The water myth?

April 19, 2008 at 8:00 am 28 comments

For as long as I can remember its been drilled into my brain that the body needs 64oz of water a day to be healthy. I know I am not the only one to “know” this tidbit right?

One of my lose-weight-get-healthy goals lately has been trying to get the required 64 oz of water a day. But I think I’ve only been able to do it 1x in the last 18 days. I get close but on average I drink 34-50oz. Thats no where near my body idol friend, April‘s, 80oz a day! FO REALS??

As usual I was complaining to my good friend, Nikki, about it (hey if you can’t complain to a friend who can you complain to?) and being a little skeptical, she did a good ol fashion google search and sent me this and this.

The consensus seems to be that the average person loses 10 cups (where 1 cup= 8 oz) of fluid per day but also takes in 4 cups from food leaving a need to drink only 6 cups to make up the difference, a bit short of the recommended 8-10 glasses a day.

::smacks head::

I never thought about water from food! or maybe I just assumed it was 64 oz of water in addition to the water from food. *shrugs

I think the most important thing I’ve learned through my whole re-education on living healthy is that there is so much conflicting information out there and everyone’s body is different. Some of us have amazing metabolism, some of us have great genes, some of us love to exercise while others lack the previously mentioned (like me) therefore general “facts” don’t always applied equally to everyone. While it looks like I don’t necessarily “need” to drink 64 oz of water a day, I can’t imagine it would be a bad thing (aside for the constant bathroom breaks) so I think I will still strive for it but at least I know I am not a water failure if I do not reach it everyday.

What are your water thoughts? Leave me a comment.


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Day 18 Day 19, 20

28 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Gretchen Noelle  |  April 19, 2008 at 9:07 am

    Water…to *lose* weight, drink 1 LITER for every TEN kilos you weigh. I do not even think in ounces anymore, just liters. This flushes the system and keeps you full. I know it sounds like a lot, but it really does help. I am guessing the 2 Liters (64 ounces) is great if you are at your goal weight. Try and increase your water intake a liter a week. Oh and about the bathroom, your body seems to adjust to the higher water intake.

  • 2. bombshellwithin  |  April 19, 2008 at 9:18 am

    Alright, so my brother in the army told me that the ideal water intake (in ounces) for maximum hydration is your weight divided by 8. There are many theories, but many state the 8-10 glasses as just an urban legend. We do get a lot of water from our food.. and not to mention other beverages. Hard to quantify when we do input so many liquids.

    I know I may not get my alotted ounces of.. but then again, I botch up the calories too. It’s really hard when you’re in a stressful lifestyle, like college. Still, in this heat hydration is very important and I try to do my best.

  • 3. CB  |  April 19, 2008 at 9:36 am

    GRETCHEN, oh man. You’re gonna make me do some math huh? Ok so 1 liter=~34oz and 1 kilo=~2.2lbs. So if I did my math correctly I should be drinking 7 liters? DANG! That is a heck of alot of water! I think I did something wrong… help?

    BOMBSHELL, Hmmm… the army method brings me to about 20oz/day. This is way more doable. But I am honestly surprised at how little that seems. thanks for the info!

  • 4. Chelle  |  April 19, 2008 at 10:36 am

    When I was working with a personal trainer he told me take your body in lbs and drink that many oz. of water per day (so if you weight 120 lbs, drink 120 oz of water).

    Nowadays I use my pee to gauge my hydration level. If it’s clear I’m good! Yellow? Need to guzzle more water!

  • 5. CB  |  April 19, 2008 at 10:45 am

    CHELLE, very interesting. But dang thats alot of water! Alot more than the mythical 64oz. LMAO. I like your pee analysis. Thats a good way to tell for a visual learner like me ;)

  • 6. BBKiddo  |  April 19, 2008 at 11:58 am

    I was always taught that you should consume half your body weight in ounces of water. So if you are 130 pounds you would drink 65 oz of water. I would think that an 8th of your body weight would be a min to avoid dehydration.

  • 7. CB  |  April 19, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    BB, dang. here I am complaining about 64oz but it seems that many comments are saying ALOT more. wow. I guess I better get to guzzling… :)

  • 8. TPOX  |  April 19, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    I also heard the 1/2 ounce for every pound of body weight. I strive for that, but almost never reach it. I was religious about it one summer, and it definitely helped with weight loss (or maybe it was all that extra walking to the bathroom??) I think it’s just important to keep trying, even if you aren’t getting the full amount you should-whatever that may be- it’s in the ballpark and that’s better than 0 (which sometimes happens to me – oops!). :-)

  • 9. CB  |  April 19, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    TPOX, haha. walking to the bathroom to lose weight. Thats hilarious! I feel like that on some days when I am consciously aware of drinking alot of water. At least thats definitely perk – built-in exercise! ;)

  • 10. Annie  |  April 19, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    There is no scientific evidence behind the “8 glasses/64 oz.” per day water myth. I have no idea who came up with it but the medical community would like to smack them. Chelle’s analysis is pretty much right – if your pee is too concentrated, drink more water and figure out what the right amount for you is. That’s about all there is too it.

  • 11. CB  |  April 19, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    ANNIE, hi there! As I do more research it does seem to be more myth than fact. May I be a little nosy and ask if you are a doctor since you mention “medical community”? thanks for your insight. I’ll be sure to pay more attention to my pee starting now ;)

  • 12. alan  |  April 19, 2008 at 11:03 pm

    make me a sammich tomorrow! =] that turkey one down there looks good

    p.s. i might bring deanna tomorrow, she misses you

  • 13. mrsabybaby  |  April 20, 2008 at 6:53 am

    I think a lot of people have differing opinions on this. One thing to remember is that yes, there is water in food. However, the foods that have the most water in them are fruits and vegetables so you have to make sure that you have plenty of those in your daily rotation to reep any benefits of the “there is water in food”. There is water in other foods as well, but mainly those two groups. I talked to Kat about this before and she said that some say to drink more water now than years ago due to so many foods having so many added preservatives, sugars, etc. I don’t know…I find that between 80-96oz a day is good for me. I feel like I need it, especially since I work out.

  • 14. CB  |  April 20, 2008 at 7:10 am

    MRSABYBABY, I am noticing just among the comments that there are different thoughts about water depending on who you talk to. Thanks for reminding me about water about foods, preservatives, sugars etc. Good call. I think I am still trying to figure out what is my good water number.

  • 15. zebe912  |  April 20, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    This has been a topic of debate for years. There’s even debate about what counts as liquid intake or not (coffee, tea, pop, food etc. Kat would say drink 1 GALLON of water each day, and none of the other stuff counts because of sugars, caffeines, and other additives that might actually use up more water to filter than they bring into your body. The “normal” suggestion is half a gallon Then there are all of the formulas exhibited up above.

    My recollection of the big trend towards 8-8oz glasses per day was that it was recommended to help your skin. By drinking those 64 ounces, it was supposed to keep you hydrated, but also make your skin healthier and look younger. The 8×8 structure seemed like it was suggested because 8 oz is a standard measuring cup for us (although few of our drinking glasses are that size!) and doing something quick like chugging a glass of water, shouldn’t be that hard to do 8 times a day.

    It is important to consider that the average American is chronically dehydrated and so some of your water intake is to make up for that at first. You also have to think about the amount of water that comes out of your body that isn’t pee…water vapor in your breath, sweat, saliva sometimes, etc. The more active you are and the warmer your environment, you are likely to need more water each day.

    This is getting really long, but I think that like any health goal, you have to start with the recommendations and then play around to see what works for you. If you only drink 40 because you feel like you are just going to explode past that point, then you should listen to your body. If you can eventually drink a gallon a day and you still feel good after, then give your body what it is asking for. Like you said, ever person’s body is different. Health regulations are given to get people started, and then you have to take it from there.

  • 16. Jj  |  April 21, 2008 at 5:57 am

    It can be so difficult to drink that much water in day but I believe other beverages count, too. I’ve been trying flavored waters to vary the taste as plain water truly can be so bland! Kudos to you for your dedication to it, though!

  • 17. CB  |  April 21, 2008 at 6:36 am

    ZEBE, wow D. thanks for your insight. I am definitely trying to find my water number and it seems like its between 34-50 but I still strive for 64oz just incase the myth is true ;)

    JJ, I’ve been thinking about flavored water! I’ll have to picked some up on my next grocery trip and try it out. ps. Nice to meet you!

  • 18. Kat Graz  |  April 21, 2008 at 6:57 am

    Oh a topic I know so well!

    The thing with water is that if we all ate natural foods that weren’t amped up with preservatives , additives, artificial products, and sodium then we would not need that much because we do get a lot through food. Problem is, it is not normal/easy to eat like this. I mean are you farming your own products that are without pesticides?

    Our body doesn’t come equipped with the things we need to process all this stuff. So because we are a “convenience” sociey we do have to drink at minimum 64 ounces of water and that will only be part of what you really need. So yes the 64 ounces may wash out all the crap, but you still need to be hydrated. Over 75% of your body is made up of water. So if you aren’t drinking it you are not “functioning” properly. In a perfect world every adult should be intaking 128 ounces a day but anything above 80 is acceptable.

  • 19. Kat Graz  |  April 21, 2008 at 6:57 am

    PS nothing substitutes water but water. That means not seltzer, sparkling, flavored, tea, coffee none of it counts!

  • 20. CB  |  April 21, 2008 at 7:24 am

    KAT, there’s my fitness go-to guru! I was waiting for you to chime in. damn. 128 oz of water huh? wow my intake really sucks right now then. I hover between 34-50 when I don’t have it attached to my hip but on days that I am more conscious of my water intake I do better but nothing close to 128! Crazy! Ok ok so do you drink anything else besides water? If I drink a soda or any other liquid it obviously makes my water intake lower since I don’t drink that much liquids total per day.

  • 21. Kat Graz  |  April 21, 2008 at 8:42 am

    I do drink other things also like iced tea occaionally and of course wine! The thing is your body doesn’t really know how to ask for water yet. The more you give it the more frequently it will ask for it. It’s very easy to go on throughout your day without drinking any, you need to make it part of your routine. Start with having a 12ounce glas with everytime you eat or snack. Not only will you get the water in but typically you will start to eat less.

  • 22. Kat Graz  |  April 21, 2008 at 8:42 am

    PS- just start off trying to hit the 64ounce first. Work in babysteps- you’ll get there!

  • 23. mrsabybaby  |  April 21, 2008 at 8:56 am

    ^ Kat is my hero. NFT. : )

  • 24. CB  |  April 21, 2008 at 10:14 am

    KAT, ok 12 oz glass with every snack and/or meal. I am gonna do that and see how it goes. Right now my body does not like to drink much… stupid body!

  • 25. Gretchen Noelle  |  April 22, 2008 at 6:56 pm

    CB – 7 liters is probably right with the calculations. Not tomorrow of course, but it is something to strive for. I should be at 6 liters a day and have realized that I drink *much* more in the morning (when I exercise especially) and usually get through 2 liters before 9am. I started going up a liter a week by setting goals to have a certain amount drank by a certain time. I also started by marking a chart, coloring a square per liter. That helped me. And I would not drink 12 ounces with food, it could mess with digestion.

  • 26. CB  |  April 22, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    GRETCHEN, oh wow. 2 liters by 9am? I must not drink nearly enough when I work out. I definitely drink more when I am conscious of drinking water but when I get busy its not much. I’ll do better!

  • 27. Annie  |  April 23, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    Oops, sorry it took so long to respond! I’m not a doctor just yet, but will be in approximately one year :-) Several of my professors throughout med school have addressed the myth, and have consistently deemed it just that – a myth.

  • 28. CB  |  April 23, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    ANNIE, very cool! thanks for sharing your medical insight with me! :)


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