Weight Loss Support - Tea and sugar free drinks




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abreezies
04-12-2010, 02:03 PM
I drink quite a bit of tea and we use the sugar free mixes like fruit punch (etc) too....do you count this as part of your water intake fully or do you have to subtract a little for the additions of the tea and flavor?


beerab
04-12-2010, 02:18 PM
I don't count tea towards my water intake ever. I enjoy a cup now and then when it's cold.

I don't really add mixes to my water but if I did I'd probably count that towards my water. Like if I mixed up half a liter then drank it with lunch.

Katieee
04-12-2010, 02:25 PM
I don't count tea but I use the drink mixes quite a bit and count those. I usually only use half the recommended amount because full strength tastes too strong.


abreezies
04-12-2010, 02:29 PM
I agree....I only use half strength too. Do you know if there is something specific about tea not to count it?

Gold32
04-12-2010, 02:35 PM
If non-water drinks didn't count as "water" I would have died at some point, literally. Not the healthiest lifestyle, but yeah, have been known to drink nothing but diet pop for days to no adverse effects. I find it interesting that Katieee and Beerab don't count tea, but do count mixes. Tea is probably more water vs whatever than most things, if you aren't adding sugar, honey, milk, etc. Infact, considering it's natural and healthy, I would count tea as a water before artificial drink mixes. I'd be interested in hearing more as to why tea doesn't count?

duckyyellowfeet
04-12-2010, 03:16 PM
I totally count tea towards my water intake. I don't drink it every day and I rarely drink anything but herbal, so it seems like a decent source of water to me.

As for mixes, I count those too. Since I'm only drinking Crystal light and rarely more than one mix a day, i don't consider the calories. I'm on WW so I would have to drink a lot of Crystal light to equal a point.

If you're worried about it, you can always just make your water flavored at home. If you put a pitcher into the fridge with lemons, cucumbers or mint, it can give a slightly flavored taste to plain water.

beaka
04-12-2010, 03:49 PM
I count herbal tea as water too. But I don't add any artificial sweetners.

mkendrick
04-12-2010, 03:57 PM
I drink two Crystal Lite packets everyday, which I think is 20calories, but I don't count them (I know, slap on the wrist). I don't drink them strong at all, those 2 packets make 6 full water bottles. I absolutely count it towards my water consumption. I drink 101.4oz in just water bottles with Crystal Lite. Not to mention the fluid I get from fruits, milk in my cereal, and other food.

If I drank tea, I'd count that also.

Shmead
04-12-2010, 06:14 PM
I don't track liquids/water, but I doubt I drink 2 full glasses of straight, pure water a month. I do drink a crap load of crystal lite, tea, and coffee.

Tai
04-12-2010, 06:35 PM
I drink a lot of hot tea and diet Snapple and count them both in my fluid intake.

kaplods
04-12-2010, 07:35 PM
All the liquids count towards your bodies fluid requirements, because our bodies have no problem at all using the fluid in beverages and foods. Even coffee counts, and contrary to popular myth there's no need to
"compensate" with additional water.

I use the Walmart store brand drink mix (comparable to Crystal Light), and I like to use one tub (makes 2 quarts) in a gallon pitcher and then add a couple of tea bags.

I try to avoid drinking caffeine after 3pm, just so that it won't interfere with sleep.

There have been some recent studies that have found health benefits to both coffee and tea (for coffee up to three cups per day). It could be the caffeine, or it could be the antioxidants and other phytonutrients.

I'm trying to get more of my caffeine from tea (I've never been a coffee drinker) and less of it from diet sodas (I used to have a morning diet Coke like most people have a morning cup of coffee).

MyBestYear
04-12-2010, 10:53 PM
I totally count my iced tea. I drink a ton of green tea, unsweetened, cold. Sometimes if I am feeling wacky (lol) I will put some lemon juice in it or a can of 5 calorie light lemonade (into an entire 2 quart pitcher).

But yeah, I count it, I go through a 2 quart pitcher of iced green tea every few days. Love it.

I tend not to count diet sodas, but I have those pretty rarely anyway. Same with coffee.

ncuneo
04-13-2010, 12:03 AM
I wouldn't count caffinated tea because caffine dehydrates you, hence negating the point of drinking fluids. I do count crystal light because I add 1/2 a packet to 32 oz of water.

luciddepths
04-13-2010, 12:21 AM
i do not count it.. the crystal light stuff and ice tea, it isnt water to me.. so i drink my 2.5-3 litres a day and whatever else on top of it.. other wise i feel like im "cheating" water.. weird i know..

Eumie
04-13-2010, 11:15 AM
I personally don't count anything that's not pure water as water anymore. I drink hot tea and light lemonade, but don't count them. However, when I was on weight watchers I counted drinks with no calories, caffeine, or sodium as part of my water intake. I think at the time they were saying to make sure at least 1/2 of your "water intake" was just pure water.

kaplods
04-13-2010, 01:06 PM
I wouldn't count caffinated tea because caffine dehydrates you, hence negating the point of drinking fluids. I do count crystal light because I add 1/2 a packet to 32 oz of water.

This is a myth, a myth that nearly killed my mother. Her Weight Watcher's leader told them that not only did coffee not count, that extra water had to be drunk to compensate. My mom was drinking about a gallon of water a day (usually not an amount that would put most people at risk for water overdose, but a low-salt diet and a blood pressure medication that also washed sodium from the blood, landed her in the hospital with water intoxication or water poisoning).

The kidney specialist who was called in, told us that if coffee or tea were dehydrating people who drank only coffee or tea (and there are a lot of them) would die within a few days (they don't). He told us that almost all liquids (except hard alcohol) contribute positively to the bodies water balance (that is they aren't dehydrating). Coffee and tea are nearly equivalent to water (they can be mild diuretics, but the effect is very slight, meaning an 8 ounce cup of strong coffee might be equal to a 7 ounce glass of water. And the ounce is probably exagerated).

As the kidney specialist also pointed out, even beer counts towards the water balance. In the Middle Ages the water wasn't safe to drink, so no one drank water. Even children drank beer. (He teased that he wouldn't recommend beer as anyone's main beverage, but that neither beer, coffee, or tea were dehydrating enough that the body couldn't use most of the water in them for hydration).

abreezies
04-13-2010, 01:21 PM
Very interesting.........I have heard of water intoxication before. I can't believe that happened to her when she was in a program and advised to do so. I am thinking that I will count tea and the sugar free mixes...but as you say, subtract a little.......and continue my regular "no additions" water. Thank you for your response and I hope your mother recovered without any residual effects.

abreezies
04-13-2010, 01:23 PM
Good idea also by Eumie. I def think I am going to make most of my water intake "no additions" water. I just love tea.........lol

kaplods
04-13-2010, 01:40 PM
Very interesting.........I have heard of water intoxication before. I can't believe that happened to her when she was in a program and advised to do so. I am thinking that I will count tea and the sugar free mixes...but as you say, subtract a little.......and continue my regular "no additions" water. Thank you for your response and I hope your mother recovered without any residual effects.

You have to remember that Weight Watcher's leaders have little or no training in nutrition, and many doctors don't even realize the water intoxication is becoming more common (because of the water myths related to dieting, and the increase in people of otherwise good health being on blood pressure medications).

The kidney specialist says he is seeing it more and more in relation to dieting. I recently read Refuse to Regain by Barbara Berkely (she's a doctor), and she alludes to it as well, which I found interesting (she mentions in passing that several of her patients experienced it).

I know the kidney specialist told us that it was once so rare that most doctors, even kidney specialists might see only one case in a lifetime. Now more and more doctors have seen at least one case. It's still not so common that most people will have to worry about it, but it's something to be aware of, especially if you're NOT eating the SAD (standard american diet) loaded with salt.

The reason salt is an issue, is that it's generally sodium depletion that is the dangerous aspect of the water "poisoning" (other ectrolytes can be involved, but it's usually sodium). Because most people are eating tons of salt, it would take gallons of water to cause sodium depletion. But with more people "eating healthy" and avoiding sodium and drinking lots of water being seen as being very healthy, it puts more people at risk.

luciddepths
04-13-2010, 01:55 PM
i think for those people who do not build up a tolerance to water can end up in trouble, but those that stick to the 2 liter a day should have no problems. i rarely EVER eat salt, makes me bloat.. so i avoid it always have...Maybe for those who cut it out cold turkey?

Tomato
04-13-2010, 02:31 PM
I keep a loose track of my liquids intake and I definitely include herbal tea. I drink (each morning at work) a large mug of herbal tea, it is a 500 ml (1/2 litre) mug. On the rare days when I treat myself to Coke Zero (right now), I include that too.
At home, before leaving for work, I drink between 2-3 regular sized mugs of coffee (fairly weak by other people's standard) with milk in it. I don't real count the coffee in, I consider it an "extra" but I am relieved by kaplod's reassurance that coffee does not dehydrate us (thanks, kaplods. :D )
On some days I am lucky when I finish (in above to the above tea and coffee which are pretty much staples) a 1.5 litre of water (sometimes with electrolytes, sometimes with small amount of Crystal Lite in it). Here and there, there is a day when I drink only half a litre of water (as much as I try to remind myself to drink regularly in small sips).

Katieee
04-13-2010, 02:33 PM
If non-water drinks didn't count as "water" I would have died at some point, literally. Not the healthiest lifestyle, but yeah, have been known to drink nothing but diet pop for days to no adverse effects. I find it interesting that Katieee and Beerab don't count tea, but do count mixes. Tea is probably more water vs whatever than most things, if you aren't adding sugar, honey, milk, etc. Infact, considering it's natural and healthy, I would count tea as a water before artificial drink mixes. I'd be interested in hearing more as to why tea doesn't count?

I think because my brain is more stuck on the myth that tea and coffee are a diuretic. I usually have a cup of tea in the morning but I don't count it. I usually aim to drink 3 liters of plain water with no additives. I guess I count the mixes towards it because I use so little probably a 1/3-1/2 packet for a liter bottle of water that it feels like I barely put anything in at all. There is no method to my madness.

kaplods
04-13-2010, 05:12 PM
Water intoxication has nothing to do with going cold-turkey on sodium or not having built a tolerance to large amounts of water, it boils down to having enough sodium in the blood for the biochemical processes requiring it (including the beating of your heart and maintaining body temperature).

My mother, and our whole family have always also avoided salt. We never had it on the table (except in the summer with sweet corn or fresh sliced tomatoes), and used a super light touch in cooking. If a recipe called for a teaspoon, I was taught to use a quarter teaspoon or leave it out entirely (except in baking, and even then it was cut in half. Baking was for holidays only, so that rarely came up).

My mom and I have been "dieting" and drinking at least 2 liters of water daily for decades as well.

Sodium isn't just in table salt (sodium chloride). You can never use a salt shaker once, and if you're eating a balanced diet, you're probably getting plenty of sodium. In America, you're generally going to be getting far more than enough sodium for your body to work properly. Even if you're eating mostly whole foods and are avoiding every product that (you think) has added sodium, you're still getting sodium from whole, entirely natural foods such as fruits, grains, vegetables, and meats and soy. If you're eating bread, you're also getting added salt because salt is needed for bread to rise.

Most people will not be able to avoid sodium compounds to put their blood levels at risk without the addition of another risk factor. In my mom's case it was the blood pressure medication, and the fact that she was on an intentionally sodium-restricted diet (not just table salt). Even so, the doctor said it probably took weeks for the sodium depletion to become severe enough to cause a health crisis.

It can happen quickly on huge amounts of water - as in the case of the Wee for the Wii contest (a radio dj sponsored a contest in which contestants had to chug water and the last to leave to go to the bathroom won - even though nurses called in to tell them the contest was dangerous, they continued and the winner won - and died later that day).

It can also happen over a long period of time on less extreme amounts of fluid, as in the case of my mom. Where sodium was being gradually lost.

There are symptoms, but most people miss them, because they assume it's something else (my mom thought she had the flu. It was only my dad a former EMT who realized that a flu should not be causing the confusion he was seeing in her. He thought she might have had a very mild stroke on top of the flu). Heart attack is the most immediate risk.

I am on a similar blood pressure medication and I generally drink about 2 to 3 liters of liquids daily (I now know to count them all). I'm not on an intentionally sodium-restricted diet, but I never use table salt, and don't like salty foods (oriental food occasionally being the lone exception). I also tend towards lowblood sodium levels, so I have to be aware. I've had to take sodium supplements before surgery, and I've been told that I need to be tested for sodium levels before any future surgeries, or I could have a heart attack on the table. I get bloodwork done quarterly, and every once in a while my doctor will tell me my sodium levels are low (I'll usually either get one small bag of chips or go out for chinese - and I've never had to do more than that to get the sodium levels back to normal).

It's not a problem most people will face, just because even a salt-free diet generally has more than enough sodium to do the job. But sodium depleting factors can combine to cause a problem, factors such as exercise, fluid intake, body fluid loss (sweating, diahhrea or vomiting), medications such as blood pressure medications and diuretics for other purposes....

For example one of the three groups of people most likey to get water intoxication before widespread use of blood pressure medications and the dieting myths was marathon runners (especially during hot weather). Even drinking electrolyte drinks such as Gatorade aren't always enough protection against low blood levels of sodium, because the drinks don't always get the sodium to the blood fast enough.

Another group is people with schizophrenia and/or ocd who are drinking water compulsively, all day long (often because of the "dry mouth" side effect of a medication). A person without mental illness would probably recognize that there was something wrong with their extreme thirst.

And the third group is people (mostly young men) trying to pass a drug-screen by drinking large amounts of water to "wash" the drugs out of their system. It's more effective in washing out sodium than washing out illegal drugs.

Again it's not a problem most people will face, but if you're drinking more than a gallon a day, or have risk factors from exercise, diet or medication it's something to ask your doctor about (at the very least learning the symptoms so that you might have a chance of recognizing them should they occur).

luciddepths
04-13-2010, 05:55 PM
either way.. i dont count those as "water" i still drink my 2-3 litres a day and i'm happy with that, i feel better, when i dont have it i feel sick/get head aches. I dont use salt in anything, if i get it from my food great, i dont purposely use it. Even in baking or cooking. I just dont like the taste..but i also dont drink coffee or tea very often maybe 3 times a week, pop is even less than that so majority of my fluid is only water.