All my life I have heard, “Drink eight 8 oz. (aka ozzies) glasses of water a day.” It’s like it’s a commandment chiseled in stone. But should it be that way? I don’t think so. Am I all alone in my thinking?
This week’s Bible study (in my circle known as the Sabbath School lesson) is about Water of Life. Now, for the Christian, this would mean Jesus. He’s the Living Water. However, this quarter’s lessons are all about Health and Healing. The lesson starts out with the woman at the well and Jesus asking her for a drink. Then it starts into the Living Water, water for baptism, and other applications for water, the primary one being hydration through drinking.
Every morning, I listen to part of the discussion on Pine Knoll. Sure enough, someone brought up the need for drinking eight 8 oz. glasses of water per day.
Now, the formula for how much water comes from where? I have no idea and I don’t think anyone else really does. There’s conjecture that it might have originated with a nutritionist by the name of Frederick J. Stare but I believe it was around before his time. He said, in what seems to be a casual statement, it could be in any form, too, including coffee, tea, and beer. I’m not a beer drinker and I haven’t had any caffeinated beverages since October 17, 2001. I can remember that date because the first day (the 18th) I went completely without and stayed that way was the day my second granddaughter was born.
On Ted Allen’s Food Detectives on the Food Network, there was an episode that dealt with the how much water question. Ted contends that the moisture in the food we eat should figure into the total intake. At one time, I wouldn’t have concurred but now I tend to agree. In the Food Detectives’ lab, the tech took several meals all the way from pizza to hamburger and fries to spaghetti and salad. The food items were weighed and then put into dehydrators until they were thoroughly dried out. Then they were weighed again. It was pretty amazing how much water was in a piece of pizza. However, not many of us would have the patience to do something like this to calculate how much we’d need to make up the difference.
I’m convinced of one thing. The belief that we need to drink copious amounts of water all through the day is based on people eating the Standard American Diet. Cooked food is robbed of its moisture. Try it for yourself if you don’t believe me. Take a sackful of spinach and steam it. You don’t have to boil it. Just steam it briefly. What happens? The cells are ruptured and the water comes out. The sackful becomes a little green mass in the bottom of the steamer. Many times, the leftover “liquor” is discarded along with most of the vitamins. A smart person doesn’t do away with it but either incorporates it into the meal or drinks it on the sly.
Personally, I like to get most of my water in the food I eat. Other than consuming enough calories of raw food, I will drink 16 ozzies in the morning plus another 16 in my smoothies. If I get more than that, I spend more time than usual in the bathroom.
Which brings me to the best way to tell if you are getting enough water. This is also brought out in the Sabbath School Lesson. I quote,
The appropriate amount of water intake depends upon multiple factors, such as temperature, body size, and kidney function but it should be sufficient to result in pale or clear urine in normal circumstances.
In conclusion, here’s my advice. Don’t agonize about the amount of water you drink/don’t drink. Eat lots of juicy fresh raw food/less cooked and take note of what is in the commode. If there is much color to it at all that doesn’t come from another source such as medication, drink. If you’re thirsty, drink. If it’s hot, drink. The formula of 8×8 can’t possibly be one size fits all.