Myths about drinking water

BUSTING WATER MYTHS: There is very little evidence to show that drinking water helps a person to lose weight, says Dr Kitchin, a nutrition expert from the University of Alabama in Birmingham in the United States. She recommends a diet plan with food with high water content, as they fill up the stomach and have fewer calories.


    Mar 18, 2014

    Myths about drinking water


    WATER may not be the weight-loss elixir it is often made out to be.

    Drinking water is often advised as a way to lose weight faster. However, a nutrition expert from the University of Alabama in Birmingham, in the United States, said water is not the "magic bullet" for losing weight, AFPrelax News reported.

    "There is very little evidence that drinking water promotes weight loss; it is one of those self-perpetuating myths," said Dr Beth Kitchin, assistant professor of nutrition sciences. "I am not saying drinking water is not 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."

    The nutritionist said that a sensible diet plan with food that fills you up but has fewer calories does work. So while drinking water may not help you lose weight, a focus on eating foods with high water content, such as fruit, vegetables and broth-based soups can.

    The idea that cold water burns more calories, as the body has to work to raise the temperature, is also a myth, according to Dr Kitchin.

    "You will hear that ice-cold water helps burn extra calories," she said. "While there may be a few extra calories lost, it would not be nearly enough to make a dent in your weight-loss endeavours."

    Another "water myth" is the old advice to chug eight glasses of water a day.

    "Yes, people do need to get fluids; but it does not have to be water," Dr Kitchin told AFP. "There is no evidence that it melts away fat or makes you feel fuller, so if you do not like water, it is OK."

    She noted that water is the best way to get hydrated, but other options will work, including green tea or mineral water/juice combinations. Even coffee provides hydration.

    "People think coffee does not count, but actually it does," Dr Kitchin said. "When you drink coffee, your body is retaining much of that fluid - especially for people who are habituated to drinking caffeine."

    However if the aim is weight loss, then sugared drinks and even juice would contain more calories than plain water.