water, water everywhere

Water covers over 71% of the Earth's surface and coincidently that's about the percentage of the human body that is comprised of water as well.

Water also is a very good solvent, exists in all 3 states on the surface of the planet, is very polar with a 104.45 degree angle between its hydrogens, and has almost the highest specific heat capacity of any known chemical. Amazing stuff, huh? Add that to the weird freezing point anomaly and you have the reason life exists on this planet. Neat, huh?

Anyway, the reason I'm mentioning this is to acknowledge that water is great stuff. However some folk think a little too highly of it. The whole "the average person needs to drink eight glasses of water per day to avoid being dehydrated" idea is a real crock of poo-poo. So is avoiding soda due to it being a diuretic or foolish stats like 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. Folks, it's just not true!

The average person retains about half to two-thirds the amount of fluid taken in by consuming soda or coffee in the form of water. If you're used to the effects of caffeine, then you do even better than that. So it's weird how many people believe that you lose water by drinking soda--a liquid that is nearly 100% water--but it's a rare week when I'm not advised that drinking soda will dehydrate me.

As for how much water you need, the NIH suggests that with minimal activity the average person needs 1 liter of water a day though I've also seen a government recommendation of a minimum of 2.7 liters a day so there's a lot of variation amongst experts. The one liter mark is about how much you get each day just in the food you eat. Having a few glasses of water or soda will replace what you use in average activity. 8 glasses? Hell, that'll just wash away a bunch of your water soluble vitamins--and is that really going to do you any good?

I recently had to drink 4 liters of fluid in about 6 hours for a medical exam. It was Hell! There's about 4 cups in a liter so that was about 32 cups of water. A cup every 12 minutes. By the time I was done, I was growing gills! LOL Anyway, if you feel thirsty then drink something--just make sure it's nonalcoholic--and you'll do just fine. If you drink alcohol, then a few extra glasses of water might be a good idea.


Pearl said…
Hm, I hadn't thought of the water-soluable vitamin aspect. These popular ideas do stick around.

It sounds suspiciously like lose weight by eating celery because it burns more calories than you get. That's another one that has a life of its own.
Teresa said…
While I agree with some of what you say, I have to disagree too. I agree that caffeinated beverages are not negative water intake, but you probably do need to count it as less water than plain water. However, I disagree that water-soluable vitamins would be washed away with water intake. That'd be assuming that water goes right through you with no stops on the way which just isn't so. Water carries those nutrients and leaves them along the way, so water is a catalyst to getting them to dissolve faster and to distribute them. And we need regular water intake to keep ourselves running properly.

Of course some of the water we consume isn't really what we consider water but is contained in foods which helps also. But except for people with eating disorders who aren't eating right anyway, I've never heard that anyone had ill effects from consuming 8 glasses of water a day. Most people who have heeded the advice after not doing so report feeling better than they did before.

Water is good for you, Dave.
Claire said…
There's an awful lot of these myths aren't there?! I've never paid much attention to them, there are much bigger things to think about!
Oreo said…
Momma used to drink bout a 6 pack of bottled Dr. Pepper efurryday. Now her has about 2 bottles a day & dranks water tha rest of tha time. Her says her don't feel no differnt. I only drink water...her want let me haff NO Dr. P. Witch. :P
The Doctor said…
I have to say, I stopped to look at your pictures, they are very good. However, the picture of your favorite pet made me laugh.
No_Newz said…
I'm glad it's summertime here but man this anti-water campaign you are on is just not cool. Water is good for you and you should drink a lot of it. It is a life change. Do it!
Lois Lane
Michelle said…
Thanks for clarifying the water issue. I have always thought that it was a crock re the soda. I know so many people who never drink water at all, and live on soda, they never get deydrated, although i bet they have other health issues because of it!
mar said…
Thanks, utenzi, I don't feel as bad now as coffee drinker after reading your post! yes, I can have a cup even before going to bed, caffeine does not affect me...I try to drink more water as opposite to too much coffee or diet coke, but it is so boring! no, a twist of lemon does not help! I remember having to drink a lot just before going to the doctor during my pregnancy , it was not pleasant... I understand why W.C.Fields didn't drink water.

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