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Water: How much is too much?

Water: How much is too much?

Water madness has now reached the British Isles, no doubt from America, in the form of hydrophilia-the belief that guzzling eight big glasses of water a day will prevent all sorts of catastrophes in young people. You might consider this a little bit goofy and, if you do, then you’re in good company: mine (if I do say so myself).

The “experts” in England have declared that British children are dehydrated and so must be urged, cajoled, or frightened into drinking eight large glasses of water a day.

“A campaign has been launched in Yorkshire schools to encourage children to drink more water to increase their concentration. Studies have found that children who are dehydrated do not work as well in the classroom as those who have drunk the recommended eight glasses of water a day,” the British press opines. Eight glasses of water a day for an 80-pound child? They will spend most of their time in the bathroom, which certainly doesn’t sound like it will help concentration levels to me.

So who are the guiding lights behind this effort to waterlog British children? Surprise! The water companies. The Yorkshire Water Company is behind this humanitarian effort, with the usual “experts” for scientific cover. Dr. Martin Schweiger, a consultant at Leeds Health Protection Unit, said dehydration in childhood could cause serious health problems in adults. “If children don’t drink enough water, the delicate enzyme systems their bodies depend on start to get out of kilter.” So, obviously, it would be close to child abuse not to force-feed the kids water.

The National Kidney Research Fund (NKRF) welcomed the project: “It is another way to get across the important message that everyone should drink more water,” said spokeswoman Louise Cox. That’s a broad and irresponsible statement, and I think everyone at the NKRF has water on the brain.

But wait a minute, has anyone ever bothered to consider whether all that water guzzling might possibly be bad for children?

The easiest way to find out if you need a drink

You don’t really need to drink water at all unless you are thirsty. Father Nature and his spouse Mother Nature don’t care about neuro-psychologists and their wild ideas about “long-term problems of infection, kidney disease, and high blood pressure,” which, Dr. Schweiger contends is “the price many people pay for drinking too little as a child.”

There’s no proof of that at all. All of these “experts” must be too waterlogged to realize that the kidneys are a miracle of chemical and hydro regulation. As dumb as some of them might look, all living creatures, right down to antelopes and ants, are smart enough to listen to the natural instinct that tells them “You are thirsty-drink water.” Billions of people, most people, drink water only when they are thirsty and have followed that model for thousands of years.

Drinking excessive water may in itself disrupt the endocrine system just as Schweiger claims too little water will do. If the kidneys are stressed from having to constantly filter excess water over a long period, it is possible that a person in borderline kidney health may experience kidney failure, with an excessive dilution of the blood, leading to hypokalemia (low blood potassium), cardiac arrhythmia, and death. Hasn’t it occurred to the “authorities” that excessive water in the blood may be as bad as too little water? And who says the kids don’t get enough water in the first place?

Which is worse: toilet water or tap water?

Let’s go back to the self-proclaimed experts at the water department who are determined to put water coolers in every school in England–for the good of the minds of the children, of course. Kevin White, managing director of Yorkshire Water, said: “The standard of sanitation and provision of drinking water in some schools hasn’t improved since schools were built back in Victorian times. The time has come to take the tap water out of the toilets.”

What exactly are you saying, Kevin? Oh, I get it. You mean that the water youngsters are drinking now is no better than toilet water and you want to upgrade it a bit. That’s nice.

But there are some things worse than toilet water (it never seems to hurt my cat). For instance: What is in the water they will be drinking? Chlorine, no doubt, and maybe fluoride. Right now, England is only 10 percent fluoridated, but the fluoridistas are coming in with the zeal of an army of Huns to force all English communities to put fluoride in their water by law (it’s called democracy). British children will be getting too much chlorine, too much fluoride (any is too much of either), and too much water. So who will benefit from this asinine attack on England’s children? The beneficiaries will be the water merchants and, eventually, the nation’s doctors due to declining health.

Actions to take:

(1) Don’t worry about your children or grandchildren needing to drink eight glasses of water a day. The truth is they only really need a few glasses a day, and they’ll let you know when they’re thirsty.

(2) When they do get thirsty, make sure they’re not drinking regular, municipal tap water, which is full of fluoride, chlorine, and other poisons. You should invest in a good filter to remove all the junk that man-and nature-have put in your water. Have the filter installed where the water enters the house (not just at the kitchen faucet). RH

References:

“Water coolers to help pupils think,” BBC News (http://news.bbc.co.uk/), 6/12/02

“Water aids thirst for knowledge,” BBC News (http://news.bbc.co.uk/), 9/25/01

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