Water, Water Everywhere?


Don’t care about my opinions on water?  Want to win some Olympic Granola instead?  Go say hi to Healthy Ashley

Can I ask an honest question that I imagine will make me NO friends?  If recent science has shown that drinking more and more water has no particular health benefits (which it has) why is there such a focus on it?  Is it just that water helps us feel full?

The Mayo Clinic says the 64oz/day rule is not supported by science and also says ALL beverages count toward your daily fluid total.

And from Snopes (you may not credit Snopes with much, but if you look at their listed sources below the article, they’re legit):

“Kidney specialists do agree on one thing, however: that the 8-by-8 rule is a gross overestimate of any required minimum. To replace daily losses of water, an average-sized adult with healthy kidneys sitting in a temperate climate needs no more than one liter of fluid, according to Jurgen Schnermann, a kidney physiologist at the National Institutes of Health.  One liter is the equivalent of about four 8-ounce glasses. According to most estimates, that’s roughly the amount of water most Americans get in solid food. In short, though doctors don’t recommend it, many of us could cover our bare-minimum daily water needs without drinking anything during the day….”

“In a study published in the October issue of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, researchers at the Center for Human Nutrition in Omaha measured how different combinations of water, coffee and caffeinated sodas affected the hydration status of 18 healthy adults who drink caffeinated beverages routinely.

“We found no significant differences at all,” says nutritionist Ann Grandjean, the study’s lead author. “The purpose of the study was to find out if caffeine is dehydrating in healthy people who are drinking normal amounts of it. It is not.”

The same goes for tea, juice, milk and caffeinated sodas: One glass provides about the same amount of hydrating fluid as a glass of water. The only common drinks that produce a net loss of fluids are those containing alcohol — and usually it takes more than one of those to cause noticeable dehydration, doctors say.”

I’m not saying (nor are these sources) that we shouldn’t drink any water, and I would certainly say that if weight loss is your goal it is better to drink water than the empty calories in a soda, but I’m just wondering why there is such a push for water water water, with some programs pushing people to drink 100oz a day and more, when the science just doesn’t seem to support it?

Full disclosure: I drink water almost exclusively, but mostly because I started doing so to avoid excess calories and now I’m used to it.  I keep a large cup nearby, and I get anywhere from 32-64oz per day by only drinking when I feel thirsty, including when I exercise.

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9 Responses

  1. [...] The one where I malign water and everyone tells me I’m an idiot: Water, Water Everywhere? [...]

  2. I started drinking water in college when I lost weight, and stayed with the habit because I prefer water, and it’s cheaper! (When you’re a poor college student, that’s important too!) I drink 64+ oz/day now to rehydrate after exercise and to stay hydrated through the day. I don’t think we should “chug” water, but I do think that aiming for 64 oz/day is a healthy habit that doesn’t do any harm. It keeps us away from calorie-laden drinks and keeps our bodies working.

    Just my opinion! :-)

  3. Hmmm…. I’m not really sure, but I do know that my doctor said I need to be drinking at the very least a gallon of water per day (not that I listen). But that was straight from my doc. I have kidney weirdness though, so I don’t know.

    • Regardless of what me or anyone else on the internet or in studies or whatever says, ALWAYS LISTEN TO YOUR DOCTOR. Every body is different, and it’s your doctor’s job to know what’s best for you given your history and current situation. SO GO DRINK MORE WATER, Ms. Bex.

  4. I think this is just one more area where, because there’s so much conflicting information out there, we don’t know how to trust ourselves.

    Like Heather, I prefer water. I have water with me pretty much all the time. I also have a cup or two of coffee every day and sometimes a glass of wine. Every once in a while, I’ll have a diet coke (like once a month or so). If it’s hot out and I’ve been exercising, I drink more water. If it’s cold and I’ve been sitting around all day, I drink less.

    • Karen, this is exactly what I think is best. Just listen to your body, do what feels right. If you feel great drinking 800 gallons of water a day, AWESOME. If you feel satisfied and hydrated with less, awesome! It’s all about knowing what’s best for you.

  5. I fully agree with you.

    My disclosure: I’ve tried to get 64 oz. of water on a regular basis, and I just can’t do it. That said, I’m also almost exclusively a water drinker, but I can’t have caffeine or alcohol, and I don’t like carbonation. I do drink a lot of water during the day, but not the oft-mentioned 64 oz. That much water actually makes me feel kind of lousy. And I don’t see any problem in listening to what the body wants (or doesn’t want) in this case.

  6. I bought all that “well, in order to lose weight you have to drink lots of water” once before ~ began drinking tons of water, and I’ve learned for my body it makes no difference. When I keep my calories down and get plenty of exercise, I can lose weight whether I drink a gallon of water or 3 cups of water. If drinking lots of water keeps you feeling fuller, then by all means drink ~In my case, water never makes me feel full or not want a cookie lol but it does feel good when I’m sweating and thirsty and dying for a drink.

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