Kathie Lee and Hoda: Why we drink on the air

Kathie Lee and Hoda share some secrets behind their sipping.
Kathie Lee and Hoda share some secrets behind their sipping.NBC / Today

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By Meena Hart Duerson

We all know the ladies like to throw one back in the morning, but Hoda's recent admission that the drinks in front of her weren't all alcoholic beverages caused some shock and alarm in the TODAY offices.

So we decided to do some digging to find out what's really going on in those glasses in the morning.

During the week-long countdown to KLG's 60th birthday last Friday, Hoda had to take a shot every time she said "sixty," as punishment for reminding KLG what decade she was ending. Even though Hoda looked like a good sport with shot glasses lined up in front of her, she was later busted for sneaking water into some of the containers instead of liquor.

"She is such a cheater! And a liar!" an outraged Kathie Lee told TODAY.com. "She was afraid she was going to say [sixty] all the time, and she was going to get completely smashed," KLG allowed. "So I understand why she did it, but still I believe it was intrinsically wrong."

In her defense, Hoda said the substituted H2O was a one-time-only deal.

"Normally we have pure wine on the show, and a cocktail — usually we have two things," she said, trying to keep her credibility as an A.M. boozehound. "It’s to keep the mood festive and to keep it light and happy and uplifting!"

Lucky for Hoda, KLG did back up her claims.

"It's wine every day," Kathie Lee confirmed. "We would never lie about that. But you'll notice most of the time, the glasses will sit in front of us, and once or twice we have a sip. I always use it as a prop to be funny."

"It's just so you know you can have a party any hour of the day," Hoda stressed. "And we want to encourage people to have one with us!"

KLG wanted to make it clear, however, that the wine isn't going to their heads.

"If we drank anywhere near what people think we drink," she deadpanned, "we couldn't function at such an extraordinarily high professional level."

Ladies, we wouldn't change a thing. Cheers!