The water myth

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generic mutant

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    Possibly a bit controversial. I'm no scientist, but I am a great believer in scientific method, and putting myths to rest. A few links:

    The mysterious origins of the “8 glasses of water a day” rule
    What Drove Us to Drink 8 Glasses of Water a Day?
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/14/drinking-8-glasses-of-wat_n_899276.html

    There are many more if you google...

    It is my understanding that;

    a) The oft-quoted belief that you need to drink 8 glasses of water per day is wrong. Even if your body does need that much water (which is highly dependent on what you're doing, and probably an essentially arbitrary figure), a significant chunk of it comes from solid food (which is, much like you, normally mostly water). I've heard it said that deliberately drinking that much, on top of what you're probably already consuming and even when not thirsty, can even be harmful, putting undue strain on the kidneys.

    b) Beer, tea and coffee contain diuretics. But it's a big stretch to go from there to "they dehydrate you". The vast majority of any of these or similar drinks is water, and you normally have to drink quite a lot of them, and wait some time, before the diuretic effect takes over (e.g. a hangover). If you drink a few pints of beer, or evenly spaced cups of tea, you are gaining water.

    c) Normal, healthy urine is anywhere between yellow and transparent. The assertion that it should be transparent is not based on any real data.

    d) Perhaps most importantly: your body is very good at telling you what it needs. If you feel thirsty, drink. If you don't, you probably don't need water (there are certain medical problems that interfere here, definitely. But they are comparatively rare).

    e) That said, there are specific considerations that apply to vaping. vaping dries out the respiratory tract, and we probably need to compensate for that by drinking more fluids than we intuitively feel like we need.

    ---

    So, some questions. Can anyone provide evidence that any of the above is wrong? Preferably published in peer-reviewed literature, but anything that isn't from an unnamed nutritionist would be a start (don't get me started on nutritionists - I'm sure some of them are great, but it isn't a legally protected name. I'm perfectly entitled to call myself a nutritionist if I feel like it).

    If not, perhaps people should be slightly less militant about the "drink water by the gallon" advice. I'm sure it's given with good intent, and I'm sure most people need to drink more fluids when they start vaping. But being a bit more flexible about choice and quantity of fluid will make things easier for newbies.
     
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    Berylanna

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      Possibly a bit controversial. I'm no scientist, but I am a great believer in scientific method, and putting myths to rest. A few links:

      The mysterious origins of the “8 glasses of water a day” rule
      What Drove Us to Drink 8 Glasses of Water a Day?
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/14/drinking-8-glasses-of-wat_n_899276.html

      There are many more if you google...

      It is my understanding that;

      a) The oft-quoted belief that you need to drink 8 glasses of water per day is wrong. Even if your body does need that much water (which is highly dependent on what you're doing, and probably an essentially arbitrary figure), a significant chunk of it comes from solid food (which is, much like you, normally mostly water). I've heard it said that deliberately drinking that much, on top of what you're probably already consuming and even when not thirsty, can even be harmful, putting undue strain on the kidneys.

      Google some more, look for drinking too much water. The harm appears to come from throwing off your electrolyte balance, which throws off other processes. I found a medical article somewhere that gave a formula based on your weight, I think. It said something along the lines of 13 glasses a day is TOO MUCH and can be harmful, and I think their minimum was around 6 or so, but they were not saying it had to be water specifically.

      b) Beer, tea and coffee contain diuretics. But it's a big stretch to go from there to "they dehydrate you". The vast majority of any of these or similar drinks is water, and you normally have to drink quite a lot of them, and wait some time, before the diuretic effect takes over (e.g. a hangover). If you drink a few pints of beer, or evenly spaced cups of tea, you are gaining water.

      The articles I saw did not address alcoholic beverages, but they did say that the diuretic effects mean that drinking 1 cup of coffee or tea means you really only got the water you'd get from 9/10 of a cup. You can lose more by sloshing your cup tripping on a curb.

      c) Normal, healthy urine is anywhere between yellow and transparent. The assertion that it should be transparent is not based on any real data.
      Yellow covers a lot of territory, it should not be DARK.

      d) Perhaps most importantly: your body is very good at telling you what it needs. If you feel thirsty, drink. If you don't, you probably don't need water (there are certain medical problems that interfere here, definitely. But they are comparatively rare).
      Many many people, including most smokers and probably ALL computer programmers and gamers:p, have long-since trained themselves to ignore their signals. Smokers in particular have often trained themselves to smoke in response to subtle thirst signals, because they get lumped into a generic "I need something" signal. So a better rule than 'drink X a day' would be "when you get a nic fit, drink a few swallows before going to the nic, part of the impatience is likely to be subtle thirst signals."

      e) That said, there are specific considerations that apply to vaping. Vaping dries out the respiratory tract, and we probably need to compensate for that by drinking more fluids than we intuitively feel like we need.

      ---

      So, some questions. Can anyone provide evidence that any of the above is wrong? Preferably published in peer-reviewed literature, but anything that isn't from an unnamed nutritionist would be a start (don't get me started on nutritionists - I'm sure some of them are great, but it isn't a legally protected name. I'm perfectly entitled to call myself a nutritionist if I feel like it).

      If not, perhaps people should be slightly less militant about the "drink water by the gallon" advice. I'm sure it's given with good intent, and I'm sure most people need to drink more fluids when they start vaping. But being a bit more flexible about choice and quantity of fluid will make things easier for newbies.
       

      generic mutant

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        Google some more, look for drinking too much water. The harm appears to come from throwing off your electrolyte balance, which throws off other processes. I found a medical article somewhere that gave a formula based on your weight, I think. It said something along the lines of 13 glasses a day is TOO MUCH and can be harmful, and I think their minimum was around 6 or so, but they were not saying it had to be water specifically.

        You're talking about acute toxicity, I suppose. That is a risk, but you have to be on a mission - the only examples I've heard about were people on ecstasy, who believed they had to drink pints and pints of it constantly to be safe or counteract the drug, or people in water drinking contests.

        I've also heard that you can strain your kidneys over time by constantly drinking unnecessary water, and that eight glasses per day on top of a normal diet is potentially a risk. At least in certain climates, and with certain lifestyles, anyway. I don't have any data or papers to link to though.

        The articles I saw did not address alcoholic beverages, but they did say that the diuretic effects mean that drinking 1 cup of coffee or tea means you really only got the water you'd get from 9/10 of a cup. You can lose more by sloshing your cup tripping on a curb.

        Quite. If you drink lots and lots of tea or coffee, you increase your urination rate. I'm sure there are circumstances where you can drink tea / coffee and end up with a net loss of water over a certain timescale. But it certainly isn't normal.

        Yellow covers a lot of territory, it should not be DARK.

        Absolutely. I'm not offering medical advice, and I don't know how dark. But I've heard it said so many times "Urine is supposed to be transparent!". My urine is never transparent unless I'm drunk, in case anyone is wondering :)

        Many many people, including most smokers and probably ALL computer programmers and gamers:p, have long-since trained themselves to ignore their signals. Smokers in particular have often trained themselves to smoke in response to subtle thirst signals, because they get lumped into a generic "I need something" signal. So a better rule than 'drink X a day' would be "when you get a nic fit, drink a few swallows before going to the nic, part of the impatience is likely to be subtle thirst signals."

        That's the interesting question: how are our signals skewed because of the physiological / neurological effects of addiction? I know I often want a cigarette desperately, and if I eat food the urge disappears instantly. The way I explain this to myself is that my body wanted food, and my brain misinterpreted that as needing a cigarette (an appetite suppressant, after all - it is wired somehow into the same system) - I think there's probably some truth to that.
         
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        generic mutant

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          A couple more links. The first talks, as you said, about ignoring or misreading signals. I think that's probably an important thing to remember - try drinking water every so often to see whether it appeals, and if it does, you might be thirsty. And if you crave a cigarette, some food, vaping... maybe try a drink first.

          But you probably aren't accumulating some long-term water deficit unless you force it down you, pure, all the time. This is a myth propagated by... erm... clouds? :)

          Why Drinking Too Much Water Can Be Harmful To Your Health
          Drinking too much water called latest threat to health
           

          Berylanna

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            A couple more links. The first talks, as you said, about ignoring or misreading signals. I think that's probably an important thing to remember - try drinking water every so often to see whether it appeals, and if it does, you might be thirsty. And if you crave a cigarette, some food, vaping... maybe try a drink first.

            But you probably aren't accumulating some long-term water deficit unless you force it down you, pure, all the time. This is a myth propagated by... erm... clouds? :)

            Why Drinking Too Much Water Can Be Harmful To Your Health
            Drinking too much water called latest threat to health

            The second one was a shock to me. I've heard of dihydrogen oxide jokes ever since the 1999 y2k scare, but I didn't realize that, if there are CURRENT articles on this topic, it would increase the irony of comparing the harm of vaping to the harm of dihydrogen oxide.

            I still think it's safer to filter through charred beans though.:evil:
             

            Thor190203

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              A couple of things real quick. First, the formula that should be used to figure out how much to drink a day is... Half of you body weight in oz should be drank. That means that If I weigh 200 lbs that I need to drink 100 oz of water a day minimum. This I don't have link to but I have taken many of classes from doctors from the Rush Copley medical university in Chicago.

              The next is that drinking beer or coffee or whatever does make you pee a lot more which in return makes you loose water that you did not replace from the beer or coffee. So if you drink 8 oz of coffee you will probably pee about 12oz for a net loss of 4oz of water.

              Finally, your urine should be a clear-yellow color. Not quite clear or transparent but close. If your urine is bright yellow or dark then you are not properly hydrated. And if you are not properly hydrated your body is not able to work at its peak performance. There have been studies done that suggest that if you drink enough water a day you will actually begin to lose weight because you body is work better. A quick google search will point you to one of these reports.

              Thanks all and have a good day
               

              generic mutant

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                If you're looking for evidence that someone can google, you can find evidence to support any theory you chose.

                As stated in the OP, I'm hoping for something peer reviewed.

                I don't think it exists, and I think that should give anyone of an even vaguely scientific mindset pause for thought.

                Water is one of the fundamentals of our existence, and extensively researched. It's also big business, and claims like the above shouldn't be especially hard to test.
                 
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