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  #1  
Old 31 March 2007, 07:14 AM
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Spit Take The myth of 8 glasses a day

Nutritional beliefs go in and out of style. One of the most tenacious is the fixation on drinking large quantities of water.

http://www.latimes.com/features/heal...,5378781.story
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  #2  
Old 31 March 2007, 12:17 PM
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In 2002, the American Journal of Epidemiology published an exhaustive literature search conducted by a scientist at Dartmouth University that found no scientific studies in support of 8 x 8. It concluded that large quantities of water are not needed and that thirst regulates water intake quite effectively.
I've come to the same conclusion. Just drinking when I'm thirsty works as well as the regular drinking.

The only times I increase my water intake are at the gym or after a night of drinking. But that just makes sense.
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  #3  
Old 31 March 2007, 12:19 PM
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In 2002, the American Journal of Epidemiology published an exhaustive literature search conducted by a scientist at Dartmouth University that found no scientific studies in support of 8 x 8.
The health gurus who push 8x8 water consumption have all kinds of rules and formulas for us to follow, but they have no scientific basis for it. I've even heard instructions that you should drink eight glasses of water, plus one ounce for every pound you are overweight. I can't find that rule stated online, but I'm finding several that claim 8 glasses, plus 8 ounces for every hour of "light activity."

Quote:
It concluded that large quantities of water are not needed and that thirst regulates water intake quite effectively.
Many water pushers claim that by the time you feel thirsty, you're already dehydrated. I just did a search and found this stated on several fitness, diet, and parenting websites.

Oh, here's a good one with lots of added water depending on circumstances. (Bolding mine.)

Quote:
Drink eight glasses (8 ounces each) every day, under normal conditions. If you are over trying to lose weight or are dealing with any of the other problems caused by lack of water, drink four additional glasses of water for a total of twelve (8 ounce) glasses. In addition, if you are overweight, increase the amount of water by one glass per day for each 25 pounds of excess weight.

NOTE: Coffee, tea, soda, beer, juice and most other beverages do not replace the need for *plain* PURE water. In fact, most beverages have a negative effect on your hydration. Metabolizing the sugar in a soda uses water -- in order to "break even" you need to drink 5 cans on plain water for each can of soda you drink. Metabolizing alcohol also consumes water from the body -- the dehydration caused by metabolizing alcohol is the primary cause of a "hang over". Caffeine also has a negative effect on the body's supply of water.
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  #4  
Old 31 March 2007, 12:37 PM
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I have no idea why people think they can't trust their own bodies for this one.
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  #5  
Old 31 March 2007, 01:47 PM
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Can I recruit all of you to talk to my water obsessed mother? It's fine for her to drink as much water as she wants, but she's constantly trying to force the stuff down my throat too!
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  #6  
Old 31 March 2007, 02:55 PM
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I'm convinced this myth was set up by the toilet paper manufacturers. They know women are likely to be influenced by weight loss advice, and they are the ones who need to use tissue after every restroom trip. Get them to tinkle 200 times a day, and their sales go up exponentially!
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  #7  
Old 31 March 2007, 10:57 PM
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You'd think the sporadic reports of overhydration would get people thinking that maybe all that water isn't necessarily so beneficial, but I guess not.
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  #8  
Old 31 March 2007, 11:11 PM
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Drink too much water and you can say bye-bye to your kidneys too.
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  #9  
Old 31 March 2007, 11:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spamamander View Post
I'm convinced this myth was set up by the toilet paper manufacturers. They know women are likely to be influenced by weight loss advice, and they are the ones who need to use tissue after every restroom trip. Get them to tinkle 200 times a day, and their sales go up exponentially!
I always thought it was started years ago by Weight Watchers. While they still advocate water consumption I do not hear the 8 glass myth.
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  #10  
Old 01 April 2007, 12:17 AM
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To be honest, my normal water intake is probably around 8 glasses a day. More if I have a dry throat.
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  #11  
Old 01 April 2007, 06:11 PM
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I also don't understand how drinking excessive quantities of water is supposed to help you lose weight. I understand that many other beverages are loaded with calories, and replacing those with water can help, and I understand that sometimes people mistake thirst for hunger, and eat when they ought to drink. But if I'm not thirsty and the only thing I'm drinking is water, drinking more of it doesn't fill me up. If anything, it draws my attention to the fact that I'm not eating, and makes me crave a Snickers bar even more.
Now, celery can be somewhat filling, especially with a bit of salt, because it has fiber and gives your digestive system something to do. Since it's mostly water, it contains fewer calories than it takes you to digest it. I've heard the 8 x 8 rule originated with some study showing each person needed 64 ounces of water per day, but included the caveat that most of that water could be obtained from food. If you're eating lots of fruit and vegetables and aren't sweating all the time or breathing really dry air, you could probably get away with not drinking water at all.
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  #12  
Old 02 April 2007, 04:13 AM
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Originally Posted by OptimusShr View Post
To be honest, my normal water intake is probably around 8 glasses a day. More if I have a dry throat.
If I drink any less than around 70 ounces or so a day, I get sick. Very, very sick. It's not at all uncommon for me to drink around a gallon of water a day. I've never understood it, really. I'm just perpetually dehydrated, I think. I always have a bottle of water with me. Always.
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  #13  
Old 02 April 2007, 05:28 AM
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I'm with Lewis Black on this one. Back when water was free and flowed from our taps, it was like "Ehhhh well have a sip." But once it started getting bottled and charged for the "You just have tp drink 8 glasses a day or you'll die!" song and dance started.
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  #14  
Old 02 April 2007, 05:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spam & Cookies-mmm View Post
I've even heard instructions that you should drink eight glasses of water, plus one ounce for every pound you are overweight.
I'd drown.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lazerus the duck View Post
I have no idea why people think they can't trust their own bodies for this one.
Well, it's easy not to realize how thirsty you are, especially in a hot climate (I live in what I suspect to be the kidney stone capital of the North American continent).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thebobo View Post
I always thought it was started years ago by Weight Watchers. While they still advocate water consumption I do not hear the 8 glass myth.
My Weight Watchers booklet tells me to drink six glasses a day.
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  #15  
Old 02 April 2007, 05:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
I'm with Lewis Black on this one. Back when water was free and flowed from our taps, it was like "Ehhhh well have a sip." But once it started getting bottled and charged for the "You just have tp drink 8 glasses a day or you'll die!" song and dance started.
I'll have to disagree but I've only got the anecdotal evidence that my mother was on about the "8 glasses a day" thing long before bottled water ever came into this part of the world.

I'd also have to somewhat disagree with the statement that thirst sufficiently controls water intake. According to the medical information I receive every time I go to a remote minesite, my urine should be close to clear and the more yellow it is the closer to dehydrated I am. Based on that, my normal daily intake is not sufficient. I have to drink more than my thirst dictates in order to achieve the desired clarity.
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  #16  
Old 04 April 2007, 01:59 PM
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I had my first kidney stone this past January. I thought childbirth was supposed to be the worst pain you could have! Ha! The ER doctor told me "just drink some water and it'll pass - and here, you need to see this urologist, too"(Never mind that the straining I had to do to get a blasted urine sample was what apparently made the pain lessen) - I don't think I've stopped drinking water since! I'm afraid to drink most anything else. But...geez! There are times when I can't even drive to a nearby store without having to find a bathroom!
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  #17  
Old 04 April 2007, 02:48 PM
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I've heard that the "8 glasses a day" story was more or less accurate and may be as high as 10 glasses a day...however, foods and drinks that are full of water count toward that total. Fresh fruit's a good one - I ate a lot of pineapple on my honeymoon, and I never felt thirsty after that. So the 8 glasses a day is not 8 glasses extra.

At least it's better than the...I need a better word for "insane"...diatribe spewed by a family on Wife Swap about how water actually dehydrates you. Right, the same way oxygen suffocates you, parkas give you hypothermia, smoking prevents lung cancer, and cars make you go slower (OK, I suppose they do in rush hour traffic...)
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  #18  
Old 04 April 2007, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackjack O'Brien View Post
I've heard that the "8 glasses a day" story was more or less accurate and may be as high as 10 glasses a day...however, foods and drinks that are full of water count toward that total.
That's the sensible theory, yes. But I've heard "doctors" on the radio who say that coffee, tea, sodas, and even juices do not count because they have sugars and other "poisons" that cancel out the water.

See, it's not the liquid you need, but the magical, pure water.
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  #19  
Old 04 April 2007, 08:26 PM
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I have heard plenty of stories, too. Many of the "experts" are expousing half-truths. They may not be wrong, but not exactly correct either. Trust what you know, but water is essential to your body. How much you need is kind of up to you.

I do want to say, Trusting your body is not always a good idea. How many times have you "not felt thristy" but still managed to drink a whole glass/can/bottle of something. Most victims of Heat-related illness (heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, etc.) do NOT recognize the symptoms on themselves. By that point, it is a bit late (not necessarily life threatening, but uncomfortable)

Also, I first saw the Urine Color indicator for dehydration at a Marine base. I laughed my butt off. Such a "rule" is horrribly flawed. What you ate and your own bio-chemistry can also influnce the color. You could drink loads of water and still have "yellow" urine. However, infrequent and very dark urination could be a sign of dehydration, too.
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  #20  
Old 04 April 2007, 09:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackjack O'Brien View Post
...I need a better word for "insane"...
How about "parade of lunacy" ? That's my new favorite pet phrase.

snap *parade of lunacy* dragonfly
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