> Are You Drinking Too Much Water?
Newsletter Aug. 26/02 - Susan Van Dueck
Are You Drinking Too Much Water?
It's been a busy
summer. Most of June was filled with planning and hosting Dr. Joel Wallach from
American/Canadian Longevity. Dr. Wallach is 'The' Colloidal Mineral Doctor.
He was here for 4 nights and we had a turn out of over 650 people...double what
Dr. Wallach explains
that minerals are severely lacking in our soil and consequently our food. They
aren't in our water either. This leads me to our topic today. Are you drinking
TOO MUCH water?
How many have you
read or been told to drink lots of water? If you haven't heard this, you are
the exception. How many of you try to drink 6 to 8 glasses a day regardless
of your thirst level? This is one of the common misconceptions in the health
world that we are constantly inundated with.
I was pleased to
see in 'The Province' newspaper today that Karen Gram has written a piece on
the pitfalls of overdoing water consumption. She mentions a Boston marathoner,
Cynthia Lucero, who collapsed near the end of the race. She had consumed water
during the race which diluted her sodium levels and consequently her body could
no longer function. Her brain swelled and she died 2 days later in hospital.
She also, mentions research done by Dr. Heinz Valtin on water consumption. His
very relevant findings are documented in the article below from CNN.com.
much water do we really need?
August 20, 2002
Posted: 2:29 AM EDT (0629 GMT)
-- "Drink at least eight glasses of water a day" is an adage some obsessively
follow, judging by the people sucking on water bottles at every street corner
-- but the need for so much water may be a myth.
Fear that once
you're thirsty you're already dehydrated? For many of us, another myth. Caffeinated
drinks don't count because they dehydrate? Probably wrong, too.
So says a scientist
who undertook an exhaustive hunt for evidence backing all this water advice
and came up mostly, well, dry. Now the group that sets the nation's nutrition
standards is studying the issue, too, to see if it's time to declare a daily
fluid level needed for good health -- and how much leaves you waterlogged.
Until then, "obey
your thirst" is good advice, says Dr. Heinz Valtin, professor emeritus at Dartmouth
Medical School, whose review of the eight-glass theory appears in this month's
American Journal of Physiology.
"It's about time
for all the attention," says Pennsylvania State University nutritionist Barbara
Rolls, a well-known expert on thirst. "There's so much confusion out there."
Much of it centers
on where you should get your daily water.
"There's this conception
it can only come out of a bottle," and that's wrong, notes Paula Trumbo of the
Institute of Medicine's Food and Nutrition Board, which hopes to decide by March
whether to issue the first official water-intake recommendation.
In fact, people
absorb much water from the food they eat. Fruits and vegetables are 80 to 95
percent water; meats contain a fair amount; even dry bread and cheese are about
35 percent water, says Rolls. That's in addition to juices, milk and other beverages.
And many of us
drink when we don't really need to, spurred by marketing, salty foods and dry
environments, Rolls says.
"For most of us,
that's not going to matter -- you're just going to need to go to the bathroom
more," she says.
But for people
with certain medical conditions, chugging too much can be harmful, sometimes
fatal, Valtin warns. Even healthy people -- such as teenagers taking the party
drug Ecstasy, which induces abnormal thirst -- can occasionally drink too much.
So-called water intoxication dilutes sodium in the blood until the body can't
one disputes that getting enough water is crucial. Indeed, the elderly often
have a diminished sensation of thirst and can become dangerously dehydrated
without realizing it. People with kidney stones, for example, require lots of
water, as does anyone doing strenuous exercise.
But the question
remains: How much water does the typical, mostly sedentary American truly need?
And what's the origin of the theory, heavily promoted by water sellers and various
nutrition groups, that the magic number is at least 64 ounces?
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Valtin, who has
spent 40 years researching how the body maintains a healthy fluid balance, determined
the advice probably stems from muddled interpretation of a 1945 Food and Nutrition
Board report. That report said the body needs about 1 milliliter of water for
each calorie consumed -- almost 8 cups for a typical 2,000-calorie diet -- but
that "most of this quantity is contained in prepared foods."
That language somehow
has morphed into "at least" 64 ounces daily, Valtin says. (One Web site's "hydration
calculator" even recommends a startling 125 ounces for a 250-pound couch potato.)
And aside from the American Dietetic Association's advice, few of the "drink
more water" campaigns targeted to consumers mention how much comes from food.
find any research proving the average person needs to drink a full 64 ounces
of water daily.
to popular opinion, he cites a University of Nebraska study that found coffee,
tea and sodas are hydrating for people used to caffeine and thus should count
toward their daily fluid total.
- That thirst
means you're already dehydrated. That can be true of the elderly, and studies
of marathon runners and military recruits in training have found that some
focus so intently on strenuous exercise that they block thirst sensations
until they're in trouble. But Rolls did hourly hydration tests to prove that
drinking when thirsty is good advice for the rest of us.
- That water blocks
dieters' hunger. Studies show water with food can help you feel full faster,
but that just drinking water between meals has little effect, Rolls says.
So how much do
we need? Until the Institute of Medicine sets a level, "if people obey their
thirst and they are producing urine of a normal yellow color, that's a safe
sign," Valtin concludes.
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This is just a follow-up on the water
email a few days ago.
I had one person protest about the
reference to sodas, tea and coffee counting
towards our daily fluid consumption. They thought that we advocate
drinking these beverages. We don't! Now and then they're okay, but not
as a rule. However, if they are consumed, they do count as fluid
consumption. Sodas, however, are particularly bad in that they leach
the minerals from your body.
This leads to another point the person
disagreed with. He thought it was unbelievable that Dr. Wallach would
tell people exercise is not good. Let me make this clear. Dr. Wallach
Excessive exercise leaches valuable
minerals from our bodies, thus leaving us open to many different
illnesses. Exercise is good when done in moderation and when we replace
our minerals during and after a workout. He points out that no
professional athlete has ever lived past 100 and many die quite young.
Why? Mineral deficiencies. They sweat more than the average person.
There has been research into this and it has been shown that when all is
said and done, a couch potato will outlive a person who works out a
If they did a study like this and
supplemented the active people with highly absorbable minerals and
vitamins the end result would probably be quite different. It makes
sense to me. Hope this clears up any misconceptions.
So what do you
do about rehydration... especially if you are working out or have an occupation
which causes you to sweat excessively? Dr. Jack Taunton, UBC professor, sports
medicine physician and marathon runner recommends Gatorade.
We, however, would
rather recommend a product without chemical preservatives and colours. According
to the label of a bottle of Gatorade, it contains water, sucrose, glucose,
fructose syrup, citric acid, natural flavors, salt, sodium citrate, mono-potassium
phosphate, ester gum, yellow 5, brominated vegetable oils, yellow 6, blue 1,
and caramel 1. These ingredients are listed from greatest concentration to the
lowest, as are all ingredients on food labels. The majority of these ingredients
are just fancy names for something else. Generally,
all the ingredients fall into the following categories: water, carbohydrates,
salts, and additives.
We feel that the
minerals in your body are very important. When you sweat, you lose not only
sodium (which is a mineral) but also all other minerals. So why only replace
salt? Dr. Wallach’s formulation ‘Sports Tech’ (American/Canadian Longevity)
contains all of the plant-derived minerals in proper ratio for the human being,
as well as Vitamins A, C, D3, E, B1, B2, B5, B6, Pantothentic Acid,
Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium. It also, contains an amino acid mix of alanine,
arginine, aspartic acid, cystine, glutamic acid, glycine, histidine, isoleucine,
leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, proline, serine, threonine, tyrosine
and valine. In addition, it contains sea kelp and sea cucumber. It is flavoured
and preserved naturally.
If you are not
working out, you can still use 'Sports Tech' in lesser concentration. Or simply
add a small amount of juice to your glass of water. Don't try and force more
water down than seems comfortable. Keep in mind that the other beverages
and foods you consume all contain water. Use your thirst level as an indicator.
For more info on
how to purchase 'Sports Tech,' please call (604-272-4325) or email our
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