Too Much Water, Water Everywhere

It’s been a well-known, absolute fact that you’re supposed to drink eight 8 oz. glasses of water each day to help flush toxins from the body, prevent weight gain, and improve skin tone.  I’m surprised folks haven’t been walking around with those aluminum hospital poles holding up bags of water for an all-day water drip.  Remember all the recent arguing about those ubiquitous plastic water bottles and whether or not they should be banned?

Well, brace yourself.  Dr. Dan Negoianu and Dr. Stanley Goldfarb of the Renal, Electrolyte and Hypertension Division of the University of Pennsylvania say that not one single study indicates that an average, healthy person needs to drink that much water each day.

They did report the obvious:  that individuals in hot, dry climates, as well as athletes, need to increase the amount of water they drink.  But no studies have found any benefit to the organs of increased water intake.  Evidently, there is little to no data to support that drinking more water curbs your appetite, cures headaches, or improves skin tone.

On the average, the body uses between 1.7 and 2.6 pints (1.0 – 1.5 liters) of water daily, and more in high temperatures or when exercising.  While this can be replaced through drinks, a large amount is also contained in food, so it isn’t necessary to drink an equivalent amount to replace water levels.

Keep in mind that too much water can affect the balance of salts in the body, causing “water intoxication,” which can be fatal – as it was to that woman in the radio contest where contestants were supposed to drink water continually without urinating in order to win a Wii.