Ref: CHB/News Bulletin/002/2014                                                                   Date: 31st January 2014

Ref: CHB/News Bulletin/002/2014

Dehydration Myths – Busted!

myth1Myth: You need to drink eight glasses of water every day.

Fact: No one's sure where the so-called 8-by-8 rule came from. The truth is, your daily requirement depends on your diet, size, and unique body chemistry.  In 2004, the Institute of Medicine (IOM), a division of the National Academy of Sciences, actually set the adequate total-daily-water intake at higher than 64 ounces — 3.7 liters for men and 2.7 liters for women. But those numbers refer to total water intake, meaning all beverages and water-containing foods count toward your daily quota.


If you want to stay optimally healthy, hydrated and energetic, it’s a good idea to eat plenty of water-containing foods and drink water throughout the day. And when in doubt, it’s probably not a bad idea to make a point of drinking a little more water, rather than a little less.

Myth: Drink only when you're thirsty and you'll get all of the fluids you need.

Fact: Sedentary folks might do fine using this mantra, but anyone who occasionally feels the urge to be active need not subscribe.  An hour before you hit the gym, grab an extra 500mls to hydrate before you dehydrate.

myth2Myth: When it comes to hydrating, all beverages are created equal.

Fact: Caffeinated and sweetened drinks pack chemical cargoes (or trigger chemical reactions) that demand significant amounts of fluid to properly process and filter. As a result, nonwater beverages can actually set you back, water-wise, many experts suggest. For example drinks like coffee, black tea and cocoa are very high in purines, toxins that must be diluted in large quantities of water to be flushed from the body.

Caffeine found in coffee, black tea and soft drinks adversely affects your body’s water stores because it is a diuretic that elevates blood pressure, increasing the rate of both the production and elimination of urine. The water in these drinks travels through the body too quickly, hardly has the water entered the bloodstream than the kidneys remove a portion of the liquid and eliminate it, before the water has time to make its way into the intracellular environment – (proof being, visiting the washroom more than usual after your morning cup of coffee)

Myth: Hydrating is all about water.

Fact: Nope. It takes a delicate balance of minerals, electrolytes and essential fatty acids to get and keep water where it needs to be — properly hydrating your bloodstream, your tissues and your cells.

myth3You can drink lots of water and still be dehydrated on a cellular level. Minerals, especially electrolytes and trace minerals, are essential to maintaining cellular equilibrium. Minerals help transport water into the cells, where they also activate enzymes. And enzymes are the basis of every biological process in the body, from digestion to hormone secretion to cognition. Without minerals enzymes get sluggish and the body suffers.

Myth: Drinking too much water leads to water retention.

Fact: The body retains water in response to biochemical and hormonal imbalances, toxicity, poor cardiovascular and cellular health — and, interestingly, dehydration. If you’re not drinking enough liquid, your body may actually retain water to compensate. Paradoxically, you can sometimes eliminate fluid retention by drinking more water, not less, because if you ingest enough water, the kidneys do not try and retain water by cutting back on elimination.

Myth: Drinking 4 glasses of water on an empty stomach can treat cancer and diabetes and other chronic illness (source: popular email circulating from 2005 to date based on a Japanese study)

Fact:There is no truth in this. Beyond the nebulous suggestion that a glass of water helps digestion or the fallacious claim how it helps lower blood pressure (it doesn’t), water does not “activate our internal organs” in the morning. Our organs function quite well on their own during the night while we sleep and continue to function even after we wake up. As for the claim that downing a glass of water before bed “avoids stroke or heart attack” was that simple, the various stroke and heart disease foundations would be telling the very same thing.

Diabetes cancer and tuberculosis are serious illnesses that are not subject to being easily cured even by the latest medical technologies, let alone by water. Belief in such easy fixes is understandable because such diseases are big, mean, scary things, and those afflicted often feel powerless in the face of them.


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