Meet Mark

Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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June 09, 2008

Drink Less Water?

By Mark Sisson
170 Comments

Drink WaterDear Mark,

I always hear that I should be drinking eight glasses of water a day, but it takes a lot of unnatural effort to get close to that. Is it just me? What’s your take on the water rule?

Best,

Jaime

As you know by now, my job is to question Conventional Wisdom. One of the classic health paradigms I’ve always had a problem with is the blanket recommendation by the general health community that we all should be consuming copious amounts of water. It just doesn’t make sense to me and it never has. Face it, Grok did NOT walk around with a canteen or an Evian bottle affixed to his loincloth. He and the Grok family thought Nalgene was the name of the tribe across the valley and they never owned a sippy cup with which to gulp down mass quantities of H20. Day after day it was a drop here and a mouthful there – if a source of water other than a dewy leaf was even available. Since Grok and his cadre probably didn’t spend too much time hanging around the water hole. (All those predators you know…) 8 glasses of water a day is unlikely a physiological necessity, not to mention an evolutionarily relevant model. Grok obtained most of his water directly from the food he ate, and I believe that we probably should, too.

I don’t get thirsty very often. I rarely drink so much as a single glass of water during my normal daily routine. When I was a runner, and later as a triathlete, I would go out for long runs or rides without much water – if any at all. Sure I’d drink a bit to recover lost sweat when I returned home, but if I was riding for less than two hours, or unless it was unusually hot, I didn’t even put a water bottle on my bike. Even today when we take a break playing Ultimate Frisbee on hot Sunday afternoons, I have to force myself to drink sometimes when I might just as easily skip the water altogether. Meanwhile, I see people at the gym with 2-gallon bottles of Arrowhead, fully intent on polishing them off before dinner, thirsty or not. So, am I flaunting conventional wisdom at my own peril? Or am I just doing what comes naturally to a Primal being?

Water drop

Years ago someone put forth the idea that we all needed to drink 8 glasses of water a day. Perhaps it came from a series of studies in the 1940s after which the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine opined that the “RDA” for water should be roughly 1 ml per calorie consumed. At their recommended 2000 calories a day, that worked out to 2 liters a day, or roughly 8 eight-ounce glasses. Lost in the translation somewhere was an important caveat that much – if not most – of the water we required could actually be obtained from the foods we eat. In other words, it simply was not necessary to actually drink 8 glasses a day. And since the recommended diet at the time included substantial portions of water-sopping grains, maybe that initial recommendation was too high for someone eschewing grains altogether. (On a related note people will tend to drink more if the beverage is flavored. And, guess, what: carbohydrates (particularly sweet tastes) encourage increased fluid intake. So, it’s useful to ask if the hankering is real thirst or a flavor related craving.)

Nevertheless, over the years, this hydration mandate has become burned into the health consciousness of most people. It appears that nearly every health guru (except yours truly) hammers on this point. Food doesn’t seem to count at all anymore. Eight means eight. And forget including coffee, tea, soft drinks or beer because Conventional Wisdom says that these are diuretics and therefore only increase your requirement for pure water. Of course, that’s wrong, because coffee, tea, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages do actually add to water intake rather than detract from it. Alcohol and caffeine only become significantly diuretic in very large and otherwise dangerous amounts. But I really wonder if all that extra water – however you take it in – is necessary or even healthy if you are already consuming lots of vegetables and other healthy Primal Blueprint food. The average person is said to obtain 20% of his/her water from foods throughout the day. If the bulk of your diet is vegetables and fruit, this percentage is assuredly higher.

Water Glass

Contrary to what your neighbor might advise you, there is no evidence that drinking eight or more glasses prevents constipation, kidney stones, bladder cancer, urinary tract infections or that it guarantees you’ll have clear skin and a toxic-free liver. Yet these are often cited as the main reasons to drink so much. And forget the so-called hyper-hydration properties of “clustered water,” “ionized super waters,” “penta-water” and the rest of the scam-waters, about which I have blogged in past posts. Water is water is water.

On the other hand, there are some possible health consequences of overdoing this hydration thing. Chronic over-consumption of water can cause the relative concentration of important electrolytes in the blood to drop, a condition called hyponatremia (Wikipedia), which in turn forces water out of the bloodstream and into cells, causing them to swell. Not a big deal for a muscle cell, but catastrophic when it’s a brain cell and there’s no extra space to expand into. Each year we read about people in endurance contests who sweat profusely, overcompensate by replacing the water but not the salts and wind up with cerebral edema. Last year a woman died in a radio-sponsored “water drinking contest,” drinking only about two gallons in a short period of time. Of course, those are extreme examples, but I do have several readers who have shared with me their intent on getting “100 ounces a day”, and I have to advise them to cut way back.

(The following contains my own personal hypotheses. I would love to see some research done in these areas. If anyone is aware of any please drop me a line.)

Conventional Wisdom suggests that drinking water with your meals is fine – even recommended. But I suspect that some heretofore undiagnosed digestive issues may arise when people drink significant amounts of water or other fluids with their meals. The digestive process starts with, and depends on, a very acidic environment in the stomach (a pH of 1 to 2 ideally). That highly acidic environment also controls the timing of when the stomach empties. When you drink lots of fluid at a meal, you are substantially diluting the stomach acid and diminishing its ability to effectively digest your food. I would guess that many cases of GERD, gas, stomach upset and other common complaints might be addressed simply by NOT drinking so much water throughout the day and refraining entirely from drinking while eating. (Except maybe a little wine, which, having a pH closer to stomach acid has been shown to aid in digestion) This might also explain why some proteins that only break down under optimum acid conditions pass into the intestines only partially digested and thus might be recognized by the immune system as “foreign invaders”, setting up some immune response that gets diagnosed as a food allergy.

Furthermore, unbeknownst to many people, the stomach is one of the first lines of defense in your immune system. Bacteria and yeast that are regularly consumed along with your food can be quickly and easily dispensed with in a very acidic stomach, preventing what might otherwise become a short term bout of food poisoning or a possible longer term GI tract infection. Dilute all your meals with water, however, and the pH rises enough to possibly allow those same bacteria to pass through to the intestines where all hell can break loose. Literally.

Even cold and flu viruses that permeate the air around us are generally rendered harmless when they reach a normally acidic stomach, (after being breathed in and drained with mucous into the stomach). Drinking a ton of water all day long just might disarm that security measure as well.

Measuring Cup

So how much water does a person need? I think this question exemplifies our tendency to over-think many aspects of our health and well-being. I’ve mentioned on a number of occasions that animals seem to get along just fine on their own instinct. Do we really think we evolved any differently? Thirst is a physiological instinct that is there for a reason. Still, the makers of this bogus rule also tell us that the thirst instinct comes “too late”: we’re already on our way to dehydration once we get to that point! This is where the paleo-perspective comes in handy. Has our “defective” thirst instinct been leading us wrong – for tens of millions of years? I think you know where I stand on this one. So if you actually feel thirsty, by all means have a drink. For anyone interested in a little history of the rule (and confirmation that thirst doesn’t signal dehydration), check this (PDF) out.

Our individual need for water depends on numerous factors. Activity level, body size, environment (humidity level and altitude, most significantly), quality of health, age, and pregnancy/breastfeeding impose the most legitimate variations. In general, we want to replace the fluids we lose in a day, and intensive activity (with its accompanying sweat) will increase the amount of fluid we need. (For prolonged, intensive exercise and/or significant water intake, it’s essential to balance salt/electrolytes with water.) The drier our climate, the more water we tend to lose, but unless you’re sitting out in the blazing sun for hours at a time, it doesn’t make a huge difference. Altitude, because of the body’s more laborious breathing, can increase our need. Those who are ill can require more, depending on their condition and any treatments they’re receiving. (People with kidney disease, kidney stones, a history of bladder cancer, or a tendency for urinary tract infections are usually advised to drink more.) Women who are pregnant or nursing definitely need to drink more. Finally, I mention age not because older men and women necessarily need more water. In fact, if they’re more sedentary, they probably need less. However, some research has shown that as we age our thirst instinct may not be quite as sharp as it used to be.

For most of us, however, we can safely rely on that brain stem of ours to tell us when it’s time to belly up to the drinking fountain.

One final word on water intake:

Bottled water is a joke. If you don’t trust your tap, get a simple Reverse Osmosis filtering system.

Thanks for your questions, and keep ‘em coming!

massdistraction, Snap®, paulbence photography, phoosh Flickr Photos (CC)

Further Reading:

Water is Water is Water. Even When It’s Scam Water.

10 Ways to “Get Primal”

Would Grok Chow the Cheese Plate?

Subscribe to Mark’s Daily Apple feeds

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170 Comments on "Drink Less Water?"

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primalman
primalman
8 years 3 months ago

Thanks for the post mark, I especially like the last two points you made: water needs vary greatly upon numerous factors and $1.00/16 oz. of bottled water is a joke.

GeorgeT
GeorgeT
4 years 3 months ago

I’m betting that all the sodium in modern diets is why we “need” all that water. it’s actually a fix to a problem w/ the modern diet. meanwhile, “drink when you’re thirsty”, which will be lots for some, and little for others, sure seems like pretty good advice.

tatsujin
8 years 3 months ago
GREAT post Mark. The little water I drink daily is to take your vitamins 😉 Interesting tid bit; My 9 year old son plays roller hockey. When he comes of the “ice” on the bench all his team mates guzzle large containers of gatorade and water. For a while I kept on telling him to drink some water……because I never saw him really drinking. When I asked him about it he said he just wasn’t thirsty. I then realized that I’m the same way. But with all the coaches yelling “get some water” to the kids, I forgot that about… Read more »
Ann
Ann
4 years 3 months ago

does your son eat the paleo way? I am wondering because I have a 10 year old daughter and I still give her whole grains. I fear that if I don’t she won’t grow properly or something. I’ve been fed to much healthy advise over the years and I just cant get over it. I still have this voice inside my head telling me that this might not be safe for kids.

Mona
Mona
2 years 8 months ago

I recommend you to read “grain brain” by Dr Perlmutter, you will have a clearer perspective on whole grains and gluten.

Donna
Donna
8 years 3 months ago

The past several weeks i’ve been snacking on watermelon. It quenches my thirst and i find myself not drinking water. Watermelon is my favorite summertime snack, it sure beats a glass of water when you’re thirsty on a hot day!

Anna
8 years 3 months ago

I’ll drink to that! You know what I mean…

Lou
Lou
8 years 3 months ago

I drink like a horse. Always have. I can put down 4 glasses of water with breakfast. Funny thing is, I never even bothered checking myself against an 8 glass a day rule. Never cared if I had too much or t0o little water. Water is water, right? Ah well, maybe I’ll cut back a little. Also, I’m a 250lb dude, so my water requirements might be on the high end.

Marty
Marty
8 years 3 months ago
Couldn’t agree more with the joke that is bottled water! Imagine explaining this to someone in the 50’s… ME: Hey, Mr. 1950’s guy, I’m from the future. 1950’s GUY: Swell. What’s it like. ME: Get this, there’s a coffee shop called Starbucks on every block of this city! 1950’s GUY: Sounds great, how’s their pie? ME: No pie, just coffee. 1950’s GUY: Good coffee? ME: Sure. 1950’s GUY: How much does it cost? ME: Five dollars. 1950’s GUY: … ME: … 1950’s GUY: Wow, inflation sure is a mean devil. How much for frozen peas, 500 dollars? ME: 80 cents.… Read more »
Anna
8 years 3 months ago

$5 for coffee? You’re right, that’s a good joke.

An Americano is from $1.85 to $2.50 at Starbucks or just about anywhere else, depending on size and location (extra shots of espresso raise the price a bit).

Americanos are shot(s) of espresso in hot water. I prefer an Americano to drip brewed coffee because it is freshly made for me, not pre-made and sitting around who knows how long. Espresso, even watered down, also tastes better than drip brewed coffee (especially old drip coffee) and has less caffeine.

simon fellows
simon fellows
8 years 3 months ago

..have a read about Lee and DeVores long term studies of the !San; also how they buggered up one group with bore holes thinking they were doing ’em a favour (thats a whole other eco-philisophical point that suggests we as a species are ttruly buggered.
Also having spent a coupla years in Bots and Nam and seen these climes firt hand pre Nalgene..water was obviously scarce and they survived(or not) fine

Phillip
Phillip
8 years 3 months ago

I pulled so many muscles during flag football one year because I drank too many liquids every day(100+ ounces of water, 8 cups of coffee, 4 beers). Bad stuff!

dragonmamma
dragonmamma
8 years 3 months ago

Hallelujah! I thought I was the only person in the world who thinks that chugging water all day long is unnatural.

To all the people who tell me that tea or coffee or fruit “doesn’t count”, I always ask them, “OK, how about if I swallowed a spoonful of coffee beans or the contents of a tea bag, and then drank a glass of water with it? You think that would be OK, right?” They usually don’t know how to answer that.

Sean
Sean
6 years 5 months ago

“Tea not only rehydrates as well as water does, but it can also protect against heart disease and some cancers, UK nutritionists found.”

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/5281046.stm

Strong One
8 years 3 months ago

Great post Mark.
I would humbly agree on many points. The amount of water you take in should correlate to your activity level, your current state of fitness, and of course your dietary consumption (which includes all those wonderful processed and Sodium saturated foods)
By the time your actually thirsty, it’s too late, your body’s h2O supply is depleted.
I don’t think there is such a thing as drinking too much water. Your body can and does know how to handle the excess, but yes we should take into consideration how much at one time your consuming!
Thanks for the great info as always.

Christy
Christy
6 years 5 months ago
Just one question…How can a person’s water supply be depleted? Seeing that we are made up of more water than anything, we’d be dead if that were the case. I’m not sure I agree that 84 oz of water each day is bad for a person though. I have gotten myself up to that and once you start, it is quite easy. I’m sure it helps to keep up flushed out. If we ate healthy food, it wouldn’t be so necessary. Back when people ate meat, fruit and veggies and didn’t have processed foods, they probably got more water from… Read more »
James
James
5 years 7 months ago

Even a small decrease in hydration (2-3% if I recall correctly) has a marked, negative effect on performance. For most people, slight dehydration may not be an issue, but for athletes, proper hydration is key. This does not mean massive amounts of water, but water and nutrients when needed. Timing matters as well.

gkadar
gkadar
8 years 3 months ago
I was wondering if the high grain and simple carb consumption in North America was in part to blame/explain the phenomenon of water bottling. When I was a kid, a million years ago, people just didn’t seem to require so much fluid. No one ever drank a litre of coffee in one shot. Maybe back then people didn’t eat like donkeys/horses/cows: grazing on carbs. I’ve done some reading on water recently. It seems that the North American ‘fad’ concerning ‘pure’ water is actually counterproductive. High calcium and magnesium levels in drinking water are associated with lower risk of sudden death… Read more »
Chainey
8 years 3 months ago

I really agree with this and I’m glad it’s been posted.

Whenever someone tells me that by the time I’m thirsty I’m dehydrated, I just reply that it’s careless of Mother Nature to have messed up such a basic feedback mechanism so badly.

Here’s another link along the same lines: http://tinyurl.com/zwc

And it’s easy to spend $5 for the fancy coffee-based drinks, which is presumably what the previous poster had in mind.

sir jorge
8 years 3 months ago

all i want to make sure of, is avoid kidney stones…that’s all i wish for

Katie
Katie
8 years 3 months ago

I’ll just throw in that I used to drink water all day long (probably close to a gallon), was quite literally a stick, and ate a bowl of oatmeal a day as about the only consistently eaten carbohydrate. I get thirsty very easily and I hate the feeling of having a dry mouth. So the more filtered tap water, the better.

miss J
miss J
5 years 13 days ago

That just goes to show that everybody is different and that no health industry should “force” people to consume the same amount of water in order to be classified as “healthy.” The health industry needs to take into account that God created us differently. This whole “be healthy” movement is counteractive because it is stressing out citizens “including myself.” We as humans need to just trust God in everything and ought not worry about anything.

Margaret
Margaret
3 months 3 days ago
I agree, i grew up in a difficult home, we never were told about taking care of our heath…we were kids. I came from 2 generations of smokers. I started smoking at 17. I drank coffee, ate reasonably well…had my share of the drugs and bar scene. Left my mid 20’s with alot of painfully stuffed emotions. Information health started popping up all over. All of the sudden you are faced with oh my God…i need to take care of my health. Meanwhile, the stress came from the thought, because now we find ourselves focusing on the problem, where there… Read more »
Mark L.
8 years 3 months ago

Dr. Gabe Mirkin has an interesting post that implies that professional bike racers have better kidney function because they often become dehydrated. Here’s a partial quote: “The researchers found that frequent dehydration accompanied by drinking large amounts of water did not cause kidney damage. This repeated stress on the kidneys may even explain why the professional cyclists had better kidney function than the less-active participants.” http://www.drmirkin.com/public/ezine051808.html

Jane
Jane
6 years 9 months ago

Long amounts of sitting can compromise kidney function through lack of blood flow.

Office Water Coolers
8 years 3 months ago
Good article, in fact you’ve stated something I’ve often thought about myself. I just don’t seem to need 8 glasses a day. I used to live in Oman & Quatar, in the middle of the desert (when I was younger) and even back then, in 40 – 50 degrees heat, I didn’t seem to need the full 8 glasses of water a day. Now I’m in the UK and I drink perhaps 4 glasses a day max. I do have a very healthy diet though. Whilst I think this conventional wisdom isn’t a bad thing, I also think its importance… Read more »
Donna
Donna
8 years 3 months ago

My believe is that there is such a thing as drinking “too much” water. I use to drink way too much. Years ago I followed advice from a very wise man to drink way less and i noticed how much better i felt!!! Drinking “too much” water is NOT healthy!

Joe Matasic
Joe Matasic
8 years 3 months ago
I’m like Lou. I just drink a ton of fluids. Always seemed to be that way. I have a liter in the morning with breakfast and on the ride to work. Then couple cups of dark roast and then water the rest of the day. Especially with my meals!? If its dinner I will go through a couple pints of ice water no problem. If it’s iced tea when my parents are in. It’s at least four pints. No sugar though. When I’m working out riding more so than when I lift, I go through water quick also. Now its… Read more »
hedda
hedda
8 years 3 months ago
Uh-oh…I think I’m In trouble…..well, not really. But I have always been constantly thirsty. I don’t care about the 8 glasses thing,I just drink when I’m thirsty.ever since I can remember I wanted water all the time. I always keep a big , glass juice bottle with me filled with filtered tap water and I drink anywhewre from 2 quarts to 2 gallons in a day, depending on the day. I’m extremely active and I talk alot( this is what my mother blames). But if I don’t drink when I’m thirsty I get a migraine. The water rule is silly… Read more »
trackback

[…] Select your restaurant choice based on the availability of your favorite beverage? Even if you’re hunting down the best in diet sodas, the reality is there is really no excuse to be drinking soda. To keep it primal, ditch the monster soda fountain drinks and instead opt for a glass of water (only if you’re thirsty!). […]

JenS
8 years 3 months ago

Really interesting concept. I’ve never come close to meeting the water recommendations (even the old 8 glasses of water a day one was too much, let alone the newer ones, which I think are at least 91 ounces for women and 125 ounces for men), but it’s always something I’ve worried about in terms of sports performance. What do you make of the studies that show performance is affected when you’ve lost even 2 percent of your body weight due to dehydration?

Mark Sisson
8 years 3 months ago

JenS,

Of course working out hard and long changes everything. It’s an unnatural act that requires an unnatural compensatory act (drinking more than you otherwise might). training and racing in the heat without water is suicide (figuratively if not literally). I lost 12 pounds running my first Boston Marathon in hot temps at age 20 (144 to 132). Stupid now, but we didn’t know better 35 years ago.

Arjuna
Arjuna
8 years 3 months ago
You start off so well offering evidence-based debunking of a common myth. Then you go on to offer new myths that have no evidence to back them up or are entirely wrong.It seems you employ the same level of evidence to draw your conclusions that you point out initially as being faulty. You define hyponatremia as a reduction in all important electrolytes, it only refers to lowering of sodium levels in the blood. The closest word to your definition would be hypo-osmolality. You probably overestimate the risk of water intoxication for a healthy adult. Their intake must excede their ability… Read more »
Harmony
Harmony
5 years 1 month ago
I applaud you. I mean, Mark has some good points, but I find some of his claims extreme. You make excellent points. I know when I fail to drink at least 8 cups of water I get tired, cranky, and everything goes downhill. With water, I eat less, I have more energy, and I feel better. And I tested this, I did 4 days of drinking water when I felt like it, and today was the 5th day and in the morning I woke up with a nasty headache (like i did for the past 2 days) and I was… Read more »
Malandro
Malandro
3 years 1 month ago

If you want your viewpoint to be taken seriously, you need to learn the difference between the words “effect” and “affect”.

Mark Sisson
8 years 3 months ago
Arjuna, First off, thanks for your very detailed and thoughtful comment. I appreciate that you took the time to address this so thoroughly. Your points are well-taken, but I think I was quite clear that I was not offering conclusions. I was looking at a lifestyle that assumed “more water is better” and from there, speculated what might be happening in some cases. I sprinkled terms like “I suspect”, “I would guess”, “might explain”, “possibly” in reference to “a ton of water”,”lots of fluid” or “dilute every meal.” I never sugested that “8 ounces with a meal” could disrupt digestion… Read more »
Arjuna
Arjuna
8 years 3 months ago
Mark, Thanks for your reply. I think that you may have missed the main point of my comment. The point was that you hold those you disagree with to a higher standard than you apply to your own writing. I saw all the “I suspect”, “I would guess”, etc. I’m sure you know that all those phrases can be summed up in one category. They are called “weasel words” because they are often used to precede an opinion for which the author has no foundation. Many people who are familiar with logic and critical thinking will recognize all the weasel… Read more »
Sean
Sean
6 years 5 months ago
I’d like to point out that Mark said this is my personal hypothesis. You know what a hypothesis is, right? Speculation is the foundation of science. Mark goes on to speculate on some of the ramifications of this hypothesis. Hence these aren’t ‘weasel words’. I find his speculation credible and interesting. Without hypotheses, one cannot proceed to theories by applying the scientific method. A hypothesis (drinking too much water might lower stomach pH) can then be tested by making a prediction (people who drink lots of water have a higher incidence of prandially acquired disease) and testing it in a… Read more »
Ali
Ali
4 years 7 months ago

Only he said drinking lots of water would dilute the acid. If it lowered the pH, that would mean water makes it MORE acidic.

dragonmamma
dragonmamma
8 years 3 months ago
Arjuna, You are aware that this is a BLOG, are you not? Do you understand that a blog is not held to the same standards as, say, a medical journal? As Mark states in his disclaimer: The views expressed on this site are my opinions. My words or any contributions from my staff should not be taken as a substitute for qualified medical expertise. I don’t really censor Aaron or Sara or the rest of my staff (though I do review all their contributions). So, while I’m a “health guy” with a biology degree and many years of fitness, health… Read more »
Mark Sisson
8 years 3 months ago
Arjuna, I’m afraid we are getting bogged down in minutiae here. You call them “weasel words”. I call them disclaimers. You argue that I assigned you an AMA POV; I didn’t. I just acknowledged that from that POV, my ideas might seem unique. You argue:”I don’t think the existence of hydrogen ions, the logarithmic nature of the pH scale, or the defect that underlies GERD, as examples, represent any particular POV. There is evidence to support these facts.” and yet you lump these all into a category of facts (the very same approach you accuse me of doing) when the… Read more »
Arjuna
Arjuna
8 years 3 months ago
I apologize dragonmamma. I realize it is a blog but didn’t realize that implied that false information was on the menu. Thank you for clarifying that for me. You apparently found something in that disclaimer that implied that false information should not be pointed out or challenged. I didn’t. That may be my mistake. Some people do care if the health information they consume is true. I can see that for you it is most important that it is “enjoyable”. I didn’t mean to offend your sensibilities. I agree with you that the writing here is enjoyable. We just have… Read more »
oldie
oldie
6 years 8 months ago

Arjuna,
I want to have your babies. 🙂

Arjuna
Arjuna
8 years 3 months ago

Sorry Mark…moving on

Please excuse my intrusion

Shane
Shane
8 years 3 months ago

Sorry to interrupt, but…can anyone explain more about balancing salt/electrolytes with water after heavy exercise? After training I normally drain a water bottle pretty fast but never think about replacing salts.

trackback

[…] drinking water is good for the body.  Drinking more will definitely hydrate your body. As to how much and how often we won’t debate (at least not today on this post) We also won’t even skim the surface on the debate of water […]

celina wallace
celina wallace
8 years 3 months ago
You took then words right out of my mouth its true the more I drink water the easier it gets but my natural instinct is not to drink water.I could never figure out how water was doing me any good because within five to ten minutes after drinking I need to urinate and its always pure water it seems to me if you get your water with food it would take longer to digest therefore doing more good.Also I would like for you to talk about potassium I think this is far more important two years ago I was swelling.deoressed,almost… Read more »
trackback

[…] It’s always good to question conventional wisdom: Drink Less Water? […]

Shashanth
8 years 3 months ago

Hey Mark

What a post to get my mom to read. She always asks “Did u drink water?”. At tims I use to wonder if that was true about 8 glases. This post is a great way to look at th 8 glasses in a day.

Gonom
Gonom
8 years 3 months ago

You touched on the grains sopping up water, but have you put any thought into the water that we intentionally cook out of our food? Mainly fresh living/raw fruits and vegetables. Did Grok cook the fruit he would find? Would you eat the orange? Or, would you burn it first?

trackback
8 years 3 months ago

[…] last time’s one-liner summary of dietary issues, I linked a post by Mark Sisson that basically said there’s no need to force-feed water to ourselves. Sure, […]

Cara
Cara
8 years 2 months ago

Just curious, I have always just my water consumption on the color of my urine. It’s been darker lately since I have mainly been drinking tea and only water when I am thristy. Does this darker color have anything to do with my health? Does it make a difference?

Mark Sisson
8 years 2 months ago

Cara,

I don’t think the color of your urine has anything to do with your health in general (unless you had just finished a marathon and were urinating “coke-colored”). Otherwise, just let your thirst be your guide. And that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a spot of tea even when you’re NOT thirsty!

trackback

[…] say drinking water is good for the body.  Drinking more will definitely hydrate your body. As to how much and how often we won’t debate (at least not today on this post) We also won’t even skim the surface on the debate of water […]

Jeremiah Bell
7 years 8 months ago
Mark, Just as a note, I thought I could interest you in a post that I recently read from Lifehacker. It was a note that the BMJ tried to debunk a few medical myths. One that caught my eye was the fact that everyone should drink 8 glasses of water daily. I thought I would paste the relevant text here to save you some time: As taken from http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/335/7633/1288: “The advice to drink at least eight glasses of water a day can be found throughout the popular press. One origin may be a 1945 recommendation that stated: A suitable allowance… Read more »
mark sisson
mark sisson
7 years 8 months ago

Jeremiah, thanks. Good stuff here.

NoElleNo
NoElleNo
7 years 6 months ago
I’ve been looking for this post since June 2008 and I FINALLY FOUND IT! I’ve been telling my coworkers they really need to cut back on the water, mainly because it’s silly to pay for it and because we have a delicious water fountain and the tap tastes like lead pipes and rocks. They all seem to be stuck on the RDA of 6 to 8 a day; they’re also mostly overweight, have mobility issues and a constant case of bad breath and or a whiff of body odor when the temp is high enough to promote a bead of… Read more »
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J.
J.
7 years 5 months ago

I wrote my master’s thesis on water consumption, and he’s right that the 8 glasses of water a day is a misinterpreted piece of data that stuck. There is a big difference between glasses of water and your total water consumption (which includes consumption from food).

The amount of water you need varies by person. I am a runner who lives in the Sonoran Desert and has urinary issues that are assuaged with drinking lots of water, so I actually drink at least 6-8 glasses a day. But I’d never suggest that other people do the same thing.

torchum
torchum
7 years 5 months ago
Times are a changin’ and so should our outlook on ALL aspects of life. We are and have been for a hundred years or so, a re-thinking world. What was rule even a couple years ago may very well be proved drool as of yesterday. Science is everything but ever changing so never become so dead set as to cancel out anything 100%. That being said, how the heck did you ever feel that a quality comparison of us as human beings, living in the enviroment that we do, should rely on what Grok did as “makes sense” Pardon my… Read more »
Carol
Carol
7 years 5 months ago

But your primal diet makes me soooooo thirsty!! I crave cruciferous veggies too!

Chiara
Chiara
7 years 5 months ago
Coming back to the points raised by Arjuna: I appreciate much of what i read in this blog, but i always make an effort to cross-check. In this case, i read the pdf reporting the study on the 8by8 “myth” and found *that* rather skewed in its interpretation! What stroke me most was the discussion of the danger of ingesting too much water. It reported 3 cases of death and attributed them to water, when it was clear that in all cases, it was not the water causing the death, but the simultaneous ingestion of antidiuretic drugs (once a medicine,… Read more »
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