You've seen it on the old food pyramid; you may have heard it from your doctor, and you've certainly heard it countless times in conjunction with just about any diet ever created.
"If you want to be healthy,
you need to drink 8 glasses of water daily!"
TO BE CLEAR ON THE ISSUE OF DRINKING WATER
Every day your body loses water through urine and sweat. This fluid needs to be replenished because, while you can survive for months without food, you won't last more than a few days without water. If you get the fluid/water replacement issue right, then you have taken one of the most important and powerful steps in taking care of your health.
Is water important? The answer is a resounding YES. Water is very important, and we must drink water daily, but the magic number of 8 glasses is a myth, and you might like to know how this myth got started.
WHERE DID 8 Glasses ORIGINATE?
The closest reference researcher, Heinz Valtin, could uncover was a brief mention in the obituary of a well-known nutritionist, Fredrick J. Stare, which read he was an "early champion of drinking at least six glasses of water a day".
Dr. Stare was hardly an expert in the field of water because, while he was a professor of nutrition and the head of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health, he was also a well-documented friend to industry and was notorious for his outspoken support for food additives and water fluoridation. He also had ties to the tobacco industry and was a strong supporter of the sugar industry. He was so outspoken as to have earned the name, "The Sugar King" so he hardly reigns as a worthy representative for good health.
Dr. Stare made some pretty outlandish claims during his tenure at Harvard, but he is also credited with perhaps being among the first to promote drinking 6-8 glasses of water a day as healthy. Given his past reputation and associations, his creditability deserves to be questioned.
The Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council made a recommendation in 1945 that 2.5 liters was a "suitable allowance" of water for most adults. They went on to point out that "most of this quantity is contained in prepared foods", but the statement may have been interpreted as 2.5 liters of water is the right amount to drink daily. (emphasis on the period) The advice was repeated again in 1948 without scientific backing.
In 2011, Dr. Margaret McCartney, a general practitioner from Scotland, wrote for the British Medical Journal arguing that the advice to drink 8 glasses water daily is 'thoroughly debunked nonsense being spread by bottled water companies in order to chum up more profit". McCartney points out other research where no clear evidence is found to support 8 glasses.
This concept has been shown to be somewhat true particularly if you drink water in lieu of sugar-laden beverages like soda and fruit juice, but if you drink too much water, the sodium levels in your blood may drop to dangerously low levels causing hyponatremia. This is a condition most common among athletes although anyone can be affected by drinking excessive amounts of water.
CLEARLY STAYING WELL HYDRATED IS ESSENTIAL. Whether or not you actually need 8 glasses of water or more each and every day is questionable because hydration needs are so individual and vary from day to day. Some people actually do need 8 glasses of water a day, and it will not likely cause them harm. It's just the evidence lacking on whether that is the magic number for everyone, and it appears it is not.
THE REALITY: Many people are dehydrated and would benefit from drinking more water each day as well as from making water their primary source of fluids. Your body will tell you when it's time to replenish your water supply because once your body has lost between 1-2% of its total water, your thirst mechanism let's you know it's time to drink some water.
Of course if it's hot...... if it's exceptional dry outside or if you are engaged in exercise or other vigorous activity, you will require more water than normal, so you must take the time to remain well hydrated.
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, June 5, 2012
BMJ, July 12, 2011
American Journal of Physiology, August 8, 2002
OHS Canada, December 1, 2004
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, January 31, 2005
I have been associated with water filtration for almost 20 years, and I can not promote drinking water direct from the tap because of the many chemicals* used to cleanse the water. I accept that chemicals are necessary to clean the water, but I see no healthy reason you should be drinking them afterwards.
* The chemicals used to purify the water at water treatment plants include: chlorine, fluoride, arsenic, algaecides, oxidants, pH inhibitors, followed by the carcinogens and contaminants that seep into the water from ground run-off as it is dispersed.. According to authorities, the levels of chemicals used are safe, but I maintain there is no reason to ever drink cleaning chemicals.
There is evidence to support drinking water flushes the system like no other beverage can. It is to the body what oil is to a car; it keeps our joints "greased", our bodily functions moving and helps remove toxins. For anyone, who does not care for water's taste, there are ways to freshen the taste (and that is not to suggest you should be drinking energy drinks or soda pop).
Not all water filtration systems are the same, but everyone should have one. There are many on the market, but most of them only take out the bitter taste and smell. They do little to remove contaminents and carcinogens that are commonly used to clean tap water.
Some of the chemicals we don't want to drink are chlorine (poisonous chemical bleaching agent), fluoride (factory-castoff chemical), arsenic (rodent killer), need I go on??? The best choices are between small counter top or under-the-sink units and a reverse osmosis system.
The best, inexpensive system of which I am aware is one called Aquasana. It has been voted the best unit for its size and cost for six years in a row. You can visit www.naturesbeginnings.com for more information on the system and how to use our discount code to save 20% on your purchase.
Should you decide you want to remove everything from your water, a reverse osmosis (RO) system is for you. It is more expensive per gallon; you get less water daily, and it is essentially dead water because it removes absolutely everything including the essential minerals. I believe minerals would not be called "esssential" if nature had not intended them as a source for good health.
I highly recommend, if you choose a RO system, that you take liquid essential minerals to replace those removed by your RO system. Visit www.SparkHealthPlug.com to learn more about the importance of minerals and where to find liquid minerals that taste good. fh