The SparkPeople Blog

One More Reason To Drink Your Water

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
10/27/2009 6:02 AM   :  194 comments   :  19,221 Views

See More: diet, drinks, water,
I'm routinely asked why SparkPeople focuses so much on drinking water. The idea that you need to drink 8 glasses a day is a myth, right? Although the amount of water you should consume varies from person to person, there are a lot of reasons to make sure you're getting enough. If you're looking for a few, a new study confirms that water drinkers tend to have better diets.

The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, used data from a government health survey of 12,000 Americans to make their conclusions. Researchers found that "people who drank more "plain water" tended to eat more fiber, less sugar and fewer calorie-dense foods," versus those who got their fluids from other beverages (such as soda, juice, milk, etc.) This doesn't mean that drinking water made them healthier eaters. But it does show a relationship between drinking water and a healthy diet.

Drinking water in place of higher calorie beverages can also help with weight loss and weight management. Looking for an easy way to lose over 14 pounds this year? Instead of having your daily Coke with lunch, try a glass of water instead. You'll save 140 calories per can, which really adds up over time. Drinking water is also important as you increase your level of physical activity, can help you feel fuller throughout the day, and is a simple goal you can set for yourself. Staring with simple goals can help you build momentum to reach bigger goals when adopting a healthy lifestyle.

What do you think? Do you try to drink a certain amount of water each day? Have you noticed a correlation between drinking water and your overall diet?


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Comments

  • 144
    Now that we are getting into the cold months I add a lot of fresh brewed herbal tea to daily intake. No caffeine, no sugar...good for my health. - 10/28/2009   12:20:49 PM
  • DAVEDAGO
    143
    In the past I was never a big water drinker but since I joining SparkPeople and wanting my 5 points it has become part of my day. - 10/28/2009   12:13:59 PM
  • GRANDMO1
    142
    Thanks for the information. I drink 8 glasses of water a day and feel awful if I don't. - 10/28/2009   12:07:44 PM
  • 141
    Good reminder. I drink my water regularly. It's often easier in the summer or when I'm more active. - 10/28/2009   12:05:59 PM
  • REDSTAR3
    140
    Does herbal tea count? I drink a tons of the stuff - but isn't plain water .... if you eat a pile of fruit & veggies - you will also get a ton of water from your food. Did anyone see Dr Oz last week - he talked about water ... he says as along as your pee is clear - you're fine. So its dependant on you .... - 10/28/2009   12:04:57 PM
  • 139
    I gave up soda 2 years ago when I joined SparkPeople - today I carry water with me everywhere! - 10/28/2009   12:01:45 PM
  • 138
    While I think keeping adequately hydrated is important to overall health, I think everybody needs to remember that too much of a good thing can be as harmful as too little. Unless I misread it, I understood one of the previous comments to say that you're doing good if you drink half your body weight in water. That is WAY too much water to consume. It is possible to die from drinking too much water, just as it is possible to die of thirst.

    My point is that we need to keep this in perspective and not go overboard. - 10/28/2009   11:51:07 AM
  • 137
    I'm not convinced. The type of person more likely to drink water is probably the same type that will eat more healthfully. - 10/28/2009   11:29:23 AM
  • SHERILS15
    136
    I am trying to drink more water, but my water has to be ICE Cold otherwise I think it tastes awful. In May I went from drinking anywhere from 3-7 pepsi's a day to zero pop -- cold turkey. Of course, I subsititued lemonade when I go out to eat because no one keeps their water cold enough but drink water at home. I don't get near enought, but at least I have cut out the soda. Have dropped a whole pant size by doing so. - 10/28/2009   11:29:10 AM
  • 135
    I love water and am not a soda or sweetner drinker. I notice my skin looks healthier and I feel better.
    - 10/28/2009   11:25:46 AM
  • 2DIETORNOT2DIET
    134
    I was drinking water and carrying it with me all the time way before it was a fashion statement, people would make fun of me, I have never liked soda even as a child I would ask for water. - 10/28/2009   11:02:36 AM
  • 133
    I have always drank at least 16 glasses a day. I don't like coffee and really can't stand pop. I used to drink 100% real juice juices, but they suggested that is not the way to go either, besides which I prefer my fruit fresh anyway. Green tea and soy milk are the only things I drink other than water. I need lots of water to feel good while exercising, both before, during and after. - 10/28/2009   10:49:21 AM
  • 132
    Even when I drank soda, it was diet soda; however, I think there's a correlation between any flavored drink and the kinds of food we eat. Water is neutral and allows the flavors of foods to come through, rather than being masked by the flavors of the beverages. Less sensory stimulation might allow the palate to actually taste the food we're eating~ Makes sense to me! - 10/28/2009   10:27:30 AM
  • 131
    I have done both and I have noticed that when I get at least 8 glasses of water a day or more) that I feel better overall and that I lose weight faster. When I don't drink my water (like I have been recently) the weight stops coming off as fast (or I gain weight) and I don't feel as good as I do when I keep myself hydrated. I have also noticed as others have mentioned that my skin was clearer when I was drinking my water everyday and now that I have not been I have been breaking out! I never connected the two things before and it is rather a shock to realize that there may be a connection there! LOL I resolve to get back on track and start drinking my water again! - 10/28/2009   10:25:10 AM
  • CUTAYPIE
    130
    I love water and I actually prefer it to pop. My water must be very cold otherwise I stay away from it. I find it easy to just freeze 1/2 of my water and then add water later to drink. I'm always the one holding either a glass or a bottle of water everywhere I go.

    For anyone who doesn't enjoy water try what I do, it just adds a bit of pizazz!
    - 10/28/2009   10:23:06 AM
  • 129
    I have always been a water drinker (even at 400 pounds). However, now I drink water almost exclusively (with the occasional glass of milk). I drink about 90-120 ounces a day. I notice that when I drink plenty of water, my skin is clearer, feels less oily, and I am less tired. When I am feeling tired, I have water and seem to perk up noticeably. I also feel more like eating healthy foods when I am "full" with water. I don't notice the terrible cravings for junk food as much when I am drinking plenty of water... - 10/28/2009   10:18:44 AM
  • 128
    I drink 8 to 10 glasses of water per day. I've noticed my skin is clearer , I gave up soda for water and in general feel much better. - 10/28/2009   10:11:00 AM
  • 127
    YES I drink water & it is a very important part of my way of life.. I have discovered that my skin is also clear sence & stopped drinking soda & alcohol. It's water for me!! - 10/28/2009   9:55:55 AM
  • MNTGRL
    126
    I have always preferred water and I don't add flavors. I personlly don't think that artifical sweetners are good for you. When I don't drink my water I get bloated and my skin really suffers-looks dull. I love bottled spring water but since I'm also eco-conscious I got myself a water bottle with a purifier thats also BHP free. I think learning to prefer water is a learned habit and one that's worth adopting. - 10/28/2009   9:27:33 AM
  • 125
    I only drink water -- and I drink a LOT of it. I drink a minimum of 20-24 glasses per day.

    I can't imagine where my weight would be if I consumed beverages with calories -- it's hard enough now! Now, if I could just get the food together... we'd be all set! - 10/28/2009   8:59:50 AM
  • 124
    I love water... I really do! I am in the process of weaning myself off of drinks except for my coffee in the morning... I love my alone time with a cup before my exercise and before everyone gets up.... other than that I just fill that I am more refreshed and full of energy with good old h2o!!!! - 10/28/2009   8:55:31 AM
  • 123
    I buy one of those large liter bottles of water and keep that with me at all times when at the office or at home. I fill it each morning and keep guzzling. This is an easy way to know how much I've had and having the water bottle laying around, reminds me to drink. The water keeps me filled up and with the drinking, it satisfies my oral needs! - 10/28/2009   8:38:23 AM
  • BONNYR
    122
    Drinking water is a consious effort for me. So when I drink a few cupfulls a day, I am so proud of myself, that it helps to keep me on track. - 10/28/2009   8:32:20 AM
  • 121
    Drinking enough water, seems to be one of my major weaknesses. Of course I've gone most of my life drinking low amounts of anything. Which is prob. why I started my life style change at 288 pounds. . . . I'm up to 5 or 6 on a regular day and that is if I keep the water glass right in front of me. I can make 10 to 11 when I exercise on weekends and go out for dinner.

    But I'm really having an issue stepping up my water intake. - 10/28/2009   8:01:23 AM
  • MARYNELL7
    120
    Water does keep me full, however the effect wears off quickly - 10/28/2009   7:58:16 AM
  • 119
    2 Cardinal Rules that have helped me with weight loss:
    #1) Don't drink your calories!!!!!!!!!! (So water wins out every time)
    #2) Stay hydrated to avoid reaching for foods when really thirsty/not hungry. - 10/28/2009   7:46:11 AM
  • 118
    I sleep better since I drink 8 cups of water really made a difference and don't feel as bloated as well that's one good thing. - 10/28/2009   7:45:18 AM
  • 117
    I have noticed that if I drink water before meals I eat less - 10/28/2009   7:27:59 AM
  • BRENDACW
    116
    I almost always drink at least eight glasses of water a day because I am prone to urinary tract infections if I do not. The way I do this is to keep a bottle of water with me and sip on it as much as possible. - 10/28/2009   7:09:25 AM
  • 115
    The formula I have heard for how much water you should drink is: drink 1/2 your weight in ounces (ex.-if you weigh 200 lbs. you should drink 100 oz. of water a day). - 10/28/2009   7:09:21 AM
  • 114
    As for me, not really a correlation. I drank water while I gained weight and while I lost it. I'm not much of a soda/juice drinker. I will say that being mindful of getting enough water seems to ave more of an impact on my weight loss. I try to reach for water instead of food. - 10/28/2009   6:48:32 AM
  • 113
    I have always tried to drink at least 8 glasses of water, I am an elementary school librarian so talk most of the day and I am in a dry environment, so it is easy to do. I like plain water, but occasionally will add an instant drink mix to "perk it up". Several years ago, I was having a rough bout with getting a UTI about every month for 3 or 4 consecutive months--not fun at all and the last doctor I saw (going to an Urgent Care each time) first told me I must be a teacher (he sees many teachers with repeat UTIs as they are not able to take "breaks" when they should) and he told me I HAD to drink at least 8 glasses a day. I told him I already was and he just I HAD to up it to 12 or 14 (I usually do 11 to 12) AND use the restroom hourly instead of "holding" it all day. I have had to let several teachers know that I might be 30 seconds late for their class (I have back to back classes most of the day), and it has worked well. Plus, I have NOT had a UTI since (YEAH!!!). So, I am a firm believer that water has made me physically healthier. I also notice that I don't eat as much (grazing) if I am drinking water--it fills me up so I don't have to eat something. - 10/28/2009   6:22:04 AM
  • 112
    I've been a big water drinker for the last 8 years, but my weight has been anywhere from less than my current goal weight to a minimum of 200lbs. Water may or may not be an indicator of healthy habits. - 10/28/2009   5:56:45 AM
  • 111
    I love my water! I need my water! I have a double filter on my tap water to filter out all the nasties 1 I am 66 yrs old and really need to hydrate my body. I think it actually keeps the brain cells healthy, as well as flushing the system ...I drink anything up to 14 glasses a day as well as my 1 litre water bottle when I am swimming and exercising ..I also drink herbal teas and two cups of weak coffee a day..
    - 10/28/2009   5:42:05 AM
  • QUEENCAT25
    110
    I make sure I get my water in everyday. It makes me feel so much better! - 10/28/2009   1:44:58 AM
  • 109
    I try hard to get in my 8 cups a day of water but I have had my days where i did not get that amount. i feel totally better all the way around when I ahve water. - 10/28/2009   1:25:29 AM
  • 108
    I drink 10 glasses of water a day which usually helps me with my arthritis. I also drink green tea and coffee in the morning. I usually eat less. I also know that when I listened to Dr. Oz in the afternoon he had a viewer who asked him if they really had to drink 8 glasses of water a day and he said no because there was enough water in the food we eat that we didn't need 8 glasses a day. Boy and he calls himself a Dr. LOL - 10/28/2009   12:32:08 AM
  • 107
    I know it does this body good. - 10/27/2009   11:59:51 PM
  • MRSKRISTINA
    106
    It makes too much sense to ignore.... - 10/27/2009   11:40:34 PM
  • 105
    I drink 8 or more cups of water and day and I love it. I believe that it helps with weight loss because after I completely stopped drinking sodas and focused on drinking water and an occasional cup of juice, my weight loss received a noticeable boost. - 10/27/2009   11:31:30 PM
  • 104
    It's hard for me to drink 8 glasses of water daily. I'm trying! I hope I will reach this goal soon! - 10/27/2009   11:24:24 PM
  • 103
    Today I was able to reach my goal of 12 glasses. I read somewhere if you drink half your body weight you are doing good. Hoping to get there one day! Someone commented that she is full at 12 so AM I! lol Its going to be hard!!! - 10/27/2009   11:09:33 PM
  • 102
    I strive for the 8 glasses a day. - 10/27/2009   10:23:12 PM
  • TOONCIS
    101
    i have been drinking water 100% since approximately 1998 when a massage therapist was crushing "crystals" in my feet and shoulder area (ouch!) - she asked me if i drank anything with artificial sweeteners in it which i did about 95% of my fluid intake. growing up my comfort food was coke since my dad worked for coke and we got it by the case for free - it was difficult to give up. the last time i drank something other than water was in august of 2007 - my birthday and it was HORRIBLE - prior to that i had not had anything but water for about three years. i do have a cup of herbal tea when i am ill which is about two or three times a year. i also will drink applecider vinegar with honey when i have a cold. other than that, i''m 100% a water drinker and log my daily water intake - it's an average of 72 ounces per day. i must say once i had not had any flavored liquid the desire is completely gone...i would like this feeling to happen behind sugar and carbs! i'm working on it. - 10/27/2009   9:35:37 PM
  • FOX2566
    100
    A dietician wrote in one of my recent readings....when a group of people plateaued, switched from other beverages to water, progress happened. May want to consider that, too! - 10/27/2009   8:05:02 PM
  • 99
    Years ago, I drank Diet Soda...LOT's of it....but when decaff came out, I wanted to get off the caffeine and did, I don't know what led my getting off soda all together and on to water....but it had to be ICE cold, as I read Ice water helped me burn more calories. I don't know if that is a fact....however, I grew to not be able to leave home WITHOUT my water!!!

    And recently, I got off bottled water, and began using a PUR filter. AND bought a BPA free resuable water bottle which goes with me always. I also have two 24 ounce BPA free bottles on hand. I am addicted to my water! HEY GREAT ADDICTION! ha.

    Really good article. There are articles on the web, on the LIE of drinking water...well it is a sorry thing, to see that sort of thing out here....for people who HATE water....but as for me....give me MORE! - 10/27/2009   7:58:18 PM
  • 98
    My diet has gotten better since I've been drinking more water and drinking less "empty calories" like soda. Sometimes I get tired of water and drink Crystal Light, and I count that towards my water for the day despite SparkPeople reccommendations. However, I have keratitis (extreme dry eye) that I'm trying to deal with and my optometrist has told me to drink a GALLON of water everyday, so I'm back at it. I'm surprised I have any time to do anything besides go to the bathroom these days.... - 10/27/2009   7:37:32 PM
  • 97
    There's certainly nothing wrong with encouraging people to drink water, but I'll admit that at times I feel like Sparkpeople is sacrificing some of its credibility by stressing the value (and necessary) quantity of drinking water with claims that go beyond what recent studies seem to support.

    It just gives me twinges of wondering what other truths might be getting stretched a bit. - 10/27/2009   7:33:09 PM
  • 96
    Trying to substitute water for Dr. Pepper.
    Not easy, but it works. - 10/27/2009   7:28:54 PM
  • 95
    I have always been a water drinker. I notice on days when I would have a pop or juice instead of my water I craved more sugary snacks, wasnt fulfilled enough with my food,ect. I feel much healthier and fuller when I drink just water. - 10/27/2009   7:04:11 PM

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