Drinking Water for Health
As a personal trainer, I am always pushing the virtues of drinking water – encouraging my clients to stay hydrated after they work out, get a massage, or drink copious amounts of alcohol. Fed-up with my constant preaching, my client, Mark, a particularly nutrition savvy and well-known chef who drinks water during workouts but prefers Diet Coke, coffee, or good wine the rest of the day, has found his backup in a recent article published in Reuters:
Reuters researchers, in a review of scientific literature, found little to no evidence to support the view that drinking water improves overall health, helps eliminate toxins from the body, or prevents “dehydration” headaches.
I must admit that I was hard-pressed to cite the specific research that proves what I preach. I’m left asking myself where I got my information – from my massage therapist the last time he/she worked the ‘toxins’ out of my muscles? Am I a sponge, unwittingly influenced by the many commercial bottling companies who exploit my thirst by trying to convince me that my American tap water is filthy and I must buy my water? Have all of the scientific facts I’ve gathered through formal study converged into one generic mass in my brain?
Or was my advice based on my own life’s experience? I can tell you that if you hike for 18 hours in the Mojave desert without clean water to drink (like my adventurous friends and I once did when we lost our trail in the Zion backcountry at age 22) , you’re most likely going to have a splitting headache, muscle cramps, and fatigue, if not outright heatstroke. I can also verify my old high school friend Ed’s favorite method of preventing a hangover by drinking an entire pitcher of water before going to bed after a night of heavy drinking.
Time to return to my scientific roots and research the literature, I suppose, lest Mark best his know-it-all trainer. I’ll let you know what I find out in next week’s Fitness posting.