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Does Coffee Count as Water???

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Old 11-22-2010, 09:16 AM   #1
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Can you count coffee towards your daily water intake??? I don't ....but have always wondered this and since I was wondering, I am sure other people are too.
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Old 11-22-2010, 09:29 AM   #2
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I'm pretty loose on my "what counts as water" classifications. I try to drink 64oz (2 liters), but I'm rarely thirsty. I'm not the type that has to take a drink after every bite. So getting liquids in is a pretty conscious effort. That said, I'm usually pretty slack on what counts and what does not count.

1 cup coffee = 1 cup water....to me. However, caffeine does have a slight diuretic effect (makes you pee), so that 1 cup water might be moving through your system a bit quicker than plain water. It still counts to me. Even the water content of your food goes toward your daily water goal, so if I drink a brothy soup (that's as low in sodium as possible), I might count that. I eat very watered down oatmeal (3/4 cup oats + water to completely fill a 2qt mixing bowl, lol), so I feel like I get some water credit for that.

The 8 8-oz glasses/day (64oz/day) thing is somewhat outdated. No doubt fluid is important, but if you're drinking when you feel thirsty, drinking after exercise or on hot days, etc, and you feel fine...you probably don't need to focus too much on meeting a minimum intake. The only reason I have a specific liquid intake goal is because I would go all day drinking nothing BUT 1 cup of coffee and I...*ahem*...get plugged up if I don't drink enough water, hehe.

In short, yes, coffee counts as water, but keep in mind that it has a slight diuretic effect.
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Old 11-22-2010, 10:41 AM   #3
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I go by the rule of "If it's not water, it's food" so I count it towards calories and so on.
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Old 11-23-2010, 08:41 PM   #4
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I count both coffee and tea toward my daily water intake, though even without those I get more than enough water. Like Megan said, though, it is a diuretic, so I wouldn't be getting all your water intake from coffee. But it's mainly water anyway, so counting a cup or two isn't going to hurt, so long as the coffee doesn't have a bunch of other stuff added to it.
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Old 11-24-2010, 01:07 PM   #5
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If I drink a lot of coffee, I get really dehydrated, so I tend to not count it as water.
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Old 11-24-2010, 03:49 PM   #6
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I think it counts - but why not just not count it and get that extra water in, anyway?
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Old 11-24-2010, 03:57 PM   #7
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I read about some research that was interested in the question of just how much coffee is a diuretic and whether it affects dehydration. Apparently it had been assumed, but not tested before that (!!). The research showed that caffeine WAS a bit of a diuretic for people who were not used to it, but that once people got accustomed to it, moderate caffeine intake no longer had a diuretic effect.

Since that research has come out I have seen experts more likely to recommend that drinks like coffee can count for water intake.

Here's a summary of the research: http://advance.uconn.edu/2002/020722/02072207.htm
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Old 11-24-2010, 03:58 PM   #8
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I believe your body expells 1.5 cups of water for every 1 cup of coffee you drink. Or something like that.

This article reccomends you drink one extra cup of water for every cup of coffee or tea that you drink:
http://viewzone2.com/waterx.html

So, in essence, it may be the anti-water.

[That being said, I can't function with out 4-5 cups a day! ]
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Old 11-25-2010, 01:30 AM   #9
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I count it as coffee.
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Old 11-25-2010, 08:02 AM   #10
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marbear -- The article you linked to was originally published in 1994, and probably doesn't reflect the new research about the diuretic effects of water. I think our understanding about it has changed.
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Old 11-25-2010, 01:17 PM   #11
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Water myths are a peeve of mine. My mom was hospitalized several years ago for water intoxication (also called water poisoning, or water overdose), which resulted in permanent kidney damage, in part because of the myth that cofee requires intake of compensatory liquids.


She wasn't drinking much more than a gallon of fluids a day, but over time it depleted sodium to dangerously low levels (the most common type of water intoxication is sodium depletion).

The kidney specialist that was called in told us that virtually every liquid "counts," even most alcoholic beverages (unless you're pounding shots of high-proof alcohol). Coffee, beer, wine - they all count. So do "wet" foods like fruit. He pointed out that if coffee was so dehydrating that you had to drink extra water to compensate, then people who drink coffee as their only beverage (and there are many) would die of dehydration (and they don't). At worst an 8-oz cup of coffee might be equal to a slightly smaller amount of water. It certainly doesn't cause a fluid debt.

If you drink a lot of coffee, you really do need to count it. Water poisoning is still very rare, but it's becoming more common. If you are on blood pressure meds, eat a low-sodium diet, or drink more than 3 quarts of any beverage; you should at least be aware of the symptoms of water intoxication. Unfortunately, the symptoms aren't specific enough to be concerning until they become life-threatening. My dad (a trained EMT) thought mom had the flu, until she became delerious, and even the emergency room doctors had no clue for hours (because it's so uncommon, they weren't even looking for it).

I'm on the same blood pressure meds as my mom, and I've also had sodium levels low enough to require supplementation. I've been warned that before I ever have any surgery, I need to request a blood test for sodium levels (because it's not common to be sodium-depleted, it's not a routine test). The biggest risk of sodium-depletion is cardiac arrest.
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Old 11-26-2010, 08:33 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heather View Post
marbear -- The article you linked to was originally published in 1994, and probably doesn't reflect the new research about the diuretic effects of water. I think our understanding about it has changed.
Ah, Touche.
Yeah. Personally coffee makes me thirsty - doesn't quench my thirst - so I guess I assume that the whole water replacement thing is correct.

Any idea where I can find the new research to skim over [I'm up for a VERY boring day at work today, and this is interesting me...]
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Old 11-26-2010, 09:32 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaplods View Post
If you drink a lot of coffee, you really do need to count it. Water poisoning is still very rare, but it's becoming more common. If you are on blood pressure meds, eat a low-sodium diet, or drink more than 3 quarts of any beverage; you should at least be aware of the symptoms of water intoxication. Unfortunately, the symptoms aren't specific enough to be concerning until they become life-threatening. My dad (a trained EMT) thought mom had the flu, until she became delerious, and even the emergency room doctors had no clue for hours (because it's so uncommon, they weren't even looking for it).
Thanks so much for this info. I love my coffee and people are always telling me to drink the same amount in water that I have in coffee. Never thought it could end in such a terrible manner.

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Old 11-26-2010, 03:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marbear24 View Post
Ah, Touche. Any idea where I can find the new research to skim over [I'm up for a VERY boring day at work today, and this is interesting me...]

You won't find much research (old or new) because the medical community never did widely accept the water myths that have errroneously become "common knowledge." It's folklore, pure and simple.

Snopes has a good overview (and cites some of the research, and other sources which may have more citations if you go to them)

http://www.snopes.com/medical/myths/8glasses.asp
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Old 11-26-2010, 03:15 PM   #15
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I haven't been to a WW meeting in 2 years, but I have been told that diet soda and water can be counted as water for your daily water log at a WW meeting in the past.
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