Water Calories

Does Water Have Calories? The Truth About Water and Calories

With obesity levels high, many people carefully monitor calorie intake from foods and beverages. You likely know sodas pack a caloric punch. But does pure water contain calories that need accounting for? Or is it truly zero calorie hydration?

This article will provide a scientific calorie analysis of plain water along with an in-depth look at whether factors like minerals, carbonation and temperature influence water’s calorie content at all. You’ll learn the nuanced truths about water and calories plus tips for low-calorie hydration.

The Calorie Content of Pure Water

The Calorie Content of Pure Water

Pure H20 all by itself contains no innate energy and thus zero calories. Here’s a quick biochemistry recap why:

  • Calories measure the metabolic energy required to heat water by 1°C. Metabolizable energy comes from molecular bonds.
  • Water is H20. These stable covalent bonds contain no potential energy extractable for metabolism.
  • Water’s metabolic “combustion” equation: 2H20 + O2 → 2H20 + O2. It can’t burn or release energy.

So chemically, pure isolated water without additional components inherently provides no dietary calories whatsoever.

Does Mineral Water Have Calories?

What about mineral water with dissolved ionic salts like magnesium and potassium? Here’s the mineral water calorie truth:

  • Dissolved mineral ions introduce negligible amounts of potentially metabolizable chemical energy.
  • A liter of highly mineralized water may contain at most 1-2 mg of minerals.
  • These minute trace minerals amount to well under a single calorie per liter.
  • Mineral concentrations in even rich mineral waters are far too low to contribute any significant calories.
  • Dietary guidelines correctly list all plain mineral waters as 0 calories.

The notion that mineral waters have more calories than “purer” water is false. The minuscule mineral content does not constitute any meaningful calories.

Do Carbonated Waters Have Calories?

Do Carbonated Waters Have Calories?

What about bubbly seltzer and carbonated waters? Here are the reasons they too remain zero calorie:

  • Carbonated water is simply water infused with pressurized carbon dioxide gas.
  • The dissolved CO2 does not undergo metabolism or combustion in the body.
  • No chemical bonds are present in dissolved CO2 for the body to extract potential energy from.
  • Carbonic acid formed by CO2 hydrolyzing into H20 and HCO3- is also metabolically inert.
  • Carbon dioxide gas gets directly exhaled out of the lungs as a waste product.

Plain carbonated water contains only non-caloric CO2 added to water, so it contributes no calories. The carbonation effect itself has no energy.

Does Cold Water Have More Calories?

Does Cold Water Have More Calories?

Here’s the quick answer on whether chilled and frozen water impacts calorie counts:

  • Cooling water lowers its enthalpy (heat content) but does not change the chemical bonds.
  • Your body must warm cold/frozen water using calories equal to the enthalpy difference.
  • However, the small thermal energy change is trivial – under 0.1% extra calories.
  • This minor calorie difference is rounded to zero for all cold and frozen water.
  • Heat absorbed from your surroundings warms chilled water, minimizing calorie use.

So Practically speaking, chilled or frozen water contains no meaningfully greater calories than room temperature water. The thermogenic calorie effect is negligible.

The Real Calorie Content of Water

Based on the chemistry behind metabolism, we can decisively conclude:

  • Pure water contains absolutely zero calories in any form – ice, steam, liquid.
  • Minerals, carbonation, and temperature confer no significant calorie contribution.
  • Flavorings and additives may introduce calories, but never plain water itself.
  • Dietitians unanimously agree plain water has zero calories and no nutritional energy.
  • The FDA strictly mandates 0 calories per serving labeling for plain bottled waters.

So no matter what form you drink it in, plain water itself remains reliably zero-calorie hydration.

Why Do We Even Need Water Calories?

You may be wondering why the human body doesn’t derive energy from water, given we depend on it:

  • Our metabolism evolved to extract energy only from carbohydrates, fats and proteins broken down into simple compounds.
  • Metabolizing the covalent bonds in water (H20) requires dissociating the hydrogen from oxygen which demands substantial added energy input.
  • Water is thus “metabolically inert.” Our bodies do not have pathways to liberate energy from water due to this stoichiometric dilemma.
  • Instead, water participates in energy-releasing metabolic reactions as a necessary medium but not direct calorie source.

Essentially, we lack the metabolic machinery to utilize water covalent bonds for energy. So water calories remain completely inaccessible to us.

Tiny Calorie Differences in Various Waters

While plain water contains zero calories, different waters do have miniscule calorie variations. Here’s the calorie hierarchy:

Pure Distilled Water

Contains only H20 molecules, absolutely 0 calories.

Deionized Water

H20 molecules and trace ions like OH-, HCO3-, 0.00005 calories per liter.

Reverse Osmosis Water

99% H20 and trace ions, 0.0001 calories per liter.

Filtered Tap Water

99% H20, trace ions and microbes, 0.001 calories per liter.

Unfiltered Tap Water

98% H20, more dissolved ions and microbes, 0.01 calories per liter.

Natural Spring Water

Up to 2% mineral ions, 0.1 calories per liter.

As you can see, the calorie difference between completely purified versus heavily mineralized water is utterly negligible.

Do Hot Beverages Like Tea and Coffee Have More Calories?

Contrary to claims that hot coffee or tea increase your water calorie intake, this is false:

  • Heating water from 70°F to 180°F only increases thermal energy by 28%, not a meaningful calorie difference.
  • Your body cools scalding drinks well below body temperature before absorption anyway.
  • The notion that heating water liberates tied-up calories is scientifically false.
  • Any actual calories in coffee or tea come from compounds like oils, sugars or proteins. Not the water itself.
  • In fact, caffeine and other compounds make coffee and tea mildly diuretic resulting in negative water retention.

Hot beverages like tea and coffee provide hydration without influencing water’s inherent zero-calorie content.

Does “Water Fasting” Mean Consuming Zero Calories?

This is a very common misconception:

  • Drinking only water for religious fasts or health is not the same as zero calorie intake.
  • Plain water, even in high quantities, provides zero calories – yet keeps you alive and energized.
  • Your body utilizes stored fats and sugars (averaging 2000-3000 calories daily) to power itself through genuine water fasts.
  • Glucose via gluconeogenesis and ketosis from fasting provides real dietary calories. Just not from the water itself.

So hydration-only fasts still obtain calories from your own tissues. Water fasting does not equate to zero calorie intake given water’s lack of calories.

Water Calorie Content in Various Volumes

Let’s analyze the actual calorie values present in different water amounts:

  • 1 cup water (250ml) – 0 calories
  • 1 liter water – 0 calories
  • 1 gallon (3.8 liters) water – 0 calories
  • 2 gallons (7.6 liters) water – 0 calories
  • 1 ounce water – 0 calories
  • 8 ounces water – 0 calories
  • 16 ounces water – 0 calories
  • 64 ounces water – 0 calories

Regardless of the quantity, plain water itself provides complete zero-calorie hydration.

Why Fresh Water Sources Are Important

While pure water lacks calories, sourcing high-quality water ensures you avoid any external compounds adding calories:

Tap Water

  • Contains traces of chlorine, fluoride, microplastics and heavy metals from municipal processing. Filters like Brita and Pur cut down on off-tastes.

Natural Spring Water

  • Tend to be higher in minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium which influence taste but confer no significant calories.

Distilled or Purified Water

  • Removes small amounts of minerals and potential toxins, resulting in more neutral tasting water.

Well Water

  • Can pick up contaminants like arsenic and lead from ground layers based on geography. Always test well water safety.

For freshest taste and lowest potential toxins, rely on known purified sources like Artic Refresh vending systems.

The Benefits of Artic Refresh Purified Water

To remove potential water impurities while still retaining great taste, Artic Refresh machines provide:

  • 5-Stage Filtration – Our reverse osmosis process strips sediments, chemicals, heavy metals.
  • Activated Carbon – Further adsorbs organic toxins and chlorine compounds.
  • Antimicrobial – Prevents microbial buildup in pipes and nozzles.
  • Remineralization – Adds back beneficial minerals like calcium, magnesium and potassium.
  • Routine Sanitization – Professional monthly cleaning keeps our machines pure.
  • Chilled Water – Dispenses refreshing cold water, which has greater calorie-burning effect if you do desire that.

Enjoy pure, clean water from Artic Refresh knowing it contains absolutely zero calories for guilt-free hydration.

Healthy Tips for Low-Calorie Hydration

Here are tips for keeping water as close to zero calories as possible:

  • Carry a reusable water bottle vs using disposable plastic water bottles.
  • Choose still versus sugary sodas/juices. Or dilute juices 50/50 with water.
  • Avoid milk and dairy as fluid calories (albeit nutritious) unless included in daily calorie goals.
  • For tea, go with plain green tea instead of sweet tea. Or use non-caloric sweeteners.
  • Opt for lemon, lime, cucumber slices to add zest versus syrups with sugar calories.
  • Use calorie-free flavor enhancers like True Lemon versus sugary liquid flavors.
  • Skip the Frappuccino’s and specialty iced coffees loaded with sugars and cream. Or ask for “light”.

Stay mindful of calories from additives. But relax knowing the water itself provides zero-calorie crisp refreshment.

Can You Gain Weight From Drinking Too Much Water?

No, plain water does not directly contribute calories to lead to weight gain. However:

  • Excessive water consumption can slightly dilute electrolytes. Altering sodium balance triggers water retention which shows on scales as extra pounds until levels normalize.
  • Drinking large amounts of very cold water prompts slight metabolic boosts from having to warm it. But the loose correlation with weight loss seems insignificant.
  • Some mistakenly add unnecessary sugar-laden flavorings to entice greater water drinking, which adds calories leading to small weight gains.

Stick to unsweetened pure water like from Artic Refresh and avoid sodium/electrolyte imbalance. Then water provides no-calorie hydration.

Water Calories in Specialized Products

While pure water itself lacks calories, certain supplemental products do contain calories:

Vitamin Waters – Contain B vitamins and added sugars equaling 50-60 calories per bottle.

Coconut Water – Has around 60 calories per cup, mainly from natural electrolyte sugars.

Sweetened Flavored Waters – Range from 70-120 calories per bottle depending on sugars.

Sports Drinks – Contain around 50 calories per 8oz from sugars and electrolytes.

Alkaline Water – Despite claims, alkaline pH doesn’t influence inherent 0 calorie content.

Sparkling Water – Carbonation adds refreshing flavor but no calories unless sweetened.

Always check labels to be aware of calories added to plain water by supplemental ingredients like vitamins, flavors and enhancers.

Water Calories in Other Beverages

Here are calorie counts for common beverages incorporating water:

  • Soft Drinks – 140-160 calories per 12oz can
  • Juice – 120-140 calories per 8oz glass
  • Milk – 100-120 calories per 8oz glass
  • Beer – 150+ calories per 12oz bottle or can
  • Wine – 120-130 calories per 5oz glass
  • Sweet Tea – 190+ calories per 16oz glass
  • Coffee – 5 calories per 8oz cup

The water itself provides zero calories – sweeteners, oils, alcohols and dairy add substantial calories to various beverages.

Can Drinking Hot or Cold Water Help Lose Weight?

Based on water’s calorie content, here are the facts on water temperature and weight loss:

Cold Water

  • Your body must warm very cold water absorbed by ~37°F to reach body temperature.
  • This expends a tiny amount of extra calories – perhaps 2-3 extra calories per 16oz glass.
  • So chilled water technically helps a few additional calories be burned through thermogenesis.

Hot Water

  • Preheating water before drinking doesn’t “unlock” any calories not already present.
  • But some propose hot water increases metabolism. This may arise more from the act of consuming any hot beverage.
  • Overall, any water temperature calorie effects are insignificant and shouldn’t guide weight loss water choices.

While thermogenic effects from chilled water exist, the number of additional calories burned seems trivial.

FAQ About Water and Calories

Are there any types of waters that contain calories?

Plain water itself lacks calories. However, “vitamin waters”, sweetened flavored waters, juices and smoothies mixed with water and supplements contain calories from sugars and added ingredients.

Is sparkling water calorie free?

Yes, plain carbonated seltzer and club soda contain 0 calories. The CO2 bubbles themselves don’t contribute any calories. Only sweetened varieties contain added calories.

Can you gain weight drinking too much water?

In very rare cases, excessive water consumption may dilute electrolytes triggering temporary water retention. But plain water itself does not directly add calories leading to fat gain.

Does hot water have more calories than cold water?

No, heating water does not “unlock” any calories. The notion that hot water contains more calories is scientifically false. Any extra calories are from compounds infusing into hot water.

Do mineral waters have more calories than distilled waters?

No, natural mineral waters contain only trace amounts of dissolved ions like calcium and magnesium that add negligible amounts of additional calories – fractions of 1 calorie per liter.

Does drinking extra cold ice water help lose more weight?

Theoretically yes – your body does burn 2-3 extra calories warming very cold ice water to body temperature through thermogenesis. But the effect seems insignificant.

Does drinking hot water help lose more weight?

No. Heating water before drinking does not imbue it with any additional metabolizable calories. Any weight loss effects of hot beverages arise more from compounds like caffeine and catechins.

Where can you get freshly purified water in Austin?

Artic Refresh water vending machines located around Austin at gyms, offices, stores, etc. Our 5-stage reverse osmosis filtration provides clean, crisp tasting water with all impurities removed.

The bottom line remains – pure water inherently has zero calories regardless of source or temperature. Stay properly hydrated without worrying about calories!