Weight Loss Support - WATER!! What actually counts?

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06-08-2011, 11:20 AM
Ok, I've noticed its hard for me to drink 8 cups of water a day. Do things like coffee or crystal light count?? Or does it have to be straight water. I'm assuming they count. But I want to be sure before i start counting it.
Thanks everyone! You're always so insightful! :smug:

Beach Patrol
06-08-2011, 11:21 AM
While "straight water" is best for your body, all liquids count.

So I been told. ;) :D

Lori Bell
06-08-2011, 11:33 AM
Actually guzzling quarts of water is TOTALLY unnecessary to lose a substantial amount of weight. Though it might help keep you feeling full between meals. It never did for me, but some people swear by it.

Right about the time I started my weight loss diet, I saw Dr. Oz (on Oprah) and he did a non-scientific study of 2 identical twin girls wanting to lose weight. They both had been trying to get in around a gallon of water every day. In the experiment he had one of the girls only drink if she was thirsty and she could have any non-calorie drink, (coffee, tea, diet soda or water if she really wanted it after a work out). She only drank about a quart of fluid a day. The other twin drank her 3-4 quarts of only water every day. At the end of the experiment they had lost almost exactly the same amount of weight and all their lab tests were near identical.

Dr. OZ's conclusion was you don't need to chug butt loads of water to lose weight, or to be healthy. I was thrilled to see that to say the least....I hated running to the bathroom all the time. SOOOO, I ended up losing 190+ pounds by drinking when I was thirsty...and that usually consist of coffee and tea! :)

06-08-2011, 11:44 AM
I"m not on the water wagon at all. I drink for thirst. I seem to be in such a minority that I choose to just not talk about it, and because I can never remember my sources of information.

This isn't exactly what I was looking for but here's an interesting article: http://www.snopes.com/medical/myths/8glasses.asp

06-08-2011, 11:57 AM
I've linked to that snopes link before -- good stuff.

Another good link is here: http://dms.dartmouth.edu/news/2002_h2/08aug2002_water.shtml

It begins: "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."

They describe the study and then at the bottom is the link to the actual study. More recent research supports that caffeinated drinks count as liquid too.

This doesn't mean that straight up water doesn't have other benefits -- for instance a lot of people are leery of artificial sweeteners -- but for the purposes of hydration, all of your liquids and many of your foods contribute.

06-08-2011, 12:25 PM
i'm afraid coffee doesn't count as it is a diuretic, so it actually makes you excrete fluid more.
drinking more water is healthy, but not necessary to lose weight, so i'm sure you'll do fine if you drink less.
good luck! :)

06-08-2011, 12:44 PM
I usually drink about 10 cups of water a day (less on the weekends). I have no idea how much it helps with my weight loss, but I know I'm burning more calories walking to the bathroom several times a day at work vs. sitting at my desk..lol Coffee, tea, and water are free at my job...but I don't like coffee and I like boatloads of sugar in my tea, so water is my best bet.

I'm unsure if coffee and tea count because of the caffeine and diuretic effect. I'm pretty sure if you do research, you'll find people saying yes and some saying no. But I know quite a few people who never drink water and seem to be in decent physical shape.

06-08-2011, 01:19 PM
The coffee thing is interesting. At very high doses (5-7 cups of coffee a day), it has been shown to increase urinary output (so it is dehydrating). At lower doses, no such effect has been seen. So if you're drinking, say, 2 cups of coffee a day, those DO contribute to your fluid intake, since you're taking in the liquid of the coffee and not increasing your output at all.


06-08-2011, 01:30 PM
i'm afraid coffee doesn't count as it is a diuretic, so it actually makes you excrete fluid more.

This actually is a myth, and one that contributed to my mother being hospitalized for water poisoning also called water intoxication (essentially water overdose).

The kidney specialist called in on her case busted several of the popular dieting water myths and told us he's seeing water poisoning in healthier people. It's still rare, but it was once almost always only seen in marathon runners and other extreme athletes, mentally ill folk with water drinking compulsions, and people (mostly young men) trying to wash drugs out of their system for a drug screen.

Myth #1: Coffee, beer, and wine are dehydrating and need to be compensated for with extra water.

He pointed out that if coffee drinking were as dehydrating as people claim, that people who drink only coffee would die of dehydration (that's a lot of people, and they don't).

Even most alcoholic beverages, unless you're drinking high-proof shots, aren't dehydrating enough to result in a fluid deficit. 8 ounces of water may provide a little more fluid than 8 ounces of coffee, but coffee still contributes to your fluid intake, and it actually comes pretty close.

Myth #2: A person needs 1/2 ounce of water for every pound of body weight.

This is also false. The formula is safe for average weight folk, but an obese person's water needs are not that much greater than an average person's. For morbidly obese folk, this myth can be quite dangerous, especially if they happen to also be on blood pressure meds or diuretics.

Myth #3: Only water counts.

Everything counts. Even the water in the food you eat. It's even possible (if you ate enough water containing fruits and vegetables, and most people don't) to satisfy all of your fluid requirements in food.

While my mother was in the hospital, she was on strict water restriction, and even the moisture in her food was counted.

Myth #4: Only pure water counts, it's easiest for the body to process, and all other beverages "confuse" the body.

Nope, this isn't true either. The human body processes water just fine if the water has stuff in it. And, in fact, drinking water always has stuff in it. Pure water is distilled water, and distilled water isn't recommended for drinking water, because it could, over time, pull minerals from your body through osmosis.

Myth #5: Thirst is not a reliable indicator of water needs. By the time you're thirsty, you're actually dehydrated.

This also is a myth. For most people, thirst is the best and only necessary indicator and measure of fluid needs. There's no factual basis for the myth that hunger is easily mistaken for thirst. Drinking fluids may reduce your appetite (for a very short time, because the stomach empties fluids far, far quicker than food), but in most cases thirst is your best indication of thirst.

Arctic Mama
06-08-2011, 01:32 PM
I"m not on the water wagon at all. I drink for thirst. I seem to be in such a minority that I choose to just not talk about it, and because I can never remember my sources of information.

This isn't exactly what I was looking for but here's an interesting article: http://www.snopes.com/medical/myths/8glasses.asp

I drink for thirst, as well, and that varies wildly. I still usually have at least 60-80 oz, because I am thirsty for it, but during months where I am breastfeeding still (like now, for example) I drink more like 120-150 oz a day. I just sip, anything from water to tea to crystal lite, until I'm not thirsty anymore. I have never put much thought into my water consumption, I just carry around a giant cup and it happens on its own.

06-08-2011, 01:53 PM
I guess I'm not in the minority I thought I was!

06-08-2011, 02:07 PM
I'm always ridiculously thirsty so drink around 2.5-3l of water a day. One of my kidneys works at impaired function levels because of a kidney infection a few years ago, and I'm sure that is the reason. I count herbal teas, but not coffee or black tea, definitely not diet coke etc. I notice after I drink alcohol, coffee or tea i'm always more thirsty than before, so they definitely dehydrate me. Every body is different. I wouldn't count soda though, it might encourage you to drink more of it and nobody wants more articificial sweeteners in their bodies really.

06-08-2011, 02:15 PM
I've tried drinking more to feel more full, but it doesn't work - despite drinking loads, I still feel hungry. All it makes me do is run for the loo more often.

06-08-2011, 03:38 PM
WOW!! tons of info here! thank you so much!!! Now i know i'm doing just fine! :)

06-08-2011, 03:50 PM
I drink about a gallon a day about 32 ounces is water and the rest crystal light or diet iced tea.

Beach Patrol
06-08-2011, 04:01 PM
I am "ridiculously thirsty" too. I am sipping on "something" all day, everyday. I usually drink 200+ ounces per day - more when I'm beaching or pooling all day. Mostly water (easy, cheap, no calories ;) ) but I have my 2 cuppa joes in the a.m. and then usually a Diet Mtn Dew when I get to work (sometimes I'll have a 2nd DietDew) and then usually water or flavored water (I've recently gotten hooked on Propel Grape!!! YUM!) all day into the evening... sometimes I have a glass of tea with my dinner, but then it's water-water-water. I keep two bottled waters beside my bed & frequently wake up to drink it. Of course, I also frequently wake up to go pee! :dizzy:

I'm such a liquid consumer, I've been checked for diabetes several times & the blood sugar is normal. I just get thirsty. I know part of that is due to my mouth-breathing habit (deviated septum makes it difficult to breathe thru my nose) so my mouth gets dry & I drink-drink-drink. OH WELL!

BTW, my pee is almost completely clear in color. It's very very very pale yellow, hardly detectable in the potty. :o Hmmmm... maybe that's TMI. :D

06-08-2011, 04:05 PM
I've tried drinking more to feel more full, but it doesn't work - despite drinking loads, I still feel hungry. All it makes me do is run for the loo more often.

This thread is definitely insightful. I thought I needed to drink half my body weight or more.

georgeshair this is me most days. It drives my husband crazy because I always have to go. I drink any where from 80ozs to 120oz of water a day and all I do is run to the bathroom. And in no way does it curb my hunger.

Beach Patrol, that's my urine also because I rarely drink anything else, but now I know I can :)

06-08-2011, 04:13 PM
Kristen; My body always tricks me into thinking that I'm hungry, when I'm actually thirsty. I discovered it not too long ago, but it helped me understand why I keep on gaining weight. Whenever I get random hungriness I just chug a glass of water and soon realize that I was rather thirsty. Not sure if it works for others, but it does for me. Also, I noticed on your ticker you've lost around 13 lbs! That's amazing. How long did that take you?

06-09-2011, 12:21 AM
I have a 750 ml aluminum water bottle with me at all times. Because it's right there I am always drinking from it- whether I'm bored, or killing time, or just mindlessly go to grab it. I go through 3-4 a day because of this reason.

I've found it really helps to a) have water with you, so there's no reason (e.g. lack of access) to not drink it and b) to have a large bottle. If I drink out of a bottle I drink the whole bottle. If I drink out of a small glass I drink that small glass. Same principle of large dinner plates vs small dinner plates- I use it to my advantage and drink out of a larger bottle to prompt myself to drink the whole thing.

06-09-2011, 03:46 AM
The '8 glasses a day' includes all liquids, but the more unwatery the liquid is the less water it has e.g. you may count a glass of lemonade as one glass of water, but half that quantity was actually made of sugar and lemons.

However I find that I often drink more than 8 glasses a day, probably around 3 L's of pure water! Then again on days I drink less than 1.5 litres I eat about 3000-4000 calories (really bad binges when I'm actually craving liquid).

I think as a general rule there is no amount of water that you HAVE to consume in a day- but make sure you are getting enough or you may overeat like me:devil:

06-09-2011, 09:21 AM
I drink about 64 oz of water on most days, and maybe occasionally have a cup of Genma-cha tea.

While I do not know if this does anything for my overall weight loss, I do not it keeps me from feeling dead exhausted after a workout, my skin has become more clear, and I was never a "regular" person before...but now I go every day! And losing any bit of weight helps on weigh-in days! :)

06-09-2011, 11:14 AM
Pointless2011-- i should try drinking when im hungry! my little sister told me she does that but i didnt believe her! lol. and I have been watching what i ate since the beginning of the year ... :/ so it has been a little while. there were times i jumped off, but I always came back. I regretted when I did stop watching what I was eating, but you know what they say: "live and learn". So I learned and hopefully i'll be sticking to it. I can say though its the most I've ever lost, and the longest i've ultimately stuck to it... thanks to all you lovely ladies :)