Hydration: Is 8 glasses of water a day really necessary for a person who eats right?

Doctors say that we need to drink 8 glasses of water a day and eat right. I say this is iatrogenic medical advice. No: IF we eat right, we do not need that much water. It needlessly overworks our kidneys.

Let me start with an admission: I am not sure we actually can hydrate ourselves properly, but doctors are quite confident.

Doctors know that their patients are a dehydrated lot. One look at the dry, scaly skin that would look at home on a Gila monster is all they really need to see. Constipation is just a confirmation of dehydration. Believing that bottled or purified water will properly hydrate the body, doctors recommend drinking a whopping 8 glasses of way a day. Not a second thought is given to the possible deleterious effects of chronically overworking the kidneys. And few doctors recommend sipping a much lower quantity of water throughout the day.

Let us not deal with the possible complication that cycles of dehydration and rehydration may be what is optimal for the body. Assume for the sake of argument that hydration is good and dehydration of any sort is bad.

Yet, there is an empirical fact that is staring us in the face that flat-out contradicts what doctors are advising us to do. If we are eating properly, that is, nothing but balanced, whole foods nutrition, and if purified or pure water is truly hydrating, then one would surmise that this would solve the whole problem of dehydration, and in doing so, most of the water would stay in our bodies, re-hydrate us, and those excesses of water that exited our bodies would do so slowly. What happens? Just the opposite. We have to run to the bathroom, as the body kicks this purified water out, as if it were net harmful, and thus good for the business of doctoring.

Yet, ironically, in an emergency situation of dehydration far from the hospital, this water is about the only choice we have. The world is intrinsically complex. Sometimes we have to do net harm to extract sufficient benefit to survive a crisis.

Now what happens with the water in whole foods or the water in thick fruit-and-vegetable “juice blends” (a cross between a thin juice and a thick puree)? These are exactly the substances that are bad for the business of doctoring and we embrace this part of the medical advice, as it sounds good. Just the opposite happens. A typical Square Meal contains about 2 pounds (a quart!) of water, yet there is no urgency in going to the bathroom, after enjoying one. What’s the difference?

Purified water has a simple, but fluid structure, a complex hydrogen-bonded network that forms and reforms continually. In whole foods or a rich, thick juice blend, the water is not structured this way at all. It is all structured around the biologicals, even to the nth coordination sphere. This water is retained. It is tightly held within the body. It is not easily excreted. Even as this water passes through the digestive tract, with the possible exception of the outer coordination spheres, it probably has to be absorbed with the biologicals, and the water and the complexed biologicals likely enhance each other’s absorption. Except in the colon, where biological absorption (other than salts) is low, and water re-absorption is high only if it needs to be (i.e. poor hydration status) or in dysregulated states. Night and day difference. Real hydration from real food. Not chemically purified water, which well-meaning doctors advise us to drink, but which our bodies excrete with some urgency.

Thus, in conclusion, common sense suggests that IF we eat nothing but whole foods, we do NOT need to drink 8 glasses of water a day. If we do drink this much water, we are going to wear out our kidneys prematurely. And this is very good for the business of doctoring. This is iatrogenic medical advice, which is so common it’s pathetic.

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