Water health myths; more irresponsible journalism!

For years I have told my friends and family that you don’t need to drink water to stay healthy. I was sure my fluid intake from coffee, tea, juice, soft drinks, and even beer was enough to keep me alive… And I was probably right, as I am sitting here typing away, completely alive. Yet, having been recently diagnosed with type-2 diabetes, I cannot help but rant that the amount of water I used to drink was probably a leading cause to my condition.

Sure the arguments here are sort of valid, you can get plenty of water from fruit and vegetables, and yes, a can of coke and other drinks are composed mostly of water, but they also provide your body with masses of sugar, which I can attest is something your body just doesn’t need, and over time, something your body will not be able to cope with. So perhaps that calorie free glass of water may be a better choice in the long run, and by telling people they don’t need to drink water, you are essentially giving them reassurance that Coke is it, when really it isn’t!

Now, I don’t want to sound like I am ranting just because I have diabetes, it is highly possible that you can read this while supping a can of coke and eating a Mars bar and nothing bad will happen to you… I survived years doing just that, but I hope that my little rant, may just get a few of you thinking about what you put into your body, and if I can prevent just one person from developing diabetes, than my job here will be successful.

Water is amazing – we can’t live without it and we are, in fact, mostly composed of it. So it is not surprising that a whole bunch of half-truths and myths exist about water, especially when it comes to your health.

So here are our top five myths about water.

Myth 1: We should drink eight glasses of water a day to avoid dehydration

Probably one of the most widely-believed yet false beliefs about water – no doubt encouraged by bottled water brands.

According to the British Dietetic Association and the NHS, we should try consume the equivalent of around six to eight glasses of fluid a day, but that’s fluid, not water.

Much of this can be obtained from the food we eat – fruit and vegetables are 80-90 per cent water by weight – and other drinks including milk, tea and coffee.

But even this has come under criticism. Scottish GP Dr Margaret McCartney wrote in the British Medical Journal that there was no strong evidence for the current advice, adding that it was “not only nonsense, but thoroughly debunked nonsense.”

Obviously in hotter, sweatier conditions we need to up our intake to make up for the extra loss, but again, any non-alcoholic drink will suffice.

Your body is very good at regulating water levels; it will get rid of excess by sweat and urine and when levels are low you will feel thirsty and compelled to drink.

Read the other four myths on the Yahoo ‘Health’ website via Water health myths.

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One thought on “Water health myths; more irresponsible journalism!

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