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day permlink Tuesday, 17 February 2004

permlink On Drinking Your Water

Good news for caffeine drinkers!

Personal Health: Must I Have Another Glass of Water? Maybe Not, a New Report Says [NY Times]
You may not have to drink eight glasses of water a day to be well hydrated, and you can count caffeinated beverages in your total water intake, according to a new report from the Institute of Medicine, the group that sets desirable levels of nutrient intake for Americans of all ages.

Dr. Lawrence Appel of the Johns Hopkins University, who headed the panel, explained, "While drinking water is a frequent choice for hydration, people also get water from juice, milk, coffee, tea, soda, fruits, vegetables and other foods and beverages, as well." No mention was made of alcohol, however, which increases the body's water needs.

Although caffeine, as a diuretic, increases the excretion of urine, it does not lead to a deficiency of body water, the panel concluded, suggesting that the effect is fleeting.

Furthermore, Dr. Appel said, "People get adequate amounts of water from normal drinking behavior consumption of beverages at meals and in other social situations and by letting their thirst guide them."

Will this curb the explosive growth of specialty waters? Probably not. But it should be reassuring news for millions of people who worry that they do not drink enough.
There's also some interesting information about average salt intake and how it's way, way beyond what humans used to get (and what we should probably have).

Since it's a National Academies report, it's available for free online in its entirety (read / buy). Or just read the press release or the opening statement from the briefing.

(I love the Web. There's an infinite amount of important stuff that's not on it, but you'll still never find all the worthwhile stuff that is here, and I have more/faster access to source material [like the above] than I've ever had before in my life. W00t.) permlink  

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