Sunday, 2 February 2014

Fact or Fiction? You Must Drink 8 Glasses of Water Daily.

Virtually every health-conscious person can quote the recommendation: Drink at least eight eight-ounce glasses of water per day. Other beverages—coffee, tea, soda, beer, even orange juice—don't count. Watermelon or do they?
I remember a few years ago when professor Heinz Valtin was a guest on my radio show , he is a retired professor of physiology from Dartmouth Medical School who specialized in kidney research and spent 45 years studying the biological system that keeps the water in our bodies in balance. He told me: “There's no denying that water is good for you, but does everyone really need to drink 64 ounces or more every day?” I was amazed when he added: “ absolutely NOT!”

So where did all this 8 glasses a day come from? This morning I did some further research of my own and came across this: There is a lot of mythology around the need for water consumption; a lot of it is simply made up. One could argue that around 70 years ago the notion came about that people need to take in about two or two and a half litres of water a day.This idea was reinforced about 40 years later and the water companies – those selling bottled water – jumped on this idea.That's how the 'eight glasses of water a day' principle came about.
Further research led me to Aidan Goggin a qualified pharmacist, nutritionist, consultant in modern medicine and co-author of award winning 'The Health Delusion'. Who says: "However, what became deliberately overlooked is that water requirements do not have to come from bottles of water, but, aside from alcohol, can be included in anything we consume that contains water."
Aidan explains that we are already taking in plenty of water even though we may not realise it.
"We get the water our bodies need from food types, tea, coffee, juices and so on.
If you were to rank water intake according to the best sources, drinking water would actually come fourth or fifth on the list.
Fruit and vegetables, as a source of water, would be top,"
he claims."They can be up to 90pc water, and included also will be minerals and electrolytes which help balance hydration, and of course all the other benefits that fruit and veg would bring. Furthermore, because they are a food source of water, you get a slower release of water which is more beneficial.
It's not true that tea and coffee dehydrate in regular consumers; the water contained in these drinks counts just as much as any other source of water". He goes onto explain:"In fact coffee, despite the bad press it gets as being a toxin in the body, actually works as a detoxifier having beneficial effects on liver function and disease.
Tea and coffee are also great sources of water because they're derived from plants – which we would not otherwise get in our diets – that have major health benefits for common diseases such as Alzheimer's, cancer, diabetes and heart disease."
How have we arrived at the situation where the need for drinking water daily and regularly – from bottles or the communal water cooler – is an accepted wisdom? Aidan explains: "That it is simply a matter of the hard sell from bottled water producers.You have to hand it to the marketing people behind bottled water don't you?"

Then there’s the weight loss benefit often touted by proponents of the 8 glasses of water per day guideline. They claim people mistake thirst for hunger, which causes them to eat when they are really just thirsty. They also allege that drinking water suppresses appetite. Given the obesity crisis, every little bit (or drop) helps.

In my research on this point I came across a Barbara Rolls a professor of nutrition sciences at the Pennsylvania State University, who disagrees, arguing that: "Drinking water and waiting for pounds to melt away does not work. We all wish it were that simple." She explains that "hunger and thirst are controlled by separate systems in the body. People are unlikely to mistake thirst for hunger." Furthermore, she reports that her studies never found that drinking water with or before a meal affected appetite. she goes on to say: "Nevertheless, there are some elements of truth in the misperception". Rolls did find that water-rich foods—as opposed to stand-alone water—tended to help people consume fewer calories. And, she says, "there is a way that water can help with weight loss—if you use water as a substitute for a caloric beverage."
Neither Rolls nor Valtin opposes the idea of including water in a healthy diet. They both note that the body needs water to function properly and that dehydration hurts the body. They do object, however, to the notion that a universally true guideline governs ideal water consumption. "Water requirements depend so much on outside temperature, activity levels and other factors that there isn't one rule that fits everybody," Rolls says. And Valtin cautions that in some situations drinking too much water can actually be dangerous, even fatal.
So how much water should you drink? Here's their advice: If you have specific medical concerns, talk to your doctor. But if you are healthy, Rolls recommends that you "have a beverage with meals and drink when you are thirsty. In other words, heed your thirst signals, enjoy that watermelon, and stop feeling guilty for not guzzling those extra glasses.

So my conclusions are. Water doesn’t suppress hunger but fruit juice does, so possibly a glass of orange juice BEFORE meals maybe is the answer. Remember this is my personal research and I recommend you look into it yourselves before coming to any conclusion.
Some of you might remember that I had surgery last year for a Diverticulitis complaint and my surgeon suggested drinking plenty of water after the operation, well again my research this morning showed that for people who have specific health concerns, such as kidney stones or a tendency to develop urinary tract infections, drinking lots of water can be beneficial.
A website I often use to check emails or stories to be true or falls is there conclusion is that 8 glasses a day is FALSE, they say that kidney specialists do agree on one thing, however: that the 8-by-8 rule is a gross overestimate of any required minimum. To replace daily losses of water, an average-sized adult with healthy kidneys sitting in a temperate climate needs no more than one liter of fluid, according to Jurgen Schnermann, a kidney physiologist at the National Institutes of Health.
One litre is the equivalent of about four 8-ounce glasses. According to most estimates, that's roughly the amount of water most Americans get in solid food. In short, though doctors don't recommend it, many of us could cover our bare-minimum daily water needs without drinking anything during the day.

So is it or is it not 8 glasses of water a day? Make up your own mind.


  1. Zarah Jones. London2 February 2014 at 13:33

    A fascinating report. Well done Mr Boland.

  2. You've posted a sensible argument. Makes one think. Well done.