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This review is from: Your Body's Many Cries for Water: A Preventive and Self-Education Manual for Those Who Prefer to Adhere to the Logic of the Natural and the Simple in (Paperback)
Yet another in the long line of "the west is bad and evil and all doctors want is money!!!"
Eastern medicine has been practiced for thousands of years.
Well, so has bigotry and rape.
"You need to drink eight to ten glasses of water per day to be healthy" is one of our more widely-known basic health tips. But do we really need to drink that much water on a daily basis?
In general, to remain healthy we need to take in enough water to replace the amount we lose daily through excretion, perspiration, and other bodily functions, but that amount can vary widely from person to person, based upon a variety of factors such as age, physical condition, activity level, and climate. The "8-10 glasses of water per day" is a rule of thumb, not an absolute minimum, and not of all of our water intake need come in the form of drinking water.
The origins of the 8-10 glasses per day figure remain elusive. As a Los Angeles Times article on the subject reported:
Consider that first commandment of good health: Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. This unquestioned rule is itself a question mark. Most nutritionists have no idea where it comes from. "I can't even tell you that," says Barbara Rolls, a nutrition researcher at Pennsylvania State University, "and I've written a book on water."
Some say the number was derived from fluid intake measurements taken decades ago among hospital patients on IVs; others say it's less a measure of what people need than a convenient reference point, especially for those who are prone to dehydration, such as many elderly people.
The consensus seems to be that the average person loses ten cups (where one cup = eight ounces) of fluid per day but also takes in four cups of water from food, leaving a need to drink only six glasses to make up the difference, a bit short of the recommended eight to ten glasses per day. But according to the above-cited article, medical experts don't agree that even that much water is necessary:
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 liter 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.
Certainly there are beneficial health effects attendant with being adequately hydrated, and some studies have seemingly demonstrated correlations between such variables as increased water intake and a decreased risk of colon cancer. But are 75% of Americans really "chronically dehydrated," as claimed in the anonymous e-mail quoted in our example? Many of the notions (and dubious "facts") presented in that e-mail seem to have been taken from the book Your Body's Many Cries for Water, by Fereydoon Batmanghelidj. Dr. Batmanghelidj, an Iranian-born physician who now lives in the U.S., maintains that people "need to learn they're not sick, only thirsty,'' and that simply drinking more water "cures many diseases like arthritis, angina, migraines, hypertension and asthma." However, he arrived at his conclusions through reading, not research, and he claims that his ideas represent a "paradigm shift" that required him to self-publish his book lest his findings "be suppressed.''
Other doctors certainly take issue with his figures:
[S]ome nutritionists insist that half the country is walking around dehydrated. We drink too much coffee, tea and sodas containing caffeine, which prompts the body to lose water, they say; and when we are dehydrated, we don't know enough to drink.
Can it be so? Should healthy adults really be stalking the water cooler to protect themselves from creeping dehydration?
Not at all, doctors say. "The notion that there is widespread dehydration has no basis in medical fact," says Dr. Robert Alpern, dean of the medical school at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.
Doctors from a wide range of specialties agree: By all evidence, we are a well-hydrated nation. Furthermore, they say, the current infatuation with water as an all-purpose health potion - tonic for the skin, key to weight loss - is a blend of fashion and fiction and very little science.
Additionally, the idea that one must specifically drink water because the diuretic effects of caffeinated drinks such as coffee, tea, and soda actually produce a net loss of fluid appears to be erroneous. The average person retains about half to two-thirds the amount of fluid taken in by consuming these types of beverages, and those who regularly consume caffeinated drinks retain even more:
Regular coffee and tea drinkers become accustomed to caffeine and lose little, if any, fluid. In a study published in the October issue of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, researchers at the Center for Human Nutrition in Omaha measured how different combinations of water, coffee and caffeinated sodas affected the hydration status of 18 healthy adults who drink caffeinated beverages routinely.
"We found no significant differences at all," says nutritionist Ann Grandjean, the study's lead author. "The purpose of the study was to find out if caffeine is dehydrating in healthy people who are drinking normal amounts of it. It is not."
The same goes for tea, juice, milk and caffeinated sodas: One glass provides about the same amount of hydrating fluid as a glass of water. The only common drinks that produce a net loss of fluids are those containing alcohol - and usually it takes more than one of those to cause noticeable dehydration, doctors say.
The best general advice (keeping in mind that there are always exceptions) is to rely upon your normal senses. If you feel thirsty, drink; if you don't feel thirsty, don't drink unless you want to. The exhortation that we all need to satisfy an arbitrarily rigid rule about how much water we must drink every day was aptly skewered in a letter by a Los Angeles Times reader:
Although not trained in medicine or nutrition, I intuitively knew that the advice to drink eight glasses of water per day was nonsense. The advice fully meets three important criteria for being an American health urban legend: excess, public virtue, and the search for a cheap "magic bullet."
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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 13, 2007 5:25:54 AM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Apr 20, 2008 7:07:56 AM PDT]
Posted on Sep 25, 2007 10:54:08 AM PDT
Prajod Surendran says:
Hey. This is copy-paste from that web site. No value add. You have not read the book :) This book is not about eastern medicine. Actually eastern and western medicine are the same now: Symtomatic treatment. They just supress the symptoms or make the symptom disappear(through surgery)
To the doctor in the Snopes article. Our body loses water also by chemical reactions, like hydrolysis. But who cares about equations like proteins + water = amino acids, when there is money to be made from the next Sicko, and commissions from Pharma companies ?
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 14, 2007 12:13:06 PM PST
J. Guy says:
This doesn't answer the important question....Why do people cease to drink water as they
grow old? Does the sense of thirst dimenish? Does this add to the risk and reality of
disease as a redefinition of chronic dehydration? My personal experience as a not young
person who has been on and off of the Batman rules...is that they work. Arthritic pains
are lessened, more energy, better elimination, etc. Thank you watercure2.com
Posted on Apr 22, 2008 6:38:50 AM PDT
D. Knight says:
Good grief! Is anyone besides me tired of this/these anonymous person/people posting a webpage on a site called "snopes" and automatically being granted the mantle of authority on everything! Snopes supposed authority is limited to urban legends; it's shallow method of research guarantees that it is NOT a reliable source for medical information.
Posted on Sep 17, 2009 9:27:41 AM PDT
I always make sure to get my medical information from snopes.com. Great reference!
Posted on Apr 30, 2010 8:17:46 AM PDT
Picture maker says:
Anyone who considers Snopes and the L.A. Times to be significant medical authorities has enough to worry about. Maybe if they actually read this book they would learn something useful...
Posted on Feb 21, 2011 4:29:04 PM PST
Russell Freestone says:
If you are not drinking enough water, obviously your output will be low also. In that case how can one use output as a basis for how much one should drink?
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 10, 2011 12:19:51 PM PDT
Toni Bate says:
"I always make sure to get my medical information from snopes.com. Great reference!"
LOL I've heard downsides to snopes. Not a site I would blindly trust.
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 17, 2014 4:37:15 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 17, 2014 4:39:10 AM PDT
Candace Lee says:
HA HA HA - yes always check snopes for advice on everything;)
Exactly what I was thinking
Copy and paste a huge long article from snopes.com and get the high fives from other morons
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