25 March 2010

How much water do I drink?

I've been perusing through Dr. Batmanghelidj's book Your Body's Many Cries for Water. Yes, I'm well aware that it does not entirely scientific and does have a few claims that could be regarded as sensationalism for water (excess cholesterol is a result of too little water intake, really?).

I was intrigued, however, at some of the references to the possibility of chronic dehydration as an influence on disease and the beginnings of cellular aging, which can fuel chronic disease.

Plus, anyway, I needed to write a paper on water.

So, of course, I had to ask myself, "How much water do you drink?"

So here goes my diet for today:

8am: 1 cup of green tea (with 1 yogurt/protein shake/fruit)
10am: 1 cup of yerba maté (a habit passed from Argentine mom)
12pm: 1 cup iced tea (with chicken salad lunch)
2pm: 1 shot espresso
4pm: 1 cup yerba maté
6pm: 1 glass red wine (with 1 cup lentil-asparagus soup dinner)
9pm: 1 cup green tea

(Plenty of liquid, but no straight glasses of purified H2O.)

I suppose that from a nutritional standpoint, it appears I did pretty OK for the day and plenty of antioxidants from fruit, veggies, tea, maté, coffee, and red wine. I am simply trying to stick to a relatively decent DASH eating plan.

Although I didn't feel dehydrated (I drank about 7 cups of liquid), given what I have now read about water I'll probably have to reconsider what I'm doing.

I'm especially alarmed at the possible effects of chronic caffeine diminishing ATP and alcohol's influence on vasopressin causing dehydration. (And here I thought the regular tea, coffee and occasional red wine were pretty OK habits.)

It does make sense to me that cells would best function when well-hydrated. After all, as stated in the materials, life began in water, or an ancient primordial swamp.

No doubt in my mind that given our origins from the sea that it's water intake that is truly necessary for entire body's proper function (along with a bit of salt).

As the water-relationship makes common sense to me, I can see how I might recommend it as integrative therapy in certain situations, although I would hang back from calling it "prevention" or "cure" of disease without some considerable evidence-based research.

I admit I had no idea something like a low-grade "chronic dehydration" existed and could exist despite food and liquid intake and affected directly by caffeine and alcohol.

It seems to me that, since water represents pretty much the starting point of nutrition (at least from a cell's and ancient fishapod ancestor's standpoint), the topic of water intake definitely should be part of all nutrition programs.

My thoughts,


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