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Simmering Hope

Hope is the expectation that something outside of ourselves, something or someone external, is going to come to our rescue and we will live happily ever after. – Dr. Robert Anthony

Dec 27, 2007

Too much water could kill you

No, I am not talking about drowning, I am talking about the water we drink.
Everybody is familiar with the 8-glasses-of-water-a-day advice, right?
Actually it’s not an advice, it’s a dangerous medical myth.
A myth is a myth until it’s debunked; at that point it becomes a corollary of human stupidity.

One of my colleagues drinks about seven liters of water every day. That’s about 6 liters more than I do.
And he is totally convinced that it’s not only healthy, it also helps achieving his weight loss target by burning carbohydrates.

I have a feeling that this ‘water-burning-carbohydrates’ it’s just another myth, waiting to be debunked.

Now, let’s see what are the water functions in the body:

– Regulates body temperature
– Moisten tissues (mouth, eyes, nose)
– Protects body organs
– Lubricate joints
– Helps prevent constipation
– Flushes out waste products
– Carries nutrients and oxygen to cells
– Helps dissolve minerals and nutrients

Water makes about 60% of our weight. We are truly weird beings, made of 60 per cent water and 90 per cent bacteria.

We lose water every day through breath, perspiration, urine and feces. Therefore it makes sense to replenish the water supply by consuming foods and beverages that contain water.
If you exercise, you may need to drink more fluids, depending on how much you sweat. And by fluids, I mean sport drinks that contain sodium, to replace the sodium lost through sweating, and reduce the chances of developing hyponatremia, which can be life-threatening.
It makes sense that under various conditions (humid, hot environment, breast-feeding, some health conditions like vomiting and diarrhea) you should drink more water than you normally would do.
But there are no scientific studies to prove that drinking 8 glasses of water a day has any added benefits vs. drinking only 4, for example.
Even more, I found a very interesting data on daily fluid intake by American adults before and after the ‘8 x 8’ revolution.
It shows that after the adoption of 8-glasses-of-water-daily, the intake of soft drinks, alcohol and juices doubled!
No wonder the rate of obesity.

It’s better to listen to your body and your common sense.
When I tried to increase my water intake to meet the minimum 8 glasses a day, I felt sick and vomited. Probably it was my body response to too much water.

Conclusions:
– Fluids come from various sources: soups, fruits, vegetables, tea, coffee, beer, wine, water
– Drink water when you feel thirsty
– Stop drinking water if you feel nauseous, it’s a sign you had too much


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