Sunshine Natural Food & Grocery | Grants Pass, OR

WATER, does everyone need 8 glasses a day?


 It’s gotten to the point where most of us don’t dare to take a walk around the block without having a case of designer sports drinks or $3 per quart bottled water waiting for us the moment we arrive home. After all, we’ve all heard that everyone is supposed to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day Trouble is, the concept of everyone needing 8, 8 oz. glasses of water daily is not backed by common sense or anything that’s close to scientific.

Water definitely needs to be replenished often because you can exist for months without food, but only a few days without water. It is essential for survival. Blood, muscles, lungs are all more than 75% water. Our brain is about 90% water and even bones are about 22% water  Water helps regulate body temperature and provides the means for transporting nutrients to our organs and tissues. It also helps to carry oxygen, remove waste, and protect our joints and organs. Every day, we lose water through urine and sweat. Taking in too little or losing too much leads to dehydration.

A strong odor to your urine, along with a yellow or amber color, often indicates that you may be dehydrated. Studies show that healthy, well hydrated  people generally urinate about 6-8 times per day. Please note that Riboflavin, vitamin B-2, will make your urine bright yellow when you take dietary supplements that contain large amounts of it and certain medications can change the color of urine as well.

Symptoms of mild dehydration include thirst, pains in joints, muscles or lower back, headaches, loss of energy and constipation.

Nonetheless, the concept of 8 glasses of water, per day, for everyone is unfounded. Dr. Margaret McCartney, writing for the British Medical Journal, stated that the advice to drink 8 glasses of water a day is “thoroughly debunked nonsense” being spread by bottled water companies in order to churn up more profit

Writing in the American Journal of Physiology, Heinz Valtin of Dartmouth Medical School stated  that there is no scientific data that comes close to verifying the need for everyone to be drinking 8 glasses of water per day.

If you think about it, the one-size-fits-all concept of 8 glasses per day is more than a little silly. Would it mean that a 110 lb woman should drink as much as a 250 lb. man? Would it mean that no matter what your diet consists of, we should all drink the same amount?

Most fruits and vegetables consist of 85-95% water. In contrast, a peanutbutter sandwich probably measures less than 25% water, by weight. Therefore a person eating a lunch consisting of a large salad topped with some chicken, turkey, meat or egg is getting more than triple the water of someone eating a peanut butter sandwich. The water needs of these 2 people would be drastically different.

People doing a lot of outdoor physical work in the heat or those exercising extremely hard, may benefit from a sports drink that replenishes water and the electrolyte trace minerals lost in sweat. However, many sports drinks are expensive and high in unwanted sugars.

The following recipe is for a homemade sports drink that will replenish fluids and electrolytes. It’s inexpensive and good tasting. One of the key ingredients is a pinch of  high quality sea salt which provides over 70 of the trace minerals lost in sweat.

3 cups pure water

1cup organic fruit juice


replace the juice with an additional cup of water along with 1 Tablespoon of
raw honey

1\4 teaspoon of unrefined sea salt

Shake well before drinking.

The most highly refined dehydration monitor yet created is thirst. You should drink when thirsty and on especially hot days, drink extra. Pure clean water is the ideal beverage of choice for hydration, but remember you can get valuable fluids from fresh fruits, vegetables and  homemade broths. Coconut water is also one of nature’s perfect sports drinks because it contains an excellent balance of electrolytes, tastes great and is low in sugar. If you’ve never tried it, stop into Sunshine for a free sample. It’s refreshing and delicious.

Rob Pell owns and operates Sunshine Natural Foods in Grants Pass, Oregon
and has 35 years experience with natural foods, products, exercise and healing. This article appeared
in The Daily Courier 6-20-2012