Disease Proof

Water: Drink, Drink, Drink?

Eight glasses of water a day, good for you or just an urban legend? Discover Magazine investigates:
Balderdash, says a new review of the scientific literature by kidney gurus Dan Negoianu and Stanley Goldfarb from the University of Pennsylvania. They found that for the average, healthy individual, there is no evidence that increased water intake benefits organ functioning, appetite, headaches, skin tone, or substance clearance from the kidneys—and the origin of 8×8 is a mystery. The human body didn’t evolve a chronic thirst—it evolved a great capacity for maintaining proper water balance in the face of variable intake.


These findings support an earlier study by Heinz Valtin from Dartmouth, which found no support for 8×8, and debunked a few other myths. He found that dark urine does not mean dehydration, caffeinated beverages “count” as fluid intake, thirst doesn’t mean “it’s too late,” water doesn’t prevent (or help) constipation, cancer, or heart disease.
Dr. Fuhrman actually emailed me this one, here’s what he had to say about all the water hype. Check it out:
If you need all that water, you must be eating an unhealthy diet. A healthy diet, high in fruits and vegetables and low in salt is full of water already.
And you won’t be peeing as much either—yippee!
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Comments (4) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Llouise - April 7, 2008 12:19 PM

I learned this from Dr. F., and it's definitely right on. My skin, for one, looks better than ever from hydrating it with the water in veggies and fruit. I used to guzzle water!

Michael - April 7, 2008 1:44 PM

When I'm eating lots of fruits and vegetables, especially raw, I find I don't feel thirsty very often at all! Even in the hot muggy summers of Atlanta.

don stewart - April 7, 2008 2:37 PM

Here in North Carolina we have had a cool to cold, damp Spring. I walk 8 miles a day. Since adopting Dr. Fuhrman's advice to eat a lot more green leaves, I have to pee a lot more. I think it works this way: water intake up sharply. Water loss pretty small despite all the walking since the weather has been so cool and damp. Result: more peeing.

Don Stewart

Nir, United Kingdom - April 7, 2008 2:53 PM

I'm following ETL and fibre is averaging 60g (mostly from the 3 to 4kg (7-9 lb) of fruits and vegetables I typically consume). I find that this amount of fibre leaves me CONSTIPATED unless I drink sufficient non-food water. I guess if I restricted myself to just 2lb of veggies (which apparently some people new to ETL find difficult to ingest - really?) then I would be eating less fibre and need to drink less water. I also do 4 hours weight training and 6.5 hours cardio in a typical week so need to REHYDRATE!

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