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Recently a client asked me to settle a friendly debate she was having with a friend about daily water intake.

The Debate: Does water in coffee, water bottles mixed w/flavor pouches, etc count as part of the ounces you need to drink daily (at least half your body weight) or does it have to be plain water?

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The Answer: I think it’s a draw. (I know that might be disappointing for two competitive people!)

Whether we count anything other than plain water or not depends on where the client is starting. 

If we’re too strict or too much of a purist then we’re setting the client up to fail… so, in the beginning, for someone who struggles with water we’ll count the coffee without calories (don’t add creamer, but zero calories sweetener is fine).  Perhaps we’d compromise at alternating water and coffee until you get to 2 L.

Eventually we do want to get away from counting coffee as part of your water intake. Coffee isn’t bad for you, but 2 L (or half your body weight in coffee!) is too much.  Also, the extra calories people add to the coffee make it harder to lose or maintain your weight.

The flavor pouches (if zero calories) count, as does tea without calories, towards your daily ounces.  A lot of people just don’t like water and won’t drink any of it without a little help from something to give it a bit of taste. 

We would definitely like to work on getting some plain water into peoples lives and increasing their daily water intake, but we also usually have bigger fish to fry (like workout consistency) so we spend the energy there.

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