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Q: Can soda/beer substitute for water? ( Answered,   6 Comments )
Subject: Can soda/beer substitute for water?
Category: Health
Asked by: mohammed311-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 14 Jun 2006 09:59 PDT
Expires: 14 Jul 2006 09:59 PDT
Question ID: 738100
I mean, I live in Arizona, and I know that my body requires a certain
healthy amount of water every day (a galon?). I'm wondering if the
soda/beer I drink counts toward that galon, or do I still have to
drink a galon of water in addition to soda/beer?

By the way, I drink 7up and Bud light. about 12oz x 2 for each daily.
Subject: Re: Can soda/beer substitute for water?
Answered By: tutuzdad-ga on 14 Jun 2006 11:26 PDT
Dear mohammed311-ga;

Thank you for allowing me to answer your interesting question. Unless
you are in a survival situation where beer or soda is your only
option, generally speaking these types of beverages are not good
substitutes for water and certainly do not act, ounce for ounce, as a
water replacement. The fact is that there is no healthy substitute for
clean water. Drinks that contain caffeine, such as coffee and
carbonated soda, and alcohol-based drinks, such a beer, wine and
spirits work against the effort to hydrate the body and in
particularly harsh conditions may very well undermine the amount of
water the drinks themselves actually contain.

Let me explain how it works:

In order to maintain its normal physiological functions every
twenty-four hours the human body recycles and metabolizes an enormous
amount of water. This occurs every single day even in ideal
environmental conditions. Depending on how extreme the environmental
conditions are, the human body typically falls short of its required
recycle volume by an amount equivalent to about six to ten glasses of
water each day. This reflects deficit of clean fresh water that has to
be supplied to the body every day in order to maintain one?s ideal
level of health ? or the amount you SHOULD drink. Caffeine dehydrates
the body, so when you drink a caffeinated drinks you ultimately
urinate out more than the volume of water contained in the beverage.
Large amounts of sugar and sodium are equally detrimental so caffeine
free drinks are usually poor choices for absolute substitutes as well.
Likewise alcohol is a diuretic (it stimulates the kidneys and thus
urine production) so not only does the amount of water contained in
the drink pass quickly from the body, the increased urgency causes the
drinker to eliminate even more water and minerals by volume than the
drink originally provided. Technically speaking then one could
theoretically drink six ounce and still wind up several ounces behind
in water replacement.

Having said that, if you are drinking sodas and beer exclusively to
replace your water you are waging a losing battle. It?s like taking a
motor that burns one gallon of fuel an hour and pouring into it an
additional gallon of some catalyst that makes the fuel burn twice as
fast. It?s true that there are now TWO gallons of liquid in the motor
but the motor will be deficient in much less than an hour because of
the catalyst that depletes the entire volume at a greater rate.

It takes roughly eight ounces of water to purge the body of one ounce
of alcohol. Since the body is already behind the equivalent of six to
ten glasses of water a day, the addition of substances which deplete
this volume can easily make your body dramatically deficient. If one
merely ?prefers? to consume soda or alcohol, to insure his health he
must also consume the daily-recommended amount of water, which is
typically one-half ounce of water per pound of body weight. To achieve
this you can also modify your diet during these periods to include an
abundance of items that contain primarily water such as cantaloupe and
apples (85 per cent water), cottage cheese (80 per cent water),
lettuce (95 per cent water), spinach (90 per cent water), and milk (88
per cent water). Vegetables, soups, stew and sauces are also good
sources of supplemental fluids. Some of these foods can also contain
quite a bit of salt so you should be aware that drinking water still
plays an important role here and even these are not considered
absolute substitutes.

In short, caffeinated sodas, carbonated drinks containing copious
amount of sugars, salts and preservatives, and alcoholic beverages do
not count toward your daily fluid intake. You can drink these fluids
in moderation and remain healthy, but no matter what you do your body
still expects to get that six to ten glasses of water every day to
replenish its natural deficit. Of the soda choices on the market, 7Up
probably ranks up there with the safest in terms of hydration but bear
in mind that while it is caffeine free it also contains as much sugar
and often even more sodium than other comparable products.

I hope you find that my answer exceeds your expectations. If you have
any questions about my research please post a clarification request
prior to rating the answer. Otherwise I welcome your rating and your
final comments and I look forward to working with you again in the
near future. Thank you for bringing your question to us.

Best regards;
Tutuzdad-ga ? Google Answers Researcher









Google ://








Subject: Re: Can soda/beer substitute for water?
From: jack_of_few_trades-ga on 14 Jun 2006 13:47 PDT
Although you may want to consider this side of the debate:

I think water is much better than soda (and agree that alcoholic
beverages have a negative effect on hydration) but 8 glasses after
some juice and soda is excessive in my oppinion.  Soda will also have
other negative affects on your body, but do seem to have some
hydration benefits from my experience and from what some experts
Subject: Re: Can soda/beer substitute for water?
From: elids-ga on 15 Jun 2006 09:25 PDT
The vast majority of people are dehydrated and are not aware of it. A
quick test to find out if you are dehydrated or not, What color is
your urine?  if it has any color you are dehydrated, urine is supposed
to be colorless.

I drink about 1.5 gallons of water a day, can?t imagine drinking only
.5 ounces per pound of body weight that would be 85 ounces .66 gallons
about a third of what I?m used to... I?d die of thirst!
Subject: Re: Can soda/beer substitute for water?
From: linezolid-ga on 23 Jun 2006 02:10 PDT
I'm not sure that urine is "supposed to be colorless".  Did you get
that information from the manufacturer?  The vast majority of people
are dehydrated?  Is that dangerous?  Should we admit them to the
hospital for IV fluids?

Sorry, perhaps I'm being a bit flippant.  But kidneys are excellent
organs, and they adjust themselves to almost any condition.  Normal,
healthy people with access to water will drink enough to keep
themselves well-hydrated, and not enough to make themselves sick (yes,
it is possible, if difficult, for someone to drink too much water ---
much easier if you have kidney problems or congestive heart failure). 
Your food also contains a fair amount of water, by the way.

As to the problem of alcohol and caffeine, while these substances do
have a diuretic effect (they make you piss more), under normal
circumstances, a healthy person's body will adjust appropriately
(meaning that their kidneys will react to the change in the make-up of
the blood and concentrate the urine, and their brains will tell them
that they're thirsty and they will drink).
Subject: Re: Can soda/beer substitute for water?
From: jack_of_few_trades-ga on 23 Jun 2006 05:14 PDT
Thirst is an indication that you need more water, but it is also one
of the first symptoms of dehydration.  If you are thirsty then your
body already has less water than it needs to be at peak performance. 
I think it's a reasonable assumption to say that most Americans are
dehydrated on a daily basis (and keep in mind that most Americans are
"normal healthy people with access to water")

"Dehydration is a common cause of tiredness, poor concentration,
reduced alertness, recurrent headaches and mood changes. It can also
lead to constipation, kidney stones, and even a blood clot, heart
attack or stroke, as it increases the thickness and stickiness of

Water intoxication (drinking an unhealthy amount of water) is very
uncommon for a normal healthy person.  "The bottom line is this: it's
possible to drink too much water, but unless you are running a
marathon or an infant, water intoxication is a very uncommon

You will be much better off and less sick if you drink more water than
you think you need rather than less.
Subject: Re: Can soda/beer substitute for water?
From: aprilinct-ga on 25 Jun 2006 09:45 PDT
I've been doing research on this subject for an article i'm writing
and there seems to be a bit of controversy. The Institute of Medicine
(IoM) conducted a study published in 2004 that says other beverages,
including alcohol and coffee, do just as good a job hydrating us as
water, given equal water content. I've also contacted a couple
nutritionists who agree with this statement.

Also, the study and the nutritionists I spoke with feel that thirst
does not necessarily indicate dehydration, but is the body's natural
way of preventing it. (However, thirst IS ALSO a symptom of

From what I've learned, certain foods/beverages (such as sugar,
coffee, alcohol) may increase the sensation of thirst, but not actual
body water deficit. And another way to look at it, I suppose, is that
if you displace water with equal volumes of other liquids that don't
have equal water content, you may be underhydrating yourself. But the
IoM says that thrist takes care of water deficits by stating that "the
vast majority of Americans" get enough water by letting thirst be
their guide.

I suggest you check out the IoM's 2004 study.
Subject: Re: Can soda/beer substitute for water?
From: myoarin-ga on 05 Aug 2006 03:10 PDT
True, but as "serious" beer drinkers know, without drinking oneself
into a stupor, after several beers, the throughput seems to have
flushed out the kidneys, and the result is water-white.

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