Remember all the people you know telling you how we’re a nation of dehydrated people who should all be drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day for good health? Well, turns out whoever started that whole frenzy (I suspect a bottled water company) was all wet.
Newspaper articles, health and beauty magazines all advise drinking at least 8 full glasses of water a day totaling 64 ounces for optimal health—an approach called “8×8” by proponents.
But Dr. Heinz Valtin of Dartmouth Medical School in New Hampshire said there is no scientific evidence to back up this advice, which has helped create a huge market for bottled water.
“After 10 months of careful searching I have found no scientific evidence that supports ‘8×8’,” Valtin, who has written textbooks on the subject of human water balance, said in a telephone interview.
“I did 43 years of research on that system—the osmoregulatory system. That system is so precise and so fast that I find it impossible to believe that evolution left us with a chronic water deficit,” Valtin said.—ABC News.com
Yeah, somehow I figured as much. I’m not a big water drinker, I probably drink less than a glass of water a day, mainly because I don’t like the fact that it’s tasteless. Or when it does have a taste, it’s nasty. I’ve tried the whole put a freakin’ lemon in it, but that just makes it taste like lemonade made by a complete moron with only 2 functional brain cells. Regardless I’ve never had my doctor turn to me and tell me that I was anything close to being dehydrated unless I was sick with the martian death flu and had a fever of 104.
The thing that cracks me up is I see these folks at work every day with those huge-ass MEGA-SUPER-ULTRA-FANTASTIC-GULP mugs filling them up with ice and water and making just the most awful faces while drinking it because they hate the taste too, but think it’s the healthy thing to do. Our good doctor goes on to say:
He said he and colleagues became concerned after seeing dozens of newspaper and magazine articles urging people to sip water all day. “I started talking to my colleagues and asking them ‘Do you know of any evidence for this?’. Invariably, they said, ‘No I think it’s a myth’,” Valtin said.
The journal asked him to review all the scientific studies he could find and he concluded that someone misinformed has been telling people to drink large amounts of water when most do not need to.
“I am referring to healthy adults in a temperate climate leading a largely sedentary existence,” Valtin said. “Persons with certain diseases must have large volumes of water—kidney stones are probably the most common example.”
The rest can just drink enough to slake thirst—and this includes coffee, tea, and even beer—despite their diuretic effects, Valtin said.
He hopes people will be relieved of the guilt of not getting enough water, and of the expense of buying bottled water to drink throughout the day.
“There is also the possibility that if you drink a lot of water that happens to be polluted then of course you get more pollutants,” Valtin said.
So the next time you catch me sucking down a Diet Dr. Pepper and you feel the need to point out that water would be soooo much healthier for me, well, now you know otherwise. Besides, too much water can lead to water intoxication, which can be deadly, something that’s becoming more common with the rise in popularity of the drug ecstasy.