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Info summarized from WebMD Weight Loss Clinic
We are constantly being told to drink eight glasses of water a day, in addition to other drinks. But research shows that we do not need to worry about drinking a specific amount of water each day. Any fluid counts, and there is NO quota.
A 2002 study published in the American Journal of Physiology concluded there was no basis to the 8-glasses-a-day rule, because our water needs depend on
many constantly changing metabolic factors; most notably, how much we sweat. The study recommended that normal healthy adults simply drink when they are thirsty, and said that even caffeinated drinks and alcoholic ones count. Even solid food supplies some water. It ALL counts!
In February 2004, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) issued new recommendations that agree with these findings. The new guidelines remove the eight-glasses-a-day recommendation, and say healthy adults may use thirst to determine their fluid needs. Exceptions to this rule include anyone with a medical condition requiring fluid control; athletes; and people taking part in prolonged physical activities or whose living conditions are extreme.
About 80% of our water comes from drinking fluids (including water) and 20% comes from food. Many common foods are very high in water content (source, American Dietetic Association):
Food Percentage Water
Lettuce (½ cup) 95%
Watermelon (½ cup) 92%
Broccoli (½ cup) 91%
Grapefruit (½ cup) 91%
Milk (1 cup) 89%
Orange juice (¾ cup) 88%
Carrot (½ cup) 87%
Yogurt (1 cup) 85%
Apple (one medium) 84%
Besides climate and metabolism, certain illnesses can increase fluid needs; but drinking quotas make no sense. If you have to force yourself to drink water when you aren't thristy, just to meet a quota, beware. A recent study of Boston Marathon runners showed that a startling 1/3 of them were drinking too much water during a race.
"Trust your thirst instinct to make sure you get enough fluids and, of equal importance, void frequently," suggests David Perlow, an Atlanta urologist.
It is often stated that by the time people are thirsty, they are already dehydrated, but THIS IS NOT TRUE. Thirst perception begins before blood concentration rises by even 2%, whereas dehydration (clinically defined) begins when that concentration has risen by at least 5%. BIG difference.
Urine color is NOT an accurate indicator of hydration. In fact, research concludes that there is little correlation between true dehydration and urine color, but there is a correlation between overhydration and pale urine. At normal urinary volume and color, blood concentration is within the normal range, nowhere near dehydration values. Therefore, the warning that dark urine reflects dehydration is false in most instances.
For years, drinking water has been recommended for weight loss. But thirst and hunger are regulated by two entirely different body mechanisms. "Drinking water satisfies thirst, not hunger", points out Barbara Rolls, PhD, an expert on thirst and satiety.
A recent study by Rolls and colleagues at Penn State University found that drinking water with meals had little effect on total calorie consumption at the meal.
"In all of our research, we have never been able to show that water can cause weight loss," says Rolls.
However, eating foods with high water content can help dieters, by increasing the fullness factor. "When you add water to a bowl of vegetables as in soup, the soup has greater satiety than when the vegetables are eaten alone, along with a glass of water," explains Rolls. "When water is incorporated into food or shakes, satiety is increased and subjects ultimately eat less food." ------------------------------------------
SOURCES: American Journal of Physiology, Aug. 8, 2002. Appetite, April 2005. News release, Institute of Medicine, Feb.11, 2004. American Dietetic Association web site. David Perlow, MD, urologist, Atlanta. Barbara Rolls, PhD, author, The Volumetrics Weight-Control Plan and The Volumetrics Eating Plan; and professor, nutritional sciences, Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pa. WebMD news article: "Marathon Runners Drink Too Much."
MYTHBUSTERS, Discovery Channel:
"While it's a good idea to drink plenty of water, there is no scientific or medical basis for the specific amount of eight glasses per day. Water intake needs vary from person to person, depending on age, size and amount of physical activity. We can also get water from food and other beverages, so we don't necessarily need to get all of our fluids in the form of drinking water."
This is from ClassBrain.com:
"The "8 by 8" rule comes from a report that was created in 1945, what they didn't tell us all these years is that the water that we consume in our food is included in the total, which means that the average person only needs to drink about four glasses of water a day. You can rest easy that you're actually drinking the correct amount of water for a healthy lifestyle."
"And, contrary to popular belief, there is no evidence to suggest that drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day will make you healthier. How much water you need depends on many factors, including your body size, how active you are, your age, and your
Encylopedia of Nursing and Allied Health:
"For a normal adult, a minimum daily intake between 700-800 ml (0.74-0.84 US quarts) is required to meet water losses and maintain the body's water balance. "
"For some people, eight glasses a day might actually be far too much, leading to sodium deficiencies and potentially life-threatening water intoxication, caused by kidneys not being able to keep up the intake of liquids. In 2002, a kidney specialist tried, in vain, to find any scientific evidence supporting the eight-glasses-a-day myth. His report, published in the American Journal of Physiology, concluded that this standard health advice was complete and utter bunk that, like many urban legends, stemmed from a tiny grain of truth. Apparently, the dietary guidelines provided by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council say that we get most of our needed liquid from the water in solid food. There’s no need to drink more."
From SparkPeople.com HealthNews articles, courtesy University of Arkansas Medical Sciences:
"Myth: Drinking eight glasses of water a day is good for your overall health and will prevent kidney stones.
Reality: Everyone has heard that we should drink eight glasses of water a day but there's no way to determine where this belief originated nor has there ever been a scientific study to support it, explains Dr. Alex Finkbeiner, chairman of the UAMS Department of Urology. "Interestingly, one of my colleagues also questioned whether such a statement was true and, after conducting a research study, concluded there is no basis for such a statement. I advise patients to simply let their thirst guide their fluid intake unless there is a specific medical reason to do differently."
From SparkPeople.Com article "Nutrition FAQs":
"Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science, Dietary Reference Intake for Electrolytes and Water says..."The fluids consumed do not have to be only water. Individuals can obtain their fluids from a variety of beverages and foods. Contrary to popular opinion, consumers do not need to consume "eight glasses of water a day" to meet their fluid needs."
From the Mayo Clinic:
"According to the Institute of Medicine, letting thirst be your guide is an adequate daily guideline for most healthy people."
From Johns Hopkins:
"Thirst is the body’s way of telling you that you need more fluids."
From University of PA Dept of Nephrology, Dr. Stanley Goldfarb:
Myth No. 1: Drinking water suppresses appetite. "Many people drink water before and during the meal to try to suppress their appetite, yet there is no consistent evidence that water suppresses appetite. Because you absorb water so quickly and it moves through the GI tract so quickly, it doesn't fill you up, nor does it lead to the release of hormones which suppress appetite as far as we know."
Myth No. 2: Water flushes toxins from the body. "In fact, that is not how the kidney works. When you drink a lot of water you end up having a larger volume of urine but don't necessarily increase the excretion of various constituents of the urine."
Myth No. 3: Drinking water reduces headaches. It does not, according to the evidence.
Myth No. 4: Drinking water improves your skin. "There are no data to suggest that it actually improves the water content of the skin."
Research did find solid evidence that people living in hot, dry climates, as well as some athletes, have an increased need for water, and people with certain diseases like kidney stones may benefit from increased water intake — but no such data exist for average, healthy individuals. Those doctors and others who have been recommending drinking eight glasses of water aren't basing it on anything scientific, according to Goldfarb. He concludes that most healthy people don't have to worry about drinking eight glasses every day.
From SparkPeople Dietician Becky Hand:
"Just drinking a glass of water along with the meal does not provide the same degree of satiety. Research has shown that to reduce hunger and boost fullness, the water has to be in the food. Why? Because there are separate mechanisms in the brain to control hunger and thirst."
50 lbs gone by 6/18/07
GOAL MET 04/21/07
100 lbs gone by 1/1/08
GOAL MET 09/04/07
My core program is simple: eat less and exercise more.
Sounds familiar, right? This advice is not a new concept.
Avoid "empty" calories (such as refined carbs). Ask yourself what benefit you are getting out of those calories you are choosing... if they aren't helping you meet a specific health and fitness goal, they're empty calories and you should avoid them.
Shoot for two hours of exercise every day. A good plan is 30 minutes of vigorous cardio (such as elliptical), and 90 minutes of sustained cardio (such as walking).
Eat at least 5 servings of fruits/vegetables daily.
I'm a Certified Arborist and Professional Landscape Designer, whose pastimes include counting calories, working out, shopping, and continuing education classes.
One thing that is NOT part of my program is counting how many ounces of water I drink.
If you are doing the cardio, you'll be sweating, and you'll be thirsty, and chances are you'll drink way more than 8 glasses a day.
I drink whenever I'm thirsty, and have no limit or quota.
My results speak for themselves.
Secrets of Success
| current weight: 182.0