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New Study Says Drinking Water May Have Little Benifit

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Old 06-11-2012, 03:30 PM   #1
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Default New Study Says Drinking Water May Have Little Benifit

I heard about this study on the radio and wanted to share with everyone. I am not sure I believe the study, seems to go against everything we have been told. Even in my own experience drinking water has helped me with various things. Your thoughts?

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CTV.ca News Staff

Date: Wed. Apr. 2 2008 10:02 PM ET

A new study released on Wednesday suggests that there are few health benefits to drinking large amounts of water.

Drs. Dan Negoianu and Stanley Goldfarb of the University of Pennsylvania assessed published clinical studies on the benefits of drinking water.

They found that while athletes need more water -- along with people who live in hot, dry climates and those with certain diseases -- the average healthy person does not.

In fact, the researchers found no evidence to support the common belief that drinking eight glasses of water a day can result in health benefits, which have long been believed to range from improved kidney function to a more luminous skin tone.

"It's required for life, and I guess that's led people to think, 'well, if a normal amount is good, then extra might be better,'" Goldfarb told ABC News.

"It won't harm you, but you should understand that there's very little, if any, scientific evidence that it's going to benefit you."

Some studies did show that an increased water intake does help the kidney remove substances, such as sodium. However, this did not lead to a health benefit.

Researchers cound not find conclusive evidence for other theories involving greater water intake, including that it helps fight weight gain by keeping a person feeling full, and it improves skin tone.

A study that found that participants who drank more water experienced fewer headaches was found to be too small to be significant.

One interesting conclusion was that how fast a person drinks water seems to determine if the body excretes it or retains it. If water is gulped, it will most likely be excreted. If it is sipped slowly, the body will hang on to it. However, the speed of water intake did not indicate any health benefit.

The researchers point out that although the studies they reviewed did not prove that there is a clinical benefit of drinking more water, there is also no proof that there isn't one.

"Drink when you're thirsty," said Goldfarb. "That's the way your body is designed."

The study entitled "Just Add Water" will be published in the June issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Read more: http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/Health/200...#ixzz0t2HO3sZB
The video is available at this link http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/Health/200..._study_080402/
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Old 06-11-2012, 03:37 PM   #2
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As someone who has suffered from chronic dehydration because of my aversion to water for the majority of my life, and suffered constant headaches and other problems related to dehydration, I have to say bullocks to this.

Granted, someone who drinks 6 glasses of water a day and someone who drinks 8 probably aren't going to really be that different, but I think studies like this are dangerous because they may give people the false idea that they don't 'need' water. For people like me, who just plain hate drinking it, that can be a dangerous assumption.

So while I don't necessarily believe that drinking gallons of water a day will benefit you in the long run any more than someone who only drinks 6-8, I think that to make a generalization that water doesn't help the body is dangerous. I know that they say drinking a lot of water doesn't help, but they really aren't anywhere close to being specific enough. Articles like this SCARE me because I know there are people out there who will take this as an excuse to not get what they need.
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Old 06-11-2012, 03:42 PM   #3
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I've always been in the "drink when you're thirsty" camp. I almost never drink plain water as the coffee, tea and juice I drink seem to hydrate me just fine. (My pee is never dark.) I suppose that drinking fluids on a schedule may be helpful for people who are unusually insensitive to thirst cues, but I don't think it needs to be plain water as long as the total fluid intake is adequate.

Just my two cents,

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Old 06-11-2012, 04:01 PM   #4
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Dehydration is real - as abstractsilver pointed out. I will get dehydration headaches too (sometimes I forget to drink when I'm super busy).

But, is 8 better than 7? Is better than 6? and really, does that depend person to person, season to season, body frame size to body frame size?

Like, when you think about it. Do you think that a 200 pound man needs the same amount of water as a 100 pound woman? That 100 pound difference means their needs are different - food AND water.

For me, drinking JUST 8 glasses of water (or some liquid - as I drink coffee, decaf iced tea, soda, sparkling water as well as water) would leave me feeling very dehydrated. I probably drink closer to 12 glasses a day. My son who is 15, 6'1" and 140 pounds drinks at most 8 glasses of water a day. He just doesn't want more than that.

So, not seeing health benefits to larger amounts of water? I can buy that. I doubt ever in human history people worried about counting out their water or even had the opportunity to do so even if they wanted to.
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Old 06-11-2012, 04:08 PM   #5
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I don't pay attention to most studies either way. So many studies say one thing one year and a few years later say the exact opposite anyway.

I know for me, if I don't make sure to get enough water in I don't feel good, I'm more hungry, I get constipated. I am not at a place yet where I can *just* pay attention to thirst; although I am thirsty a lot.

But I'm not one to tell people they MUST drink X amount of water, it's an individual thing.
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Old 06-11-2012, 05:15 PM   #6
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Three or four years ago, my mother was hospitalized for water intoxication (also called water poisoning and water overdose - which causes a dangerous drop in electrolytes, especially sodium). She was hospitalized for more than a week (who is hospitalized that long any more) they tried to get her sodium levels into a safe range).

She was almost killed because she believed many of the current water myths. She was only drinking a little more than a gallon a day, and yet it was too much for her. She could easily have died, and she did end up with permanent kidney damage because she believed what her Weight Watchers leader told her (that she had to drink extra water because of her extra pounds, that coffee and tea didn't count and she had to drink extra to compensate for caffeine).

I think this study is far less "dangerous" than all the diet myths that have become so firmly entrenched in our culture that they pass for fact and "common wisdom" to the point that even many doctors believe them (because they've heard them so often).

What concerns me most about the water myths is that they keep getting more and more extreme (like gossip, fish stories, and games of telephone).

At first it was 2 quarts of liquids including those from food

Then it was 2 quarts of liquid in addition to food

Then it was 2 quarts of non-cafeinated liquid in addition to food and caffeinated liquids.

Then it was 2 quarts of unflavored, "pure" water.

Then it was 2 quarts of unflavored, pure water PLUS an additional glass of water for every glass of caffeinated beverage (this is where my mother's water intake was at when she had the water poisoning).

Then it was 2 quarts of water plus two additional glasses of water for every glass of caffeinated beverage.

Then it was one half ounce of water per pound of body weight - plus additional water to compensate for caffeinated beverages (if you're morbidly obese, this amount of water can be fatal, especially if you happen to be on a blood pressure medication or are not eating loads of salt).

The kidney specialist called in on my mother's case told us that water poisoning was once so rare that even kidney specialists rarely saw more than once case per lifetime, and now even general practitioners are becoming familiar with it. Also, the cases used to be only seen in marathon and extreme athletes, mentally ill folk with water drinking compulsion, and people trying to pass a drug screen thinking that gallons of water would do it. That's no longer true. He said they're seeing it in people of all ages and health levels, and he believed the water myths were largely to blame.

I used to teach college classes in psychology and human development, and I taught that water intoxication is virtually impossible in a healthy person (because that's what we used to believe), but that's not true anymore, because so many of the water myths out there encourage ridiculous amounts of fluids. You can get water poisoning even if you never drink plain water, and only drink other beverages (or even only drink coffee) because caffeine doesn't provide enough water to actually dehydrate you. So an 8 ounce cup of coffee isn't "dehydrating" it just provides a little less hydration than an 8 ounce glass of water. That means that coffee doesn't provide zero hydration, and it definitely doesn't promote dehydration. It does contribute to your water needs, but may be equal to 6 or 7.5 ounces of plain water - it certainly is not equivalent to negative 8-16 ounces of water as some of the water myths suggest.

This study is just one small spit in the wind, compared to all the dangerous myths (that more and more people are believing to be gospel truth) that encourage ridiculous amounts of water.
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Old 06-11-2012, 06:01 PM   #7
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The darker your urine, the more dehydrated you are. I say drink minimum 4 glasses of water a day. I have been to the hospital for something unrelated and they told me I was very dehydrated even though I didn't feel thirsty. I got two bags of saline and felt amazing after. I'm not buying that there's no health benefit, especially for women because it does help with sodium bloat and preventing UTI's.
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Old 06-11-2012, 06:04 PM   #8
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Also, let's not forget about my favorite aliment - constipation. :/
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Old 06-11-2012, 06:05 PM   #9
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According to one of my physiology professors, we are all "slaves of the water industry". Apparently it's much better for your electrolytes and kindneys to only drink when you're thirsty.
Although I've often read that it's already a little too late when you feel thirsty since that means your body is already missing fluids.
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Old 06-11-2012, 06:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amygdala View Post
Although I've often read that it's already a little too late when you feel thirsty since that means your body is already missing fluids.
This is my understanding as well.
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Old 06-11-2012, 06:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freelancemomma View Post
I've always been in the "drink when you're thirsty" camp. I almost never drink plain water as the coffee, tea and juice I drink seem to hydrate me just fine. (My pee is never dark.) I suppose that drinking fluids on a schedule may be helpful for people who are unusually insensitive to thirst cues, but I don't think it needs to be plain water as long as the total fluid intake is adequate.

Just my two cents,

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I agree. It's always been common sense to me. I do find that if I drink throughout my meal, though, that I feel fuller than if I don't (again, common sense).
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Old 06-11-2012, 07:42 PM   #12
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I'm old. So, I get my water from my faucet. lol no need to pay good money for what I can get for free. I do believe that water helps flush out toxins in your kidneys and liver. Your urine should be almost clear, if it is not you are not drinking enough water is what I was taught.
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Originally Posted by Amygdala View Post
According to one of my physiology professors, we are all "slaves of the water industry". Apparently it's much better for your electrolytes and kindneys to only drink when you're thirsty.
Although I've often read that it's already a little too late when you feel thirsty since that means your body is already missing fluids.
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Old 06-11-2012, 09:29 PM   #13
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And you know what else I don't buy? that you can stave off hunger by drinking water. Nope... Now I just feel really full of water, but still very hungry.

And Kaplods - I'm so glad you shared that. Because yes, having too much water is a very, very bad thing and scary....

A very good friend started into the whole, "Oh, I can't count that soda as a liquid." What??? or that milk - "only water is water." What?????
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Old 06-11-2012, 09:49 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freelancemomma View Post
I suppose that drinking fluids on a schedule may be helpful for people who are unusually insensitive to thirst cues, but I don't think it needs to be plain water as long as the total fluid intake is adequate.
I'm someone with messed up thirst cues, no question. My natural inclination would be to drink one or two short glasses of milk a day and nothing else. The type of liquid also makes a difference for me. Yesterday I drank 8 small cups of water in the morning instead of coffee and it woke me up just the same. Today I went straight for coffee instead and I'm still barely awake! I'm sure liquid requirements are different for everyone, just like berryblondeboys suggested, but for me reading about an eight-glass benchmark for water consumption helped me realize what habits work best for me.
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Old 06-11-2012, 10:46 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amygdala View Post
Although I've often read that it's already a little too late when you feel thirsty since that means your body is already missing fluids.
I don't know, to me that sounds like saying that it's too late when you feel hungry because your body is already missing nutrients. I guess I believe that the body gives us hunger and thirst signals well before we hit any danger zone.

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