T Nation

No Benefit from Drinking Water

The idea that drinking eight glasses of water a day is good for your health has been dismissed as a myth.

Scientists say there is no evidence drinking large amounts of water is beneficial for the average healthy person, and do not even know how this widely held belief came about.

Specialists in kidney conditions in America reviewed research on claims eight 8oz glasses of water help flush toxins from the body, preventing weight gain and improving skin tone.

Dr Dan Negoianu and Dr Stanley Goldfarb, of the Renal, Electrolyte and Hypertension Division at the University of Pennsylvania, said no single study indicated average healthy people needed to drink this amount of water - a total of 3.3 pints - each day.

“Indeed, it is unclear where this recommendation came from,” they say in a review in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

The researchers did find some evidence that individuals in hot, dry climates, as well as athletes, need to increase the amount of water they drink. Studies have also shown that drinking lots of water helps the body to clear salt and urea.

But no studies have found any benefit to the organs of increased water intake.

Drs Negoianu and Goldfarb also investigated the theory that drinking more water makes you feel full and curbs appetite.

Proponents say this may help maintain a healthy weight and fight obesity, but the evidence for this claim remains inconclusive, states the review.

No carefully designed clinical trials have measured the effects of water intake on weight maintenance.

Headaches also are often attributed to water deprivation, but there is little data to back this up, claim the scientists.

Only one small trial has addressed this question, and while trial participants who increased their water intake experienced fewer headaches than those who did not, the results were not statistically significant.

In addition, water has been touted as an elixir for improved skin tone.

The authors said that while dehydration can decrease skin stiffness, no studies have shown any clinical benefit to skin tone as a result of increased water intake.

The literature review by Drs Negoianu and Goldfarb reveals there is no clear evidence of benefit from increasing water intake. On the other hand, no clear evidence exists of a lack of benefit. “There is simply a lack of evidence in general,” they explain.

On average, the body uses between 1.7 and 2.6 pints (one-1.5 litres) of water daily and more in high temperatures or when exercising.

This is replaced through drinks but a large amount is also contained in food, so it is not necessary to drink an equivalent amount to replace water levels.

Too much water can affect the balance of salts in the body causing “water intoxication”, which can be fatal.

“Average healthy person”

move along, we’re not average here.

[quote]msd0060 wrote:
“Average healthy person”

move along, we’re not average here.[/quote]

That being said…I don’t think a study has ever been done on how much a bodybuilder should drink. Just like 8 glasses of water for a healthy person just came out of thin air the same might be true for the bodybuilder recommendations.

Just drink a lot and piss out what you don’t use. It just makes sense. Muscles are water, we’re water, we sweat water when we work out (much more often than the average person) helps digestion, it’s necessary if you eat a lot of fibrous foods. Right diet and PWO nutrition, you’re not going to “dilute your salts”. Just don’t drink passed that threshold where you die.

All I’m saying is that I’ve heard various recommendations such as drink a gallon of water a day on this site. Now, where did this number come from? Someone probably pulled it out of their ass just like the 8 glasses a day. I’m sure bodybuilders need more water than your average person, but I’ve never put too much weight into anyone’s recommendations.

[quote]msd0060 wrote:
Just don’t drink passed that threshold where you die.[/quote]

Yeah, and it’s real hard to drink past that threshold if you’re pissing regularly, so, really, there’s nothing to worry about.

Remember, if the average person does one thing, do the opposite; it’ll make you above-average.

[quote]Padilla7921 wrote:
msd0060 wrote:
Just don’t drink passed that threshold where you die.

Yeah, and it’s real hard to drink past that threshold if you’re pissing regularly, so, really, there’s nothing to worry about.

Remember, if the average person does one thing, do the opposite; it’ll make you above-average.[/quote]

If you’re pissing every 5 seconds then you’re probably overdoing it.

[quote]Digity wrote:
If you’re pissing every 5 seconds then you’re probably overdoing it.[/quote]

That’s actually when I halt my consumption of water. If I piss shortly after drinking a bottle, then I stop drinking for a while and start back again when I’m thirsty.

[quote]Padilla7921 wrote:
msd0060 wrote:
Just don’t drink passed that threshold where you die.

Yeah, and it’s real hard to drink past that threshold if you’re pissing regularly, so, really, there’s nothing to worry about.

Remember, if the average person does one thing, do the opposite; it’ll make you above-average.[/quote]

Or below average…

[quote]CJK wrote:
Or below average… [/quote]

Well, I’m looking at the optimistic side of things, so…

[quote]Padilla7921 wrote:
Digity wrote:
If you’re pissing every 5 seconds then you’re probably overdoing it.

That’s actually when I halt my consumption of water. If I piss shortly after drinking a bottle, then I stop drinking for a while and start back again when I’m thirsty.[/quote]

Same here…I use my body to gauge how much I should be drinking. Some people follow a hard set rule…they think they must drink an exact quantity everyday. If anything, wouldn’t it be highly variable depending on one’s weight?

I’ve read from a reputable source that an equation to find out how much you should drink is

BW (lbs) * .55 = # of ounces of water you should drink

if you’re active and sweating increase that number.

good luck functioning well on below 8 glasses a day

how about all the studies that show dehydration causes reduction in performance? guess those are all pointless?? get real, I’ll stick to drinking more than 8 glasses/day

[quote]Digity wrote:
Same here…I use my body to gauge how much I should be drinking. Some people follow a hard set rule…they think they must drink an exact quantity everyday. If anything, wouldn’t it be highly variable depending on one’s weight?[/quote]

It would seem likely that it would be dependent on the person’s weight or body composition or diet or whatever other variables may factor into the equation. However, I don’t know completely. When it comes to drinking water, I drink until I know that it’s not being used by my body, then I drink a little bit more later on. It’s a good system.

Edit: Jehova made some good points. That equation sounds pretty fair. I ran the numbers and lo and behold, that’s actually what I normally drink. (The numbers: 170 * .55 = 93.5 = .75 gallons)

Plus most of us could probably “get by” with 50 grams of protein a day, but that wouldnt exactly promote our goals of building mass n such.

Why wouldn’t you drink 8 glasses, it’s really not that much especially when you considered the amount of salt and starch and sugar in people’s diets these days.

I just thought of something that’s really advanced, so prep yourselves…

drink when you’re thirsty

[quote]gi2eg wrote:
I just thought of something that’s really advanced, so prep yourselves…

drink when you’re thirsty[/quote]

actually, by the time thirst signals are sent, you’re already dehydrated.

but, yes if you’re thirsty you should drink :smiley:

[quote]gi2eg wrote:
I just thought of something that’s really advanced, so prep yourselves…

drink when you’re thirsty[/quote]

actually, you can already be dehydrated by the time you feel thirsty.

[quote]Padilla7921 wrote:
Digity wrote:
If you’re pissing every 5 seconds then you’re probably overdoing it.

That’s actually when I halt my consumption of water. If I piss shortly after drinking a bottle, then I stop drinking for a while and start back again when I’m thirsty.[/quote]

if your thirsty that means your already dehydrated

sorry what jehovas and rykker said ha

[quote]duddy wrote:
if your thirsty that means your already dehydrated

sorry what jehovas and rykker said ha[/quote]

I drink no matter what, just not when I’m pissing directly after taking a sip.