A highlight from Guest Episode: How Much Water Do You Actually Need a Day?
Back in time to find the origins of that myth and then we're going to meet a kidney expert who's going to eliminate just how hard our bodies work for us to maintain our hydration. It works like an exquisitely designed tomek balance machine right. You need to keep everything in balance. But i i wanna tell you about something that happened to me. When i was ten years old. It was a time in my life. When i got asked a lot about my urine and at ended up setting me on a path to become a doctor. It was the first good weekend of spring. Nineteen seventy seven in winnipeg manitoba. The kind where the sun feels hot. And you're just rare and to get outside. I was messing around with my brother. Skateboard going down the street. And then all of a sudden i was flat on my back on the concrete. And i was in a terrible amount of pain at felt like my insides. Were on fire the next day. I'm sure i didn't look well so we went to the pediatrician. Who took one look at me and call the general surgeon who took one look at me and sent to the emergency department. They gave me something called angiogram. And i remember the doctor pointing to the x ray screen explaining what he was seeing and of course just like a snowstorm to me. But that's when. I learned that when i felt my skateboard i'd ruptured spleen. The good news was. I wasn't gonna need surgery but there was something else. It looked like i held hydrogen fro sits meaning. My kidney was full of and i needed to see a pediatric urologists. He sat us down in his consultation room and started to explain to my mom. What needed to happen. I could tell she was very confused. I think the doctor could tell us well and so he gestured to me and said hey you come over here. This is your body. You should know how it works. So i came over and i sat down. I traded places with my mom and he drew a little diagram mini explained. How the kidney works. And what he thought was wrong and the tests that i was going to have to have and surgery of i was probably going to have to have is well when that doctor took the time to explain my body to me. It really helped me not feel scared or overwhelmed and that experience made me decide. I wanted to be a doctor. I love the science. And i wanted to be able to give to my patients what that doctor gave me that day. That empowerment of knowing how your body works and how to use that knowledge to help improve your health. Eventually i did have surgery to remove my left kidney. I've lived most of my life with just one kidney. The oregon that's largely responsible for regulating our bodies hydration. But you wanna know something. None of my doctors ever told me to worry about how much water i was drinking. I graduated from medical school when i was twenty three. So i've been a doctor more than half my life. And i've seen first hand the problems that happen. When people get misconceptions about their health and a lot of these misconceptions they start with the internet. I'm not one of those doctors who rolls her eyes. When our patient comes in with reams of advice from dr google. That tells me that my patient is engaged. She wants to learn but there are a lot of bogus recommendations out there and often they're being pushed by brands and influencers allotted them sound like they're making sense in a sort of science ish way like the eight glasses of water a day thing. Hey were made of water. So why wouldn't we need lots of water but that's not science. So what's behind this. Myth how did we get eight glasses of water a day anyway. There are a couple of potential origin stories. One is the paper from nineteen forty-five that suggests the body uses about eighty four ounces of water a day and there's another paper from nineteen seventy four from a pair of nutritionists who recommended an equivalent of six to eight glasses of water a day for the body to function appropriately. But these papers became distorted over time. Mica bad game telephone these experts were recommending that we drink six to eight glasses of water a day on top of everything else they were saying. This is the amount of water the body needs to function. But that water doesn't have to be water. You drink from a glass out of your tap. Water is in everything. Think about a breastfed baby. All their drinking is milk. The body is able to remove the water from the milk. So the baby never gets dehydrated in the same way once. We start eating solid food. Our bodies continue to extract water from everything we consume everything we eat or drink counts so the water in your apple counts the water. That's in the bread that you eat counts. Even coffee counts. Any fluid counts. Look i get. This is a real record. Scratch freeze frame moment for a lot of people but we don't just get the water we need from plain water and if you have one of those days where you just drink coffee all morning and you don't feel great. Maybe you're a little headache key or a little jittery. It's not because you're dehydrated. Maybe you had a little too much coffee or you had it on an empty stike if you like drinking six classes a glasses of water day and your doctor hasn't advised against it. That's probably fine. What i'm saying is that there's nothing medical about this number. We get to make choices about what we put into our body and this is one of those choices if you think about it just using common sense and putting the medicine aside does it seem realistic that we evolve needing to consume that much clean water every day in the span of human history access to clean plentiful. Drinking water is a relatively recent phenomenon and even today in many parts of the world access in clean drinking water. Sadly isn't as easy as walking into your kitchen and filling up glass. It seems unlikely that our ancestors carried giant water bottles around with them at all times and yet the myths spread and spread and spread. But why is this smith so sticky it turns out there's a mix of factors including