December 24th, 2010
10:20 AM ET

Can drinking lots of water help you lose weight?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Friday, it's Dr. Melina Jampolis, a physician nutrition specialist.

Question asked by Tony of Shelton, Connecticut:

Is it true if you drink lots of water, it will help you to lose weight? Is it bad for your body if you consume too much of it?

Expert answer:

Hi, Tony. Research does suggest that drinking plenty of water may help you lose weight. An abstract by Dr. Brenda Davy, associate professor of human nutrition, foods and exercise at Virginia Tech, presented at last year's obesity conference in Phoenix, Arizona, showed that people who drank two glasses of water 20 to 30 minutes before every meal lost weight more quickly initially and lost significantly more weight than those who didn't.

In another study by Davy and her group, published last year in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, she found that people who drank water before meals ate an average of 75 fewer calories at that meal. This may not seem like much, but if you ate 75 fewer calories at lunch and dinner for the next year, you could lose about 14½ pounds! In addition, being even 1 percent dehydrated can cause a significant drop in metabolism, which can also interfere with weight loss.

Finally, it is very difficult for the body to differentiate hunger from thirst. If you don't drink enough water throughout the day, you may mistake thirst for hunger and eat more than you really need, which can also impair weight loss. So staying well hydrated is important, particularly if you are trying to lose weight. And don't forget to eat lots of water-based foods like soups, vegetables and low-fat dairy, which are equally important for weight loss, as they lower the calorie density of meals. That can help you reduce calories without reducing portions.

To answer the second part of your question, yes, drinking massive amounts of water (gallons and gallons) can cause a dangerous condition known as hyponatremia (low sodium levels in the blood), which can cause confusion, irritability and seizures and may even lead to a coma.

This condition is very rare in healthy people but can sometimes be seen in the elderly or in endurance athletes who sweat significantly and drink water only to replace lost fluids. Most people should be far more concerned with not drinking enough water versus drinking too much.

soundoff (655 Responses)
  1. Michael McClellan

    I think the question about the harmful affects of drinking a lot of water was not about massive amounts. We have heard for many years that we all need 8 glasses of water a day but recent studies suggest otherwise. Dr's Oz and Andrew Weil have both (I believe) spoken about the need for water being less for most of us. Athletes and workers who perspire a lot need a lot of fluid replacement. Most people drinking 8 a day can overtax their kidneys.

    December 24, 2010 at 11:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Blessed Geek

      Drinking 8 glasses of water a day overtaxes your kidneys???

      If you don't like drinking water like I, then add a quarter of juice into the glass like I do, and you'd have less or no tendency to feel compelled that drinking 8 glasses of water a day would shorten your life. At times, I drink half a gallon of whole milk a day – I wonder if that, according to your theory, would overtax my kidneys.

      If you dislike plain water, make some quick and dilute soup/pho: spinach, chopped broccoli, little bit of garlic and ginger toasted chicken liver (or replace the liver with tofu bits) and lots of water and some soy sauce – call it ginger spinach tea. With that you would find yourself irresistibly drawn to drinking lots of water.

      December 24, 2010 at 21:10 | Report abuse |
    • Lise Quinn

      You naysayers are ridiculous. Eight glasses of water will NOT damage you. One glass before every meal is three to four glasses depending on how often you eat. If you continue this pattern you HAVE changed your eating habits. Of course you have to cut back on portion size, but that is how the water helps, you don't eat as much. Exercise is important too. Get up and take a walk, climb stairs! If you are obese (by the way, for a man weighing 250 LBS and 5'8" tall, that is obese, you do NOT have to be so big as to not be able to fit though a door, or need the roof removed to get you out of the house!), you are also not moving much. The term "morbid" is added when there are co-factors that are deadly such as heart disease, diabetes, something that could kill you and is made worse by the weight. Many of our jobs involved sitting for the most part. Then we come home and sit in front of the TV, because we're 'tired'.
      Drinking water, eating less and getting up off our duffs, regularly, every day, is the most safest, sensible way to lose weight and keep it off. It's not a diet, it's what you should be doing and should do for the rest of your life.
      Many people are shocked when they count their calories, they realize they are taking on 2500 or more calories. When you eat at McDonalds – a Big Mac – 540, Large fries – 500, and a medium coke – 210. This is 1,250 calories in one sitting. A large vanilla shake is 1100 calories by itself. A meal at Azteca, say the enchilada combo, 2 enchiladas – 500 each, rice 140, beans 200 – 1340, if you add guacamole and sour cream, a coke, it's more.. This is an average lunch and dinner for many – over 2600 calories, with no exercise. Most of us don't really know the calorie content of what we eat, that alone being made known would help – calories should be on menus, right there next to the price, because it can cost you in your health as well as your pocketbook.

      December 25, 2010 at 12:06 | Report abuse |
    • Jimmynog

      That "8 glasses of water a day" was withdrawn by the Health Police a long time ago. They finally acknowledged that the 8 glasses of water can come from many sources including fruit, vegetables, and pretty much anything which contains water, yes even beer! Your body will extract whatever water it needs from these foods without it all having to be 100% water from a tap.

      December 26, 2010 at 08:21 | Report abuse |
    • BZ, M.D.

      There is no proof or logic that states drinking 8 glasses of water "overtaxes" your kidneys. This is utterly false!

      December 26, 2010 at 08:50 | Report abuse |
    • pz arch

      I suspect that drinking lots of water is inversely related to eating lots of fruits and vegetables. Meaning, the more water you drink, the less you eat fruits and veggies. If you are thirsty, the moist fruit tastes extra delicious. Same for carrots, green beans, and other non-starchy vegetables that are mostly water.

      December 27, 2010 at 18:00 | Report abuse |
    • speedro

      Overtaxes the kidneys?!! I think not, you may want to study up on physiology and biochemistry.

      January 18, 2011 at 15:49 | Report abuse |
  2. Susan

    Everything in moderation – yes water is good for you and you need to balance water intake, calorie intake and exercise output. If any of these is out of balance weight loss is more difficult. Yes, you can drink too much water – a few years back a kid pledging a fraternity at SUNY Plattsburgh died from consuming too much water – he drowned in his own body tissue.

    December 24, 2010 at 12:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Katie K

      I agree – moderation is the key. Anyone remember the "hold your wee for a wii" radio contest that resulted in the death of Jennifer Strange in 2007? Even too much oxygen can kill you.

      December 24, 2010 at 14:43 | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      I once posed that question to my nephrologist (kidney doctor). "Can I drink enough water to hurt my kidneys?"

      He smiled, and said that kidneys are highly efficient and letting water through, and that only by NOT GOING TO THE BATHROOM would I ever suffer health problems from drinking a gallon or two of water a day.

      The people who've died from drinking too much water didn't die from that. They died because they refused to go to the bathroom, and diluted their blood so that there was too little of the right solutes in the right places (typically the brain).

      Though the article is perfectly right – too little salt can hurt you, but drinking lots of pure water (which I do) won't hurt your salt balance – sweating will do it faster.
      In fact, by drinking lots of water each day, your later visits to the restroom will have considerably less salt in them – your kidneys are very good at letting out only what you have too much of – not those things you have too little of.

      All this is presuming you have a healthy diet.

      December 28, 2010 at 12:18 | Report abuse |
  3. SB

    Drink when thirsty. Plain common sense.

    December 24, 2010 at 13:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • meh

      If you're thirsty you're already dehydrated.

      December 24, 2010 at 22:47 | Report abuse |
    • Der

      Being thirsty does NOT mean you are dehydrated. Stop parroting whatever you hear/read on the interwebs.

      December 25, 2010 at 18:10 | Report abuse |
    • Tracy

      Actually your supposed to drink before feeling thirsty

      December 26, 2010 at 23:50 | Report abuse |
  4. Lincoln Brigham

    Weight loss is completely meaningless if the weight doesn't stay off. Once again, studies like this fail to follow up on whether or not the weight will stay off. Probably the biggest reason why there is a massive obesity problem is that the wrong metrics are being used. Scientists like these should KNOW that maintenance is more important that weight loss and that body composition is more important than weight. Yet they continue to use inferior metrics because they are more convenient.

    December 24, 2010 at 16:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Charles

    On drinking lots of water. Disc Jockeys at a Radio station near Sacramento Ca. thought up a water drinking contest in summer 2009.

    The winner died 3 days later.

    That's why it's dangerous to be STUPID.

    December 24, 2010 at 16:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Scott

      Because he didn't urinate. That was a very extreme case. If you are even moderately active, you should still drink plenty of water. Check your urine color: it should be almost clear. If it's as yellow as the puddles I see around urinals, many of you aren't drinking enough.

      December 26, 2010 at 07:31 | Report abuse |
  6. fred

    Dr. Oz is a heart transplant surgeon. Can some one explain to me why this makes him an expert on ALL medical topics?? From pediatrics to Ob-Gyn to nutrition, he speaks as if he is an authority on all medical topics. Just because Ofrah annoints him a medical wonder doesn't make it so. Be careful where you get your advice from.

    December 24, 2010 at 19:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jason

      If the text above the question doesn't help, perhaps this will - "Post by: Dr. Melina Jampolis – CNNhealth Diet and Fitness Expert "

      December 24, 2010 at 22:07 | Report abuse |
    • Dr. Wizard of OZ

      I know!!! I don't see my foot doctor if I am having stomach problems. People are so gullible. Actually the only people who like Oprah are middle-aged well to do clueless white women.

      December 27, 2010 at 19:28 | Report abuse |
  7. Dale

    Agree that obesity research needs to focus more on maintenance of weight loss. There's about a zillion different ways to lose weight and they all pretty much work. Keeping the weight off is where the real problems are. I read recently that among people who are truly obese (not just overweight), less than 5% are able to lose significant amounts of weight and keep it off long term with only diet and exercise. Long term compliance with lifestyle changes appears to be the real issue.

    December 25, 2010 at 00:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. D Agrinsonis

    Seriously, the question was does drinking a lot of water aid in weight loss. The resounding answer is YES. There IS a formula and it is: drink ½ your body weight in ounces of water each day. Water, not milk, not juice – water. Clean pure water! Drinking 8 glasses a day and drinking only when you FEEL thirsty is real cute but not effective for significant weight loss. Drinking 8 glasses a day is ok for those who are sedentary or who are not trying to lose weight. To actually LOSE weight you need to do something above the norm but not to the stupid level (like drowning yourself in gallons and gallons a day). Physiologically speaking water increases metabolism and aids every body process that will help one lose weight so you need more water going through your body to support those processes. Period. In addition, the majority of people operate in a state a dehydration. And a huge percentage of people drink way too much caffeine which further dehydrates the body. Then to top that off, they don’t drink very much water during the day. The result – chronic dehydration. Dehydration results in all kinds of issues in the body over time so trying to lose weight or not you need to drink much more water each day. So yes make lifestyle changes and one of those changes while losing weight is to commit to drinking 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water and then once you reach your goal weight drink at least 8 glasses a day and more if you see yourself starting to gain weight once you cut back. Your body WILL tell you what it needs one way or another.....

    December 25, 2010 at 02:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • KP

      Please clarify this formula – I take my body weight in pounds, then divide that in half and drink that number of ounces of water?

      December 25, 2010 at 13:14 | Report abuse |
    • charles s

      Try to drink about one ounce of water for every two pounds of body weight. This is just rough estimate. Try doing it for a week and see how you feel. Your urine will be a lighter color and you will probably urinate more. Your blood pressure will probably decrease. You might have to take more salt (sodium) to keep your blood pressure from dropping too much. The water drinking contestant who died allowed his sodium to get too low. I had a friend who was running a marathon and his sodium level became too low due to sweating. He said that he became light-headed until he ate some salt. Many more people become sick or die from dehydration rather than too much water.

      December 25, 2010 at 17:09 | Report abuse |
    • Susan

      My god, if all this is true, how in the world are we experiencing record life expectancies? If you are too stupid to know when and how much water to drink, I'm not sure you would have managed the climb the evolution tree at all.

      December 26, 2010 at 12:57 | Report abuse |
  9. Gerry Lewy

    I have one exercise, halfway through a small dinner I put both of my hands at the edge of the table and push my body away. Another method is to look at the half-eaten food and take the rest home for the next day.
    I have kept my weight at a constant 180 lbs, for over a year now. This works and forget those eating plans, watch the carbs and sodiums. they all kill you!!!!!

    December 25, 2010 at 12:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. RoadRagerstakeDietDrugs

    The reason water helps, is because when you body is properly HYDRATED, you'll urinate proplery, and the fat leaves your body through the urine! People are misled to believe that "water makes them bloat" ...no it's the lake of proper hydration that makes the body "retain" the water...as that's a built in mechanism that the body has for survival purposes. Other than that eat the right combinations of food that minimize bloating; sustain natural daily bowel movements; along with living an active life....every day, and you'll metabolism will be empowered to function properly for you as well. Most importantly, above all else, spend time with the Creative Force within you, that empowers you to achieve whatever you focus on. Meditate...communicate with the power within, and set definitive objectives....like "sustained health", and visualize yourself healthy, active, running, jogging, and this becomes your lifes experience.

    December 25, 2010 at 13:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Susan

      How about you quit navel gazing, get out and do for others, and figure that water, and everything else, will take care of itself?

      December 26, 2010 at 12:58 | Report abuse |
  11. Amy

    I tried this method. It doesn't work. I'm still ravenously hungry after drinking water before a meal.

    December 25, 2010 at 13:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Alan

    While I agree with a lot of what is written in the article, I wonder about the claim "In addition, being even 1 percent dehydrated can cause a significant drop in metabolism, ..." I'm curious about whether anyone has actually shown that scientifically or demonstrated the mechanism by which metabolism is decreased when you are dehydrated.

    December 25, 2010 at 15:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Spazo

      I'm sure someone has done a study on that Captain Doofus. They're not going to post every possible study in this one article.

      December 27, 2010 at 19:33 | Report abuse |
  13. w. pankey

    interresting, maybe send this to paul

    December 25, 2010 at 21:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Jacl Howitzer


    December 25, 2010 at 23:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. B. Sol

    I think the problem is that most Americans are looking for the magic pill rather than facing the obvious fact that a combination of poor diet (driven by routine consumption of high-calorie snacks, fast food, and soda) and extreme levels of inactivity result in the "unhealthy lifestyle" that they so often hear about but never ascribe to themselves! We have a tendency to exclude ourselves from the list as if sitting on our butts behind a desk 5 days per week and spending the rest on the couch doesn't warrant it.

    It's no secret, America!

    – Think about how much fast food you actually consume in a given year. Those two or three trips last week to Chik-fil-@ when you were hungry and crunched for time? That pizza you ordered at game time rather than choosing something healthier? And the sodas? Now, based on the past month's eating habits, calculate how much junk you probably eat in a given year. Be honest. It IS that bad, isn't it? And not just during the holidays!

    – What about your activity levels? Don't think that "sedentary" label applies to you? If you aren't getting your heart rate up for 30 minutes to an hour at least FIVE times per week, then your name is on the list! And let's be honest, that list includes the vast majority of Americans.

    So what can you do?

    First, just cut the fast food out. You don't need to count calories, keep a diet journal, etc. (although those methods may help!). Eat when you want to eat. Just be a little smarter about it and don't let yourself give in to the lazy excuse that there isn't enough time to go for something healthier than McDonald's! Also, if you're a soda drinker, just stop. There are a lot of empty calories in that can of soda! Just drink water instead. It may not taste as good, but you'll feel a lot better!

    And of course, the real key to becoming healthier: EXERCISE! Sorry. No magic pill. The only way to get healthier is to make a real effort. Your goal is to get that heart rate up for at least 20 minutes every single day. Depending on your current shape that could mean walking, or you may require something a little more strenuous like biking or running. But don't fall into the trap of telling yourself that taking 2 flights of stairs instead of the elevator is enough to qualify you for that "active" lifestyle you pretend you still have!

    December 26, 2010 at 09:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tennis Player

      Thank you – that is the correct answer. These doctors and overweight people make it way too difficult. People should eat good foods and work out 3 times a week and they'll get in decent shape. How long it will take depends on how overweight you are. There is no magic cure for years (decades) of bad behavior.

      December 28, 2010 at 12:24 | Report abuse |
    • Wish it were that easy

      Ah, if only it were so simple to "just stop" doing things and marvelously become fit and thin.

      Yes, fast food, soda, and lack of exercise contribute to obesity. Are they the only causes of it? Um, no.

      I have not consumed one drop of soda in over 4 years, nor do I eat fast food at all (disgusting.) Four times a week at the gym for over an hour, plus some physical labor at work gets me plenty of exercise. Guess what? I'm obese. Guess what else? So is everyone in my family, even going back in time since long before there was fast food.

      You (and most people reading this) probably consume significantly more calories/fat than I do. Sometimes, life just isn't fair. Unfortunately, there is no magic formula for weight loss that will work for *every* person out there. We're all different, with our own metabolisms and our own issues.

      December 28, 2010 at 13:02 | Report abuse |
  16. Susan

    Water is the biggest lie in weight loss, particularly when they say that you can confuse hunger with thirst, and that when you wait until you are thirsty, it's too late. Take a step back and try some common sense – is your body really stupid enough where you think either one of those statements is true? If so, get out of the gene pool.

    December 26, 2010 at 12:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Just_me

      Wow - angry much? Clearly you don't know jack about nutrition or physiology. Maybe YOU should get out of the gene pool.

      December 27, 2010 at 00:05 | Report abuse |
    • Biff

      Susan is obviously bitter because she kept eating Triple Big Mac's with her gallon of water and is still 400lbs. AWWWW

      December 27, 2010 at 19:35 | Report abuse |
    • Michelle

      Susan, calling people stupid and telling them to get out of the gene pool is so obnoxious! Everyone is posting to this forum, and reading this very valid article on the benefits of drinking water, to become informed. Are you some kind of genius of higher genetic order than everyone else on the planet? I sure hope you don't talk to your friends or kids this way.... Everyone knows that drinking water everyday is important for overall health, and it really does help the effort in losing and maintaining weight, I have experienced this myself. I don't think there's any specific method of when and how to get water into your system that is better than another, and the guideline of atleast 8 glasses of water is certainly not harmful. Also, I'd be interested in where you're getting your information about the world or atleast United States experiencing record life expectancy rates. And, in regards to another of your comments, hardly anything "takes care of itself", especially concerning what you consume when you're interested in weight loss or maintenance...

      January 10, 2011 at 17:29 | Report abuse |
  17. Laura

    Talking from experience – don't do it. About 3 years ago, someone on Oprah's show said to drink water when you're hungry, then you will eat less. Gradually, as I was drinking more water when I got hungry, I started to drink more and more water. I got up to a gallon and a half a day (6 liters). At 5'3", I weigh about 135-140 pounds. No, I did not lose any weight. I do exercise – play tennis, go on hikes, now in the winter I go to the pool. I asked a doctor (a year ago) about my huge water intake (3 times more than the recommended one) and he said I should give my body what it asks for. A couple of months ago I ended up in the ER because I was feeling weak for days (I was eating right, I was taking vitamin pills, drinking a lot of water), and the doctor told me that my electrolytes are imbalanced, and I should drink something with electrolytes. I am happy now that I drink only about 3 bottles of Powerade a day (this means way less trips to the bathroom), and I may have to do this for the rest of my life. Drinking too much water has many negative effects (just from my experience) – I can't always go to the bathroom when I need to (it used to be every half an hour, just Imagine trying to go on a 8-9 hour car trip), I always have to make sure that I have enough liquid at hand, or I can get it quickly (and cheap, if possible). If I don't go to the bathroom, I get a headache (don't know why, but that's what happens). If I don't drink water, I get dehydrated (dry lips, dizzy, increased heart-rate). When these things happen almost every day, it's not good. It interferes with your life. Also, I do not feel when I'm hungry anymore. I just get a headache. I have to remind myself to eat. I also stopped watching Oprah.

    December 26, 2010 at 13:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jwalant

      Hi Laura,
      Your doctor is absolutely right. When your body ask for food, please feed it. If it asks for water, feed water. Do not ignore nature call.
      If you try to over-write, you will deteriorate your hand writing. Drink plenty water, eat frequently rather than a big meal. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. If you are non-vegetarian, keep atleast 70-75% vegetables in your meal.

      December 26, 2010 at 20:55 | Report abuse |
  18. bill

    I was one of those guys doing a 2500 calorie fast food meal at least twice a day. 6'2: 240 at my worst
    I have good metabolism but wanted to gain muscle and lose my belly blub.
    Exercise 6 days a week minimum, (dog walks do count) and try as hard as you can to ban refined sugar.
    What has refined sugar? Darn near anything. Gatorade,Prego,Coke...no it is not easy but as they said those
    calories add up. Factor in diabetes or any heart condition and you are crusin' for a brusin'.
    If I (a large pizza IS a serving) can do it, you can too. See ya at the Indy Mini May 2011
    Oh yeah,drink the water!!! !

    December 26, 2010 at 14:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Poster Peter

    Can eating cakes and pies make you fat? A new study from Common Sense University has shown that eating a piece of cake with lunch and a piece of pie with dinner can add significant inches to your waistline.

    December 26, 2010 at 15:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jwalant

      It is all about how your body handles it. See you family history to see your genetic code. If your family history is good, I mean to say no obesity, no diabetes, no cholesterol, I think you should be fine. But, still you should limit such intake.
      If you have not that good family history, you better avoid that. If you cannot, try to burn calories regularly by good form of exercise.

      December 26, 2010 at 21:00 | Report abuse |
    • Poster Pam

      But, just last week the Common Sense University published an article that eating pies made from pure grease is good for you !! DAG NABBIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      December 27, 2010 at 19:37 | Report abuse |
  20. Eddie

    The math on that goes something like this.

    It takes about 1mL of water to metabolize one calorie. Since water has no calories, you can ignore water as a part of the "average" 1500 calorie diet. 1500 calories * 1mL = 1500mL = approximately 1/2 gallon or eight, eight ounce glasses of water. Since most foods have a fairly high water content, you don't need to literally drink the eight glasses. However, it takes a LOT of water to tax your kidneys or result in hyponatremia (think gallons daily over extended periods of time). Given that most Americans consume way more that 1500 calories and way too much sodium in their diets, most of us are, technically speaking, dehydrated.

    December 26, 2010 at 17:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • M

      Except that food calories are actually kilocalories. By custom, labels on food products do not include those last 3 zeros (and refers to what is left as a calorie).

      So the equation is 1500000 calories * 1mL = 1500000mL = approximately 500 gallons or eight thousand eight ounce glasses o

      December 28, 2010 at 04:56 | Report abuse |
  21. smilinggreenmom

    Wow! Maybe this is my issue!! I know for sure I am not drinking enough water during the day and I LOVE to snack. Yikes...never thought that it could just be that I am thirsty. I am working hard for this New Year to drink more water but mostly I want to drink more green tea for all the health benefits. It tastes better to me too than plain water. I am also taking my Vidazorb probiotic everyday. I have heard probiotics are being shown to help with digestion and weight – thoughts?

    December 26, 2010 at 17:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jwalant

      Green tea is definitely a very good antioxidant. But, again you cannot drink more than 2-3 glass of drink tea in a day. You have to come onto water which your body needs. Don't go for taste. Taste is not everything. And common, water does not taste bad.
      Our intestine has 80% beneficial bacteria and 20% harmful bacteria. If this ration disrupt, for eg, % healthy bacteria reduces and % harmful bacteria increase, the problem starts. The problem could be anything, constipation, diarrhea, Flatulence, infection, stomach ache, fever anything. The cause of disruption could be bad lifestyle, recently ingestion of huge dosage of antibiotic cause reduction in healthy bacteria. Now to get ratio corrected, one has to give body sometime to correct it or provide supplement to your body to get this correction. Probiotic is a good way to correct his ration. But you have to make sure that you are getting right probiotic as there are plenty of different probiotic available. You must make sure how much it is delivering to your intestine.

      December 26, 2010 at 21:12 | Report abuse |
  22. Jwalant

    Water is life. Everything occurred after water. Every life starts after water. If there were no water, there would have been nothing.
    There is a logic. On earth, roughly 70% water and 30% is land. With the same ratio, human body should have 70% water and 30% rest of the things.
    Let's come to core topic, when you feel you are thirsty, it means you already abused your body by bot drinking water. That is the first warning sign of dehydration. So, you should never feel thirsty. Instead, you must keep on drinking water at regular interval. You don't have to be thirsty to drink water.
    You will help your kidney, liver, intestines by drinking plenty of water. This plenty of water means 16-18 glass of water everyday. 8 glass of water is minimum requirement. More you drink water, better is for your organ to flush out toxins. Chinese water therapy says, you must drink 5-6 glass of water immediately after you wake up. Do not drink or eat anything for atleast half hour. After that, you start your daily routine. Water will do its work. You have to gradually increase your water drinking capacity to reach 5-6 glass at once.

    December 26, 2010 at 20:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Mary

    I am 57 years old. I know th difference between hunger and thirst.

    December 26, 2010 at 21:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Brenda Reed

    I do drink a lot of water. Granted, I live in Dallas/Fort Worth, where the weather is quite warm. However, I once lived in a cold climate, and I pretty much drank the same amount of water. I drank a lot of water as a child; I cannot get through one night without at least one glass of water. I do not have an explanation for it, but I am fairly slim. And I make sure to get tested for diabetes regularly, because I know unusual thirst may be a symptom of diabetes. So far, I feel fairly safe.

    December 26, 2010 at 22:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. kyle


    December 26, 2010 at 23:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. the doctor

    its ridiculous to think 8 glasses of water is as perfect for a 100 pound person as it is for a 300 pound person,
    and what size glass are they talking about, 8 oz, 12 oz, 16 oz?
    People just dont think enough to question things.

    December 27, 2010 at 00:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. inptisto

    I think 16 oz its the standard glass size

    December 27, 2010 at 11:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Eddie

    @inptisto and @the doctor

    8oz is considered a serving of water as it is for many beverages. As for 100 vs 300, again, it is a generalization based on diet. The 300 pound person even if trying to lost weight probably consumes many more calories than the 100 lb person, and likely requires more water intake. But, again, seeing as how nearly everyone is not drinking enough water, saying "Drink more" should hardly merit an argument, just because there's some widely published formula for body weight/composition, activity level, diet => hydration needs. There likely is a formula, but the average American wouldn't look at it more than once (no one likes to introduce math into their diet – geez, two things most people hate). To make things easy on everyone we say "eight glasses a day." Get over yourself, you're not the first person to notice that different people have different dietary needs. Generalizations are still an excellent starting point.

    December 27, 2010 at 12:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. jah

    I drink half my weight in water. if you weigh 160 lbs your intake should be 80 oz and so on. that is what my personal trainer told me.

    December 27, 2010 at 17:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Pmax

    I have it on good authority that if you drink a glass of water before every meal and walk 10 miles a day; you will lose weight. Kind of like those new exercise shoes that gaurantee a tighter butt if you walk in them everyday. After walking 20 miles in any shoe you may see a tighter butt.
    Point is this!
    Is it the water or the diet and exercise combined with the water? Me thinks it is all combined.
    To all those that think drinking water alone will drop the weight are the same people that think the miricle cream I see on late night TV will make you lose weight!

    December 27, 2010 at 17:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Guest

    Is carbonated water (spritzer water with no sugars, low sodium content) good? Is it bad if too much is consumed?

    December 27, 2010 at 17:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. o geez

    All this talk about water is making me thirsty!!

    December 27, 2010 at 19:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Eddie

    Carbonated water is acidic and could damage your teeth just as colas and their ilk would, however as to ill effects on hydration, probably none. There have even been previous studies showing a link in consumption of an acidic diet on a reduced risk for certain cancers.

    December 27, 2010 at 22:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tx_sunset

      Stop diseminating bad information. Simply adding Carbon Dioxide to water does not automatically make it acidic. The acidity you are thinking of is when they add flavorings to the water. Simple carbonated seltzer water is nothing but water and CO2. NO ACID.

      December 28, 2010 at 13:00 | Report abuse |
    • Blimfark Smith


      "Stop diseminating bad information. Simply adding Carbon Dioxide to water does not automatically make it acidic."

      Ironically, you're wrong... and disseminating bad information. Look up "carbonic acid" or "carbonated water" in wikipedia. From the latter:

      While dissolved carbon dioxide in low concentrations (0.2%–1.0%) cannot be tasted by humans, a small amount of it reacts with water to form carbonic acid (H2CO3). The presence of carbonic acid in water gives the water a slightly sour taste, with a pH between 3 and 4.

      January 18, 2011 at 20:58 | Report abuse |
  34. Nurse Barry

    Two things I've heard about water that make sense: 1) Our bodies need water for every single metabolic process. 2) When we have a minor headache, it's often caused by dehydration. When we take aspirin, it's the water we drink to wash the aspirin down that makes the headache go away!

    December 27, 2010 at 23:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Elysium

    I find that if I drink more water, I'm less likely to crave other beverages, especially soda, juice, or other flavored beverages. It seems reasonable that drinking more water would reduce the consumption of calorie-laden drinks and result in weight loss or management just through calorie reduction. I'm not an expert, but less calories in and more calories out is a pretty simple equation.

    December 28, 2010 at 06:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. skeptic

    The calorie is a measurement of heat, so drinking cold water will cause your body to burn more calories just to bring it up to body temperature. On the other hand, if you drink hot water, your body will save those calories and spend it somewhere else. But to those researchers and their readers searching for alternatives to a healthy lifestyle as a method of staying fit, there are better ways to burn calories while doing nothing! Let's ask Dr. Gupta, "will turning off the heat in winter help you lose weight?"

    December 28, 2010 at 12:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Chance

    The "abstract" that this article is based on has serious flaws in that it is statistical and not based on any bio chemical theory. The sample group was very small and was exclusively persons 55-70 that were "obese" that were placed on a low calorie diet for 12 weeks. The conclusion that the research applies to persons that are not obese, not older, not on the other low calorie diet, etc. is speculation. The long term effect of this strategy very questionable as 12 weeks is not a conclusive period for small sample that was selected because of an unknown amount of obesity . This is irresponsible reporting that may cause people to alter their health decisions in a negative way.

    December 28, 2010 at 12:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Jtical

    you are all idiots.

    December 28, 2010 at 12:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Irony

    Of course, as I read this page, there's a Groupon roll-over advert with 3 huge cheeseburgers – probably a good 1000 calories each.

    December 28, 2010 at 12:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Tx_sunset

    I remember reading a few years ago about a university fraternity that was hazing new recruits. They forced one pledge to drink so much water his brain swelled and he died from brain trauma. That is another danger of drinking too much water that is seldom mentioned.

    December 28, 2010 at 13:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. gb

    Drinking lots of water definitely helped me lose weight. When I was in college (many moons ago) I had read somewhere about water helping weight loss, so I began drinking tons of it. To be honest, I think I was bordering on compulsive about it. But sure enough, within a couple of months (maybe it was 3 or 4 months) I lost about 20 pounds. I still ate whatever I wanted, but I probably ate less. However, I became attached to the water bottle, like some people cling to their cigarettes. Instead of snacking, I would just chug away on my bottle. I felt good then. Light and clean. Problem is–once you get out of the habit of drinking water, it does take some effort to start up again. You have to get used to the constant need to go to the bathroom. But in retrospect, that's a small price to pay for the overall sense of health and lightness I experienced. This article has inspired me to get back on the water wagon

    December 28, 2010 at 13:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Arianna age 11 wieght 160lbs

    im 11 adn i really need to lose wieght b4 imgo back to skool cuz i dnt want my crush t othink im fat

    December 29, 2010 at 13:41 | Report abuse | Reply
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  44. NoDoubt

    I wonder if its bad to drink too much water if you have issues retaining water in the first place? That confuses me.

    January 21, 2011 at 17:28 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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