I was recently talking to a friend urologist who was detailing me how many of his patients, nowadays, were consulting him for “ strange and unusual urinary problems”, and according to him, the explanation for there bizarre symptoms is that they are OVERHYDRATING themselves…
When we think about it, the motto of “drinking a lot of water is good for you”, advice given repeatedly by nutritionists, doctors, health magazines etc., is quite recent. I do not recall, as a kid, that I was asked to drink that much, except maybe in excess sweating situations, and certainly not on an everyday basis. But I do recall we were very healthy in these years…
Do you know what the MayoClinic recommends per day as water intake?
“Fluid needs, on average, for healthy adult living in a temperate climate: the adequate intake for men is roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages and for women 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) a day.”
I do not want to criticize the MayoClinic folks as they look up for excellency in there work but please, where is the science behind all this and how could we get into believing we need as much liquid and that it is healthy for us???
Well it seems, as many other stuff, that big soft drink corporations tricked us into this when they saw their sales going down in the ’90. And what did they do to correct the situation? They bought most of the bottle water companies and with talented marketing professionals, they created the new concept of “body hydration”… which led to today’s overdrinking... convincing us to walk around holding a bottle of water like if we were all on our way to the gym... And looking at today’s earnings of these corporations, they did a pretty good job at persuading us!!!
This doctor told me he solves his patient’s problem by suggesting drinking only when thirsty and according to the concentration/color of their urine. No pill/no test/no mystery here.
I was recently reading about old traditional Chinese medicine and what was my surprise to discover that one of their main health advice, to reach harmony between the yin and the yang, is to AVOID overdrinking water. The explanation being it causes you to excrete in urine, because of dilution, your body minerals; of course, this goes with all the associated problems related to mineral deficiencies… the best example being the increase in osteoporosis of the general population in the last decade. Calcium loss from the bone used to be a problem of old ladies. Finish. Now you may see young active women with this problem, and 10% of osteoporotic persons are now men, this being unimaginable 2 decades ago. Observe middle age men nowadays; you will be surprise to find how many walk around with the "cripple flexed posture of the spine" typical of osteoporosis just "like old ladies”… Of course, over hydrating is only one extra cause for the increase of this problem, as many other factors like high carbohydrate diets, hormone disregulation ect. do play an important role.
In the LC world, we are all advice to drink a lot of water. But I am wondering if we are not wrong on this one. For myself, I saw the few leg cramps I had disappear when I tried to stop overhydrating and this made me take this issue seriously. I now drink when I am thirsty and a little more when I sweat. That’s it.
I don’t mean to stop drinking water; I mean to drink to replace fluids; and the best way to know how much you need per day is to listen to your body; THIRST was created for this mean…
So why follow “the rules of others” when you can find the answers inside yourself???