« Neeps And Tatties | Main | These Things Happen »

H2O - Just Say No

Advice to drink more water dismissed as harmful nonsense - Health News, Health & Families - The Independent

The benefits of drinking water have become so exaggerated that people who follow official advice may even do themselves harm, a doctor warns.

Bottles of mineral water are now so ubiquitous that health-conscious people cannot make even a short journey without one. Yet the warnings about maintaining fluid levels are "not only nonsense, but thoroughly debunked nonsense", Margaret McCartney, a general practitioner in Glasgow, said.
Official advice issued by the NHS says that people should "try to drink about six to eight glasses of water (or other fluids) a day to prevent dehydration". Many schools also require pupils to bring a water bottle to school.
The idea that we are all short of water is thought to derive from a 1945 recommendation that adults should consume 2.5l of water daily, 1ml for every calorie consumed, though this advice has only caught on in the last decade. But the crucial part of the recommendation is usually ignored – that "most of this quantity is contained in prepared foods".

Hydration for Health, an initiative aimed at medics to promote the drinking of water, which was created and is sponsored by Danone, the French maker of Evian, Volvic and Badoit bottled waters, says "many people, including children, are not drinking enough". It recommends "1.5 to 2 litres of water daily is the simplest and healthiest hydration advice you can give".
Yet there is no evidence that people need to drink that much and it could be harmful by causing hyponatraemia (low salt levels), water intoxication and even death, according to a review in the American Journal of Physiology.
Dr McCartney, a medical columnist for a newspaper, has especially harsh words for the Water is Cool in School campaign; its aim to persuade children to replace sugary drinks with water is commendable but it goes too far when it claims mild dehydration – the sort people experience when they are thirsty – can result in a decline in mental performance.

Dr McCartney said people should "say no" to organisations that like to tell doctors and patients what to do.



This duff advice is made all the more dangerous by one of the other obsessions of the health fanatics, cutting salt out of the diet. So the "healthy" lifestyle seems to constitute unnecessary exercise (sweating out lots of salt in the process), drinking gallons of water and eating no salt. No wonder the culprits act like they're deranged - hyponatraemia really does result in a "decline in mental performance", sometimes to a terminal extent.

"Dr McCartney said people should "say no" to organisations that like to tell doctors and patients what to do."

Like the BMA, to name just one.

Absolutely positively correct!! Except in high heat conditions or when doing physical activity/work in the heat. at those times it takes a lot of water to stay hydrated. So I absolutely agree that most of the hype about drinking water is just hype don't make the mistake of not getting enough water when working, excercising and in hot weather.

Post a comment