In Defense of H2O

Alright water haters, I’m back to tackle the water argument after consulting my textbooks and some of the latest research. Like Reuters, I came up short on finding specific studies that proved several common beliefs about the benefits of drinking water. However, I disagree that the lack of scientific research in certain areas validates decreasing water intake throughout the day, especially if you’re very active. Reuters scientists contested the role of water in the following bodily functions:

  1. Eliminating toxins: yes, the kidneys do eliminate waste from the body, and yes, indeed, they do a fantastic job. However, without adequate fluid intake, urine output decreases in both quantity and quality. Fluid intake is required for the kidneys to function adequately.
  2. Causing dehydration headaches: no, I did not find research to validate this claim. Light headedness is cited as a common symptom of dehydration, which may be experienced as a headache to some.
  3. Limiting appetite: no, I did not find research to validate this belief either.

Volumes have been written about the benefits of drinking water. Adult human body weight is made up of between 45 and 65 percent water; human embryos are 75% water. Breaking new research from the University of Medicine Berlin, Germany*, has revealed an increase in energy expenditure of 24% over the course of an hour after drinking 500 ml of water. Simply translated, ‘increased energy expenditure’ is code for increased metabolism – good news for anyone trying to lose weight!

For those who simply dislike the taste of water, nutritionist Nancy Clark recommends substituting with fluids such as seltzer, juice, decaf coffee or tea, herbal tea, lemonade, soft drinks, soups, and low-fat milk.

Did you know that even food can contribute significant amounts of water to your diet? Try eating cucumbers, lettuces, tomatoes, oranges, and bananas to increase your fluid intake.

*Water Drinking Induces Thermogenesis through Osmosensitive Mechanisms; The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 92(8):3334-3337; May 22, 2007.

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