how very nearly they had brushed off her symptoms as "just the flu."

I'm on the same blood pressure medication as my mother is on (from what I understand any blood pressure medication and any medication that is processed in the kidneys can affect water needs), and so as I've discussed with my mother's kidney specialist and my doctors, I shouldn't drink more than 3 quarts of fluids (including caffeinated beverages, milk, soups and any other water and non-water liquids).

Water is a great weight loss tool. It can mildly supress hunger and there's some evidence that it might raise metabolism slightly, but as with nearly everything, it is definitely possible to have too much of a good thing.

Because of my mother's close call, I get on my soapbox whenever I see dangerous water advice being given. The two that contributed to my mother's situation the most is that non-water and caffeinated beverages "don't count," or worse require additional water inake, and also that we should divide our body weight in half and drink that many ounces of water. For very heavy people, this is often a dangerous amount.

Water intoxication is rare, so I definitely do not want anyone to panic or fear drinking water, but since there is such a push to drink large amounts of water when dieting, I think the other side of the story has to be told.

11-27-2007, 02:53 PM
Certain foods, such as fruits & veggies have a high content. Provided they're not processed with sodium, you can get some liquid there. And I second the flavored/sparkling water recommendation. Though some have sweeteners added, you have to check the labels. And hot tea, which may be more palatable in the winter than water.

11-27-2007, 04:26 PM
I dont really like drinking water and don't drink very much. I have a glass with lunch and a glass with dinner and a glass if I work out. Otherwise, I drink 2-3 cups of tea a day,usually 1 mug of sugar free cocoa and lots and lots of fruits/vegetables. Didn't appear to have any effect on my weight loss or my current weight maintenance.

I already have to go to the bathroom nearly every hour, I can't imagine what the effect of more water on my body would be!

Shy Moment
11-27-2007, 05:17 PM
Oh I do understand. I am in the bathroom so much the neigh kids make jokes about it. My husband one time said. If a radio show called him and said, " Here is the 50 million dollar question. Where is your wife right at this moment?" He would answer, " She is going to, coming from, or in a bathroom somewhere." The radio person would say YOU WINNNNNNNNNNNN. lol

I worried I wasn't drinking enough water. I personally think water is to shower with lol. The doc said doesn't matter what I drink as long as I drink. I drink tea am now down to 8 grams of carbs for 16 oz started out at 32 carbs for 16oz. I drink orange juice 4 oz, cranberry juice 4 oz and milk 8 oz a day. She said I was taking enough in. Doesn't have to be clear water.

11-28-2007, 11:32 AM
Speak to any kidney doctor and you will be told plain water is still best. Everything else has to be processed and toxins and wastes removed by the kidneys.

As a side note, my husband is on kidney dialysis. We have learned a whole lot about kidney disease. 1 out of every 8 people have some degree of chronic kidney disease and 50% of those don't know it. A simple blood test can tell you how well your kidneys are working. By the time you get symptoms, it can be too late to halt the progress of the disease.

11-28-2007, 02:01 PM
It was actually my mother's kidney specialist who told us that a healthy person with healthy kidneys has no need to drink water without stuff in it. He pointed out that all water has particulate matter (that is "stuff") in it. In fact, only "distilled" water, he pointed out is "pure" water and that if you try to drink distilled water it tastes flat and unpleasant. He said all but very impaired kidneys have the ability to process the water in food and other beverages and there was absolutely no truth to the myth that the "processing" for tap water is any "easier" on the body than pulling it from fruits and vegetables and beverages. Even though my mother has only about 50% kidney function, he said there's no need for her to avoid coffee or drink her water plain. He told her to avoid low carb dieting because it could stress the kidney's, but that and the maximum of 3 quarts of liquid are the only restrictions she was given.

My aunt has polycistic kidney disease, and her kidney specialist told her that she did have to know what a beverage contained before she drank it, because she couldn't drink anything with sodium or protein in it (so most soft drinks were out, as well as milk). Water, he told her, was the "safest" beverage for her to drink as long as she knew it hadn't been through a water softener (which adds sodium to the water) but also said that there was no reason that she had to drink water "plain."

I only have the two kidney specialists' advice to go by, but I would suggest that anyone who has concerns, ask a kidney specialist directly.