I just love when these stories come out. You know, the ones that say a particular physiological fact is false. Take, for instance, the claim that taking vitamin supplements is unnecessary. Always the claim, “…there’s no proof.” Or how about the efficacy of chiropractic–“…no proof.”  Yeah, yeah, the proof’s there–it’s in the pudding as they say.

But back to the silly notion of claiming certain physiological facts to be untrue. A new study published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology apparently “debunks” the myth that drinking lots of water is better for your health. I tell you I just love these stories. Start off with a subject matter that is fact–All living things need water to survive–add a corollary which is nonsensical, and then disprove it. Next take the faulty conclusions derived from the debunking, and use them to deflate an entire principle, one which we can easily deduce as true. The only thing I don’t get is…why? Well, let’s figure it out.

Two nephrologists (kidney doctors) out of the University of Pennsylvania have “reviewed the scientific literature” and have found no conclusive evidence that drinking more water equals better health. Oy vey. First off, the idea that drinking “lots” of water is healthy is absurd. It is quite well known that one can drink too much water. This can lead to hyponatremia–low sodium concentration–which can kill you. So there probably isn’t any credible health care practitioner recommending this practice. “Hey Vern, drink five gallons of water every day–you’ll be Superman.” It’s so stupid, it’s almost embarrassing; but clearly it has to be addressed.

Then there’s the idea of drinking “more” water. More than what? Do the esteemed researchers mean more than necessary? Well then, of course one doesn’t need to drink more. Is it too much to ask of our scientists but to pose viable questions? Because if we are talking about the average American, the one that imbibes soda more than any other beverage, then the notion of more water probably means “more than what you’re drinking now.” As even the two medical investigators point out in their paper: people who live in hot, dry climates, athletes, and people with certain diseases do better with increased fluid intake. So, basically, we can extrapolate these facts to anybody who exercises, sweats a lot, takes meds that make them urinate (diuretics), drinks beverages that make them urinate (coffee, tea, alcohol), or in other words…just about everybody.

Wait Campos. That’s not true. No evidence.

What evidence do we have? That they haven’t done any significant studies on hydration levels of populations; nor have they done any looking at the effects of water replenishment in people who are subclinically dehydrated (read my book); nor have they done any measurements on organ function or dysfunction at different hydration levels. But they have looked at hydration levels and endurance in athletes. Did the two doctors look at these studies? I know, I know, those are athletes. But I think it applies to everyone–we just don’t have the studies showing it, yet. And because it would simply be dangerous (and thus unethical) to knowingly deprive humans of water (can you guess why?), we probably will never see those studies.

So here’s my problem: Why even publish such rubbish? I mean, even the authors admit that, “If someone enjoys it…that’s wonderful, keep doing it. They’re not doing anything that’s going to hurt them.” Bingo! So why bother? If what they say is true, then why go through the trouble of debunking a so-called myth. I really don’t know; but I can tell you one thing: the doctors who wasted their valuable grant money putting together this deficient drivel didn’t really think about water’s full role in the body, or in life itself. They certainly didn’t ask any revealing questions. All they did was ask if certain beliefs about water had been studied, and found that they had not–that’s all. They didn’t prove or disprove anything about this elixir of life. But, unfortunately, they are passing their findings off as an unveiling of great truth; and I just don’t think they’ve come anywhere close.

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