Health

Story Tools: PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

Sometimes thirst is just thirst

Comments (7)
By Peter Hadzipetros

This hydration thing — maybe I've been taking it a little too seriously.

Like a lot of people, I make sure I take in a lot of water. The cbc.ca mug on my desk is almost always in the process of being drained of fluid.

There are two trails worn into the carpet that lead to and from my desk. One goes to the water cooler. The other points — as my father used to say — to my other office, down the hall.

I probably spend more time there in a day than most smokers spend hanging around 10 metres from the entrances to the CBC building getting their fix.

It's old news that people don't necessarily need eight glasses of water a day to remain hydrated. Now, a new study suggests there's little solid evidence backing the supposed health benefits of drinking lots of water.

Some of those benefits are supposed to be:

  • Clearing toxins from the body.
  • Improving skin tone.
  • Keeping organs healthy.
  • Controlling appetite and curbing weight gain.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia did find there's solid evidence that taking in a lot of water is good for athletes and people who live in hot, dry climates. But there's no solid evidence that it is for the average healthy person.

Most of us, it seems, get enough fluid from the food we eat, the coffee, tea and other beverages we drink as well as the odd sip from the water fountain.

How much do we need?

Last year, the American College of Sports Medicine revised its guidelines on exercise and fluid replacement. They're complicated, but the bottom line is fluid needs vary greatly from individual to individual. They also depend on several factors, including temperature, body weight, and activity level.

You want to figure out how much you need? There are fluid need calculators on the web. This one says I need 2.9 litres of fluid a day when I spend an hour exercising at a high level of activity. Am I surprised that the International Bottled Water Association says I need to take in 3.7 litres? Both of them concede that I'll get 20 per cent of my needs from the food I eat, assuming my diet's healthy. Which it is. Usually.

The bottom line is you need to take in about as much fluid as you lose during the course of the day. And when you feel thirsty sometimes you are just thirsty — not dehydrated and on the way to an IV-induced recovery. Maybe that slice of pizza you ate two hours ago spiked your sodium levels and left your mouth craving fluid.

Still, I'm not quite ready to let my desktop cup go empty.

The University of Pennsylvania study also found that there's no clear evidence of the lack of a health benefit to drinking lots of water.

See you down the hall.

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

This discussion is now Open. Submit your Comment.

Comments (7)

CJ

Alberta

"Most of us, it seems, get enough fluid from the food we eat, the coffee, tea and other beverages we drink as well as the odd sip from the water fountain."

This is the first time I've read of coffee hydrating more than dehydrating oneself.

Posted July 21, 2008 05:20 PM

JOHN CHARETTE

YES IN THE AGE OF PRE ADOLESCENT DIABETES AND THE FAST FOOD INDUSTRY OF BUY 1 GET THE NEXT FREE WE REALISE THAT IT WILL BE THE APOCALYPSE OF THE UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE SYSTEM HERE IN CANADA AND THE DEMOGRAPHIC PROFILE OF BOOMERS RETIRING IS STAGGERING , IF THE FUTURE CARE GIVERS AND SERVICE WORKERS HAVE POOR HEALTH AND ACUTE AND CHONIC CONDITIONS AT EARLIER AGES WHO AND WHAT WILL CARRY THIS SYSTEM OF CARE FORWARD, KUDOS TO YOU AND YOURS FOR EXPRESSING WATER AND ALKALINE DIETS FOR THE PUBLIC,


SINCERELY


ROYAL KNIGHT RIDES

Posted July 17, 2008 04:52 PM

D.Moore

Alberta

Drink when you're thirsty; that's all anyone needs. Being advised to drink 6 to 8 glasses of water a day is pure nonsense.

Posted April 11, 2008 07:35 PM

Shereen

Keep in mind, that beverages, other than the foods you eat count toward your daily water consumption. Juice, milk, sodas, etc. count as water intake.

Posted April 8, 2008 03:04 PM

David Ferrier

Edmonton

"Sometimes thirst is just thirst" - this made me wonder if the CBC.ca staffer who wrote the headline was a closet Freudian. One of Freud's most famous sayings was "Sometimes a cigar is only a cigar."

Posted April 4, 2008 03:42 PM

Benjamin

Montreal

Is there not something about drinking too much water, that it drains your body of vitamins and minerals? I also drink at least 2 liters a day, and I let the color of my "liquid body waste" determine if I'm drinking enough or not. Pale yellow is good; dark yellow is not!

Posted April 4, 2008 08:42 AM

Theresa

Guelph

I think that 8 glasses of water a day is not necessary. Just drink when you are thirsty. If your pee is too yellow, just drink some more. Eat lots of fresh fruits and veggies. There's lots of water in those. Avoid processed foods. There is too much salt in those foods. And that's my advice for the day.

Posted April 3, 2008 09:58 PM

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

Post a Comment

Disclaimer:

Note: By submitting your comments you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that due to the volume of e-mails we receive, not all comments will be published, and those that are published will not be edited. But all will be carefully read, considered and appreciated.

Privacy Policy | Submissions Policy

Back of the Pack »

About the Author

Peter HadzipetrosPeter Hadzipetros is a producer for the Consumer and Health sites of CBC News Online. Until he got off the couch and got into long distance running a few years ago, he was a net importer of calories.

More from Peter Hadzipetros »

Recent Posts

Breaking up's not that hard to do
Peter Hadzipetros
Friday, July 11, 2008
My kind of recovery
Peter Hadzipetros
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Fit to be downtown
Peter Hadzipetros
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Joints are just fine, thank you
Peter Hadzipetros
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Steady effort, not 'boot camps' key to weight loss
Peter Hadzipetros
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Subscribe to this blog

Recent Comments

"Most of us, it seems, get enough fluid from the food we ...
Sometimes thirst is just thirst
YES IN THE AGE OF PRE ADOLESCENT DIABETES AND THE FAST FO...
Sometimes thirst is just thirst
Drink when you're thirsty; that's all anyone needs. Being...
Sometimes thirst is just thirst
Keep in mind, that beverages, other than the foods you ea...
Sometimes thirst is just thirst
"Sometimes thirst is just thirst" - this made me wonder i...
Sometimes thirst is just thirst

Archives

July 2008 (2)
June 2008 (2)
May 2008 (1)
April 2008 (2)
February 2008 (1)
January 2008 (2)
December 2007 (2)
November 2007 (4)
October 2007 (3)
September 2007 (3)
August 2007 (3)
July 2007 (4)
June 2007 (5)
May 2007 (3)
April 2007 (6)
March 2007 (3)
February 2007 (6)
January 2007 (7)
December 2006 (2)
November 2006 (3)
October 2006 (3)
September 2006 (4)
August 2006 (5)
[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Story Tools: PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

World »

Video Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 will be found, expert says video
An expert on underwater searches says he is sure that search teams will succeed in finding a Malaysian jetliner that has been missing since March 8, and is believed to be at the bottom of the Indian Ocean.
Mount Everest avalanche highlights risk Sherpas face video
An avalanche on Mount Everest on Friday killed at 13 Sherpa guides who were working ahead of their climbing groups. It is the worst disaster ever on the infamous mountain, and it emphasizes the risks Sherpas navigate each and every day while they work to support their families.
Slow, unstoppable Wyoming landslide will take part of town with it audio
No one can say precisely when the mountainside collapsing into this resort town will give way, but that when it does, it's going to take a piece of Jackson with it.
more »

Canada »

Updated Calgary stabbings: victims' families come together to heal video
The families of the five young people killed this week in a stabbing in Calgary say they have come together in their healing.
Air Canada to consider firing workers in baggage toss video video
Air Canada is apologizing after a video purporting to show a baggage handler dropping luggage from roughly six metres off the ground hit social media.
Rehtaeh Parsons suspect accused of threatening girl's father video
One of two teens charged in the Rehtaeh Parsons child pornography case is now accused of threatening to kill the girl’s father, Glen Canning.
more »

Politics »

Audio The House: What's next in the Duffy-Wright affair? audio
CBC Radio's The House looks into the ramifications of the RCMP's decision to not pursue charges against Nigel Wright. What does that mean for the Prime Minister's former chief of staff, for Mike Duffy, and for Stephen Harper?
Canada's criticism of Russia will 'make no difference'
The Conservative government's tough rhetoric over Russia’s actions in the Ukraine may play well to some voters domestically, but analysts doubt it will have any impact on curtailing Moscow's policies in the region.
MPs switch suits to promote national fitness video
It can be challenge enough to get politicians of different stripes to congregate happily in the same room. So how about the same pool, out of their usual element of suits and talking points, and in bathing suits and goggles instead? That's what a group of MPs do several times a week in the name of national fitness.
more »

Health »

Sorry - we can't find that page
 
CBC.ca

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Arts & Entertainment»

Audio Game of Thrones: How the Dothraki language was developed audio
Fictional languages are an essential element of many great fantasy stories. Have you ever wondered how they are created? CBC's Day 6 spoke with the creator of the Dothraki language for HBO's hit show Game of Thrones, and heard some interesting insight about the tongue of the Khals.
Video The Last Confession probes papal death, Vatican intrigue video audio
The secrecy shrouding the highest echelons of the Roman Catholic Church continues to fascinate worldwide, making the highly guarded institution a natural setting for The Last Confession, the acclaimed stage thriller kicking off its world tour with a Toronto run.
Video FILM REVIEW: Transcendence video
Johnny Depp dials back the weird to play a 21st century Max Headroom of sorts in the sci-fi thriller Transcendence, but this directorial debut from noted cinematographer Wally Pfister probably isn't the high-tech film audiences are expecting, says Eli Glasner.
more »

Technology & Science »

NASA's International Space Station humanoid, Robonaut, finally gets its legs video
A new pair of legs means Robonaut is going mobile at the International Space Station. Now imagine base camps on the moon, Mars or beyond staffed by a team of robotic caretakers.
Video Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 will be found, expert says video
An expert on underwater searches says he is sure that search teams will succeed in finding a Malaysian jetliner that has been missing since March 8, and is believed to be at the bottom of the Indian Ocean.
4 new species of 'killer' sponges discovered off Pacific coast
They look like fuzzy fingers, waving gently from the depths of the ocean floor but make no mistake — they're stone cold killers.
more »

Money »

Ralph Nader slams GM's stance on 'hypothetical casualties' video audio
Ralph Nader, the consumer advocate who sparked a revolution in the auto industry almost five decades ago, has lost none of his anger about companies that put “cost culture” ahead of “safety culture.”
How dearth of Canadian teams in NHL hockey playoffs will hit local economies video
Bars and restaurants in six of seven Canadian NHL cities are bracing for another spring without a hometown run at the Stanley Cup, but despite their dire financial predictions, some experts insist that local economies – including the service industry – will survive without playoff hockey.
Share a juicer, your dog or a room in your home? How the sharing economy took off audio
The internet has helped fuel an economic phenomenon that has seen people share everything from empty rooms in their homes to overnight travellers to even their pets. But the growth of the sharing economy might soon be limited by the hand of regulation.
more »

Consumer Life »

Sorry - we can't find that page
 
CBC.ca

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Sports »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Live Blue Jackets at Penguins
Don't miss the Pittsburgh Penguins and Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference quarter-final on Hockey Night in Canada (CBC, CBCSports.ca).
Video Coach's Corner: 'Open season' on NHL stars video
Don Cherry talked about Brandon Dubinsky's work on Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, as well as how the Blackhawks "gave away" Game 2 to the Blues.
Recap Blues win in OT as Blackhawks buckle video
Barret Jackman scored in overtime to vault the St. Louis Blues over the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 in Game 2 of their Western Conference quarter-final on Saturday.
more »

Diversions »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
more »