“we don’t drink enough water”

Advert on the BMJ website for “Hydration for Health“. It’s well worth noting that the sponsors are Danone Water.

Water is a good drink, yes yes, but tapwater in a refilled bottle is far better than expensive bottled water. Also kidneys are excellent at ensuring that your fluid balance is perfect. Your body is pretty good at telling you when to drink.

Hydration for Health would have you believe that

“many people still may not drink enough fluids” and they cite two studies. The first is a review of water and it’s trace elements, and not a clinical review article or research study. The second is a nursing study of old people attending an emergency department in the US, and I can access only the abstract, and I suspect that what is classed as dehydration may be either diuretic effects or effects of illness.

The last time this ‘drink more water’ thing was rampant I was faced with the moral dilemma of whether to fill up bottles of water for the children to sip at constantly at school as instructed, or not. That one was easy.

5 Responses to ““we don’t drink enough water””

  1. Dr Aust June 2, 2011 at 11:53 pm #

    Oh dear. Is this old favourite back again?

    Honestly, if the BMJ are going to let this kind of sh*te run on their site, what hope is there for the rest of us trying to counteract all the “Hydration balls” in the mainstream press etc etc?

    If you’ll forgive me a plug:

    Glug glug glug – why those eight glasses a day don’t HAVE to be water (or eight)

  2. Dr Grumble June 3, 2011 at 6:39 pm #

    Grrrr! I think I am going to have to give up on this one.

    Let me give a plug to the witch doctor:

  3. Kausik Datta June 3, 2011 at 9:19 pm #

    If you’ll forgive me a plug:

    Austin, I think you meant if she’ll forgive you a glug…

    Margaret, I also couldn’t access the journal of the second study, but I found a later review (PMID: 16728843) that referenced that study. It mentions…

    Causes of dehydration include diarrhea, excessive sweating, blood loss, fluid accumulation, inadequate fluid intake, and fever. Illnesses that entail excessive urination, such as diabetes and hypercalcemia, may also put people at risk for dehydration.

    … exactly as you suspected.

  4. Margaret McCartney
    margaretmccartney June 3, 2011 at 10:24 pm #

    thank you – it gets worse, the more I read, ;


    Frequent bladder voiding flushes infecting organisms from the urinary tract and inhibits their growth4
    Women who drink small amounts have a higher risk of UTI versus those who drink more5,6


    4) Beetz R. Mild dehydration: a risk factor of urinary tract infection? Eur J Clin Nutr 2003;57(Suppl 2):S52–8.

    they actually conclude that “So far, there is no definitive evidence that the susceptibility for UTI is dependent on fluid intake ”

    5) Nygaard I, Linder M: Thirst at work – an occupational hazard? Int Urogynecol J Pelvic Floor Dysfunct 1997;8:340-3.

    “further study is warranted to determine whether modification of behavioural factors at work can reduce the incidence of urinary tract infections”

    6) Su SB, et al. Reducing urinary tract infections among female clean room workers. J Womens Health (Larchmt.)

    This is the most valid out of all the references because it studied the effect of asking women to drink more at work. However: it was a study of Taiwanese women working in a specific ‘clean room’ factory environment which seemed to make them prone to urinary infections. It may have been that these women weren’t able to get water when thirsty and the study enabled them to get this. It also wasn’t controlled .

    But it does not predict that for women who have free access to water and are prone to UTIs, that drinking more will reduce them.

  5. Scipione Conserva August 3, 2011 at 7:55 am #

    Io ho avuto fondamentali benefici aumentando il consumo di acqua. dopo trent’anni di diete , ho perso perso e regolarizzato le mie funzioni vitali bevendo acqua minerale alcalina ionizzata. acqua di rubinetto che grazie ad un processo di elettrodialisi viene condizionata e mi permette di assumere tramite l’acqua che bevo, minerali necessari e utili all’organismo con polarità negativa – alcalina.
    Provare per credere