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 July 22, 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 July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
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:
from the past week

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