How Much Water Should I Drink To Lose Weight?

You’d be surprised how often I get asked some version of this question.

“Do I really need to drink eight glasses a day?”

“Does tea or coffee count towards my eight glasses?”

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“If eight’s good, is 9, 10, 11 even better?”

A quick search on google provides a lot of conflicting information, so it’s little wonder people are confused.

There’s no argument that water is beneficial for your health and weight loss…not to mention necessary for life.

But just how much should I drink?

The only accurate answer to this question is…

…well, it depends.

Really, I’m not passing the buck. It’s true.

You’ve got to listen to what your body tells you.

The golden rule is this: if you’re thirsty, drink. If you’re not, don’t.

Yes, it really is that simple. Quit making it more complicated than it needs to be.

Eight glasses a day?

Convention wisdom holds a one size fits all approach. It’s the eight-glasses-a-day mantra.

It’s a theory, but it is only that. In practice, there is no-one other than your good self who can decide how many glasses is right for you.

If you’re wondering, the eight-glasses theory comes from some studies done in the 1940s when it was decided that a healthy daily allowance for water was roughly 1 ml per calorie consumed. Given a 2000 calorie diet was also advocated, that worked out to 2 litres a day, or roughly eight glasses.

If you think about it though, there’s a bunch of reasons why you should hold a caveat around the conventional wisdom.

Here’s the thing. The amount of fluid each of us requires varies depending on …. the amount you exercise, the daily temperature, and what you eat, just to name a few. For example, if you’re eating lots of vegetables and fruit (think melons) you’re already getting a lot of water from your foods.

So, there is NO magic number for which to aim. Just listen to your body.

Here’s the three biggest water myths out there.

1. It’s got be water!

Much of the health and fitness community seem to believe that the eight-glasses rule excludes drinks like coffee, tea or beer.

There’s this idea that since these are diuretics, they actually increase your requirement for ‘pure’ water.

Not so.

I reckon coffee, tea and alcoholic beverages can be counted as part of your water intake because alcohol and caffeine only become significantly diuretic in very large amounts.

2. If you’re thirsty it’s too late!

Possibly, the most laughable myth of all is this theory that says, “If you’re thirsty then you’re too late”.

What a joke!

It sounds to me like something a marketing director of a water bottling company would spout. Enough said.

3. Bottled water’s best!

Yeah right. Avoid bottled water if you can. Sure there’s a time and a place – when you’re in the car or after a training session – but avoid it if you can. This includes the new breed of ‘vitamin’ waters.

ALL bottled waters are terrible for the environment and are no better for you than tap water (despite what the marketing department claim on the label).

If you really don’t trust your tap water, just add a filter. Job done.

I hope that’s helped clear up any confusion surrounding your fluid consumption.

If in doubt remember the very simple rule of thumb: drink when you’re thirsty and when you’re not, don’t.

So, what are your thoughts on fluid intake? Do you have any more questions around water? Ask away, no question is too silly : )

Love etc, Avril

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8 Responses to How Much Water Should I Drink To Lose Weight?

  1. Justine says:

    Hello Avril

    I’m so pleased to read this. I’m sick of hearing how we HAVE to drink 8 glasses! it’s nice to hear another side of the story.

    What’s your take on coke though?

  2. Avril says:

    Hello Justine

    You’re right, it’s always helpful to hear both sides of the story, eh!

    Good question on coke. I’m pretty staunch on all soft drinks. They’re FULL of chemicals, sugar and other crap, so given their low nutritional value I’d give them a wide berth.

    Probably not what you wanted to hear! At the end of the day, listen to your body. I feel TERRIBLE after even one coke so it’s easy for me to avoid it. If you REALLY love it, then a little of what you love is good for the soul.

    Love, Avril

  3. Lisa says:

    What are your thoughts on sports drinks? I’ve recently started training for a half marathon. Is water enough or should I be drinking electrolyte drinks????Thanks for your guidance and happy new year. I love your writing!

  4. Avril says:

    Hi Lisa

    First of all, good on you for running the half marathon – you GO girl!

    So, sports drinks. It’s a good Qn. I’m pleased you asked. Sports drinks is another area with A LOT of mis-information. If you believed the advertising or labelling on the bottles, you’d be forgiven for thinking you need to replace lost electrolytes every time you broke into a sweat!

    The generally accepted rule is to top up with a sports drink after 90 minutes of continuous exercise. It’s only fair though that I share with you I don’t use them. Even after a three hour run, water is my drink of choice for re-hydrating.

    You didn’t mention whether you wanted to lose weight. If you do it’s worth bearing in mind this story…I had a client who started walking 5kms every evening. I was surprised at how slowly the weight was coming off until I discovered she was drinking a sports drink during the walk. The calories in the drink exactly cancelled out the calores she was expending on her walk.

    I encourage you to experiment for yourself and see what works for you. Remember, listen to your body (and NOT the advertisers and big business). Happy running!

    Love Avril

  5. Justine says:

    Hello Avril (again)

    You have really got me thinking now! What about wine?

    Thank you again. Lots of love Justine

  6. Avril says:

    Hello Justine

    You clearly are thinking a lot about hydration!

    I’ve never been an advocate for drinking water at the dinner table. Our tummies require an acidic environment to be able to easily digest food, and water dilutes this balance. The GREAT news for wine lovers is that the ph of wine is similar-ish to that of your stomach. SO, I am all for a glass or two of your favourite red of an evening.

    Without wanting to sound like a stuck record though Justine, you’ve got to find what works for your good self…. listen to YOUR body. Cheers!

    Love Avril

  7. charlene says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with your statement that, “You’ve got to listen to what your body tells you.” We are taught to eat and drink this and that at this time and that time without any regard for our individual unique body and system. There are general rules that are always true for everyone such as “the body needs nutrition”, but we are out of touch with listening to our true thirst or hunger pains for a signal that it is time to eat or drink.

    For me, I have found that my weight loss efforts do need more water intake. Maybe this is because my “system” is sluggish. I can go for hours and hours without going to the bathroom, whereas, my normal weight husband goes at least once an hour. This has to mean something. But I have also noticed that sometimes I think I become water logged – the weight is stuck – and if I lay off the water for half a day, my body readjusts and I suddenly drop an extra pound of real weight. My observations are personal and unscientific, but they are true for me.

    I, also, believe that just because I seem to need more water most of the time, that this is not true for everyone. I believe the same thing about vitamin supplements – not everyone may need them, but I do.

    I appreciate your contribution to the world, Miss Avril!

  8. Avril says:

    Hi Charlene

    Thank you for being brave and sharing your personal insights. You’ve taken the words right out of my mouth, hey! You have a good awareness of your body, and what impresses me the most is you’re noticing what works and NOT setting yourself up for failure by comparing yourself to your husband. We all know that comparison is a ‘no win’ game.

    Good on you, keep on noticing what works for you, and keep on listening to your body.

    Love Avril

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