Weight Watchers and other plans often set "rules" on water, but they're not based in fact. Even caffeinated beverages "count" as my mother learned the hard way when she had to be hospitalized for water intoxication (also called water poisoning - possibly deadly as it depletes electrolytes, primarily sodium).
My mother was at greater risk because of her naturally low sodium diet and diuretic blood pressure medication (I'm on the same medications, and also tend towards low sodium levels, so I try to limit liquids - of all types to 3 quarts per day). As her WW leader recommended, Mom wasn't counting her coffee. As her kidney specialist pointed out, if coffee were dehydrating, then people who drink only coffee (and there are many) would die of dehydration in a few days (they don't). Also, in medieval times, people drank no water whatsoever. Beer was much safer and almost as hydrating (safer because the mixture was boiled, but people didn't know that, they only knew beer was safer, so even children drank it).
Also the 8 glasses of water (or any beverage for that matter) is a myth, but can be helpful for dieting. Thirst, for most people, is a sufficient indicator of water needs. You can drink more without harm (within reason), but in a nutshell, count it all.
Last edited by kaplods; 05-20-2008 at 04:13 PM.