‘Eat’ water, don’t drink it -Can’t we get anything right?

I’ve written about drinking water before. You know, the age old question of how much water we should consume.

It’s puzzling. In that blog post I went over the standard advice to drink lots and lots even if you’re not thirsty. And I looked at more recent research that says we’re all now over hydrating and causing health problems with too much water.

What about “drink when you’re thirsty, stop when you’re not.” Can’t we get anything right?

Now new research says we should “eat water, not drink it.” You know, orange slices and watermelon at half-time in soccer games and cucumbers and tomatoes fresh off the vine after. That’s the idea.

Dr Howard Murad, associate clinic professor of medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, and author of The Water Secret writes, “Healthy hydration is about the water you hold in the body, not the water you drink that passes straight through.”

He explains that, in fact, drinking too much water can actually be detrimental as it can deplete the body of vitamins and minerals by flushing them from the body too quickly.

But the water consumed via food is absorbed differently. this is because it’s surrounded by other molecules that help it get into our cells more easily, and work to keep it in our system longer.

“When we eat water-rich foods, we absorb water more slowly because it is trapped in the structure of these foods,” says Dr Murad. “That slow absorption means the water in food stays in our bodies longer, and brings a multitude of additional benefits.”

Again, as with last time, I’m sticking with drinking when thirsty. Except when I’m on the bike. Then I just drink, thirsty or not.

There’ll be no cucumbers in the back pockets of my bike jersey. I promise you that.


4 thoughts on “‘Eat’ water, don’t drink it -Can’t we get anything right?

  1. Desert rodents can eat their water, but I think people are still going to have to drink sometimes…

    ‘Sides, does he think we eat without chewing?

  2. When I try to drink eight glasses of water a day, seven of them come right back out. I’m convinced the “conventional wisdom” has oversold us on daily hydration. Even when running, too much water can be just as bad as too little. The “drink ahead of your thirst” maxim is going back to “drink *to* your thirst”. Amazing what happens when you let the body do what it was designed to do!

  3. I tend to drink a lot of water, both for thirst and also it is a bit of a medical necessity for me- one of my medications will cause kidney stones if I don’t drink enough water. But I also know that thirst for me is something that I’m not always great at recognizing. I drink a ton of water when I have my big water bottle on a desk and I’m sitting there for awhile because I just constantly grab for it. But I often don’t really think “hey I’m thirsty” until I’m a bit dehydrated, so I feel like I wouldn’t do well with not reminding myself to drink water even when I don’t feel thirsty.

    I gotta admit though, my initial reaction to this was a bit of frustration that it seems like everything one can eat or drink is apparently terrible- even water now. It is interesting, but also, for me at least, does contribute to this feeling that everything is wrong and there is no really correct or healthy way to eat (or drink).

  4. Everyone needs to find their water table level.
    I actually rarely drink straight water, maybe at a restaurant or when I’m biking on long rides. I find taste of water boring.

    I drink tea, coffee (yes, not the best), abit of milk. I do have fruit that is sometimes juicy and certain veggies have a lot of water…any leafy edible greens.

    However I will have to say in certain parts of Canada, the water is just delicious…tap water in Banff, Alberta is heavenly…of course the town is in a national park and they can draw directly from cleaner sources.

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