University of Alabama at Birmingham
March 12, 2014
Drinking a lot of water is often advised to those who are trying to lose weight, but a nutrition expert at the University of Alabama at Birmingham says it is not the magic bullet to weight loss.
"There is very little evidence that drinking water promotes weight loss; it is one of those self-perpetuating myths," said Beth Kitchin, Ph.D., R.D., assistant professor of nutrition sciences. "I'm not saying drinking water isn't good; but only one study showed people who drank more water burned a few extra calories, and it was only a couple of extra calories a day."
Kitchin says another water myth is the consumption rule: eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day.
"Yes, people do need to get fluids; but it does not have to be water," Kitchin said. "There's no evidence that it melts away fat or makes you feel fuller, so if you don't like water it's OK."
While Kitchin says water is the best hydrator, fluid replacement does not have to be in the form of water. For those who do not like to drink water, Kitchin suggests:
- Drinking a diet soda or green tea
- Mixing mineral water with juice
- Adding a low-calorie powdered beverage mix to water
Also, Kitchin says coffee and other caffeinated beverages do hydrate.