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 »

CBC IN ITALY As aftershock hits, residents vow to remain hopeful 'right to the end' video
A magnitude 4.3 aftershock in Amatrice Thursday sent frightened people running for open ground and prompted panicked residents to yell angrily at anyone standing close to a building that didn't look stable, the CBC's Margaret Evans reports.
Analysis 'The battle of ideas begins': Why the deal to end Colombia's 5-decade war is no guarantee of easy peace
As much as the deal to end Colombia's five-decade war has been cheered in the South American country, the accord is also extremely controversial because the FARC rebel group is so widely despised, John Otis writes from Bogota.
Canadian among the dead in Italy's earthquake
A Canadian citizen is among the dead in the devastating earthquake in Italy that killed at least 250 people yesterday, Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion says.
more »

Canada »

Canada Post, CUPW agree to mediation after union files strike notice video
Labour Minister MaryAnn Mihychuk said a special mediator will begin working with Canada Post and the union representing the majority of its employees Friday morning in hopes of avoiding a strike.
New Liberals to unveil plans for UN peacekeeping force
Several federal cabinet ministers will troop out to one of the country’s principal fighter jet bases on Friday to outline the Trudeau government’s rebooted commitment to international peacekeeping — a pledge that sources tell CBC News will eventually involve hundreds of soldiers and police officers over time.
Police say crossbow deaths in Scarborough linked to suspicious package downtown video
Toronto police confirm there is a link between the three deaths involving a crossbow in east Toronto and a suspicious package found in the downtown area of the city.
more »

Politics »

New Liberals to unveil plans for UN peacekeeping force
Several federal cabinet ministers will troop out to one of the country’s principal fighter jet bases on Friday to outline the Trudeau government’s rebooted commitment to international peacekeeping — a pledge that sources tell CBC News will eventually involve hundreds of soldiers and police officers over time.
Secret cabinet document lost at DFO during Hunter Tootoo's final days as minister
A cabinet document, kept at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, was lost while under former minister Hunter Tootoo's care, CBC News has learned. Staff noticed the file was missing during a routine audit five days before Tootoo resigned from cabinet in the spring.
Federal government won't introduce cellphone driving law, will leave issue to provinces
The federal government is not considering making cellphone use at the wheel a criminal offence according to a spokeswoman for Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould.
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»

U.S. Homeland Security investigating Leslie Jones website hack
Department of Homeland Security investigators said Thursday they are investigating the hack of Leslie Jones' website that revealed several private details of the actress-comedian's life.
Photos Dwayne Johnson tops Forbes list of highest-paid actors
Dwayne Johnson elbowed Robert Downey Jr. aside to become the highest-paid actor with a fast and furious income of $64.5 million US, according to Forbes magazine.
CBC BOOKS 75 fascinating facts for the 75th anniversary of Archie Comics
When clumsy redhead Archie Andrews made his debut, he couldn't have been more different from the plethora of superheroes in comics at the time. But 75 years later, the Riverdale gang's hijinks continue to entertain readers.
more »

Technology & Science »

Apple boosts iPhone security after Mideast spyware discovery
A botched attempt to break into the iPhone of an Arab activist using hitherto unknown espionage software has triggered a global upgrade of Apple's mobile operating system, researchers said Thursday.
WhatsApp is going to share your phone number with Facebook
Global messaging service WhatsApp says it will start sharing the phone numbers of its users with Facebook, its parent company. That means WhatsApp users could soon start seeing more targeted ads and friend suggestions on Facebook.
Whirling disease in fish found in Banff lake a 1st in Canada, officials say
The first known Canadian case of whirling disease in fish has been found in Johnson Lake in Banff National Park.
more »

Money »

Canada Post, CUPW agree to mediation after union files strike notice video
Labour Minister MaryAnn Mihychuk said a special mediator will begin working with Canada Post and the union representing the majority of its employees Friday morning in hopes of avoiding a strike.
Mylan deepens discount on some EpiPen sales in U.S. after criticism
Mylan, in the face of heated criticism over price hikes for its EpiPen emergency allergy treatment, is bulking up programs that help patients pay for the drug.
TD, CIBC results beat expectations with higher profits
The parade of Canadian banks reporting solid earnings continued Thursday as TD Bank and CIBC both posted third-quarter earnings that topped the average expectations of analysts.
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]
Recap Mike Trout's big night for Angels keeps Jays tied with Red Sox video
Mike Trout drove in four runs and Albert Pujols earned his 100th RBI of the season as the Los Angeles Angels downed the Toronto Blue Jays 6-3 on Thursday to win the three-game series.
Point of View Adam van Koeverden steps up with hefty donation to Right To Play
Adam van Koeverden reflects on his time representing Canada as an Olympic athlete and calls on others to support improving the lives of children through the power and impact of sport and play.
How efficient was Canada's performance at Rio 2016?
Team Canada equalled Atlanta 1996 with 22 medals, the country's best-ever total at a non-boycotted Games. But how "efficient" was it?
more »

Diversions »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
more »