How Much Water?

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.

8 Responses to How Much Water?

  1. Lila April 22, 2010 at 9:51 pm #

    Tommie, the latest thinking seems to be to divide your body weight by two, then divide by 8 (as in 8 oz. of water to a glass), and that gives you the number of glasses of water you probably need, at least under normal circumstances. Too much water can cause an imbalance in electrolytes, though it isn’t likely that many of us would have such a problem.

    • Tommie April 22, 2010 at 10:19 pm #

      Yes, I’ve seen that formula but I haven’t seen any scientific evidence to back it up. That would also be based on someone eating SAD.

      There are times I’ll go into the bathroom at work and someone will have used the commode and not flushed it. The sight and smell can be disturbing. It’s definite the person needs to drink more water. Dark amber can’t be healthy.

  2. Lila April 23, 2010 at 7:27 am #

    This seems like a reasonable formula to me for the average person, considering that there are different body builds and body weights. Why would you need as much water now as you did when you weighed so much more? Of course, the degree of activity, air temperature and such would have to be considered.

    • Tommie April 23, 2010 at 8:01 am #

      It would depend on the amount of cooked food vs raw as I’ve said, too. Monitor the color of the urine and adjust accordingly is key.

  3. maren April 24, 2010 at 6:21 pm #

    if you are eating a lot of water dense foods like fruits and veggies you are already getting plenty of water, but it is still important to drink water because nothing hydrates like pure water.

    • Tommie April 24, 2010 at 6:27 pm #

      I do drink water but not as much as someone who eats cooked. Or not as much as someone who eats cooked should. The purest water there is, is in raw fruits and veggies.

  4. Kathy April 26, 2010 at 2:59 pm #

    I think that you should drink as much water as you want. You body does need it everyday and depending upon how much you work out, where you live, and how active you are will depend on how much water you need to drink. Water also helps you feel fuller so you wont eat as many unwanted calories! So drink as much as you can without going to overboard!

    • Tommie April 26, 2010 at 4:06 pm #

      There can be a difference, though, between what we want and what we need. That’s why, for the umpteenth time, I’m saying to monitor the color of your urine. In a normal person not on medication that can turn it blue or green or brown, it should be anywhere from a light straw color to clear.

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