Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Advice to drink eight glasses of water a day 'nonsense,' argues doctor

Date:
July 13, 2011
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
The recommendation to drink six to eight glasses of water a day to prevent dehydration "is not only nonsense, but is thoroughly debunked nonsense," an expert argues in a new article.

The recommendation to drink six to eight glasses of water a day to prevent dehydration "is not only nonsense, but is thoroughly debunked nonsense," argues GP, Margaret McCartney in this week's online British Medical Journal (BMJ).

There is currently no clear evidence of benefit from drinking increased amounts of water, she says, yet the "we-don't-drink-enough-water" myth has endless advocates, including the NHS.

The NHS Choices website states: "Try to drink about six to eight glasses of water (or other fluids) a day to prevent dehydration," while many schools also feel it appropriate to insist that pupils are accompanied to school by a water bottle.

Other organisations, often with vested interests, reinforce this message, she says. For example, Hydration for Health (created by French food giant Danone -- makers of bottled waters including Volvic and Evian) recommends 1.5 to 2 litres of water daily as "the simplest and healthiest hydration advice you can give." It also claims that "even mild dehydration plays a role in the development of various diseases."

But McCartney argues that there is no high quality published evidence to support these claims.

She points to several studies showing no clear evidence of benefit from drinking increased amounts of water and suggesting there may be unintended harms attached to an enforcement to drink more water.

"It would seem, therefore, that water is not a simple solution to multiple health problems," she writes.

For instance, reports that increased water intake in children can improve concentration and mental performance have not been confirmed by research studies, while data relating water drinking to a reduction in children being overweight are prone to bias.

While there are some conditions that do benefit from drinking increased water, such as in people with recurrent kidney stones, other evidence for preventing disease is conflicting, adds McCartney. In other words, this is a complex situation not easily remedied by telling everyone to drink more.

Untangling the evidence presented by Danone "results in weak and biased selection of evidence," she argues. Danone says we need "informed choices," but their own evidence does not support their call to action.

She concludes: "There are many organisations with vested interests who would like to tell doctors and patients what to do. We should just say no."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. M. McCartney. Waterlogged? BMJ, 2011; 343 (jul12 2): d4280 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.d4280

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Advice to drink eight glasses of water a day 'nonsense,' argues doctor." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110712190822.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2011, July 13). Advice to drink eight glasses of water a day 'nonsense,' argues doctor. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110712190822.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Advice to drink eight glasses of water a day 'nonsense,' argues doctor." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110712190822.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Microneedle Patch Promises Painless Pricks

Microneedle Patch Promises Painless Pricks

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 18, 2014) Researchers at The National University of Singapore have invented a new microneedle patch that could offer a faster and less painful delivery of drugs such as insulin and painkillers. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Nurse Nina Pham Arrives in Maryland

Raw: Nurse Nina Pham Arrives in Maryland

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) The first nurse to be diagnosed with Ebola at a Dallas hospital walked down the stairs of an executive jet into an ambulance at an airport in Frederick, Maryland, on Thursday. Pham will be treated at the National Institutes of Health. (Oct. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) A Caribbean cruise ship carrying a Dallas health care worker who is being monitored for signs of the Ebola virus is heading back to Texas, US, after being refused permission to dock in Cozumel, Mexico. (Oct. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

AFP (Oct. 17, 2014) All four suspected Ebola cases admitted to hospitals in Spain on Thursday have tested negative for the deadly virus in a first round of tests, the government said Friday. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins