Benefits of Drinking Water Oversold?
Researchers Say Evidence Is Lacking for Benefits of Drinking 8 Glasses of Water a Day
WebMD News Archive
Claim No. 5: Drinking Water Wards Off Headaches
Headache sufferers often blame water deprivation. But Goldfarb could only
find one study that looked at this. The study participants who boosted their
water intake had fewer headaches than those who did not, but the results were
not statistically significant, meaning they could have been chance
Second Opinion: Health Benefits of Drinking Water
The report provides interesting -- and sometimes surprising -- information,
says David Baron, MD, a family physician and chief of staff at Santa
Monica-UCLA Medical Center & Orthopaedic Hospital, Calif., who reviewed it
The most surprising finding, he says, was the lack of a scientific link
found between drinking a lot of water in order to eat less. "I thought [the
suggestion that] filling up your stomach with water might help lose weight
makes sense," he says.
The report isn't dismissing the need to drink a healthy amount of fluids, he
says. It simply showed no scientific basis to the recommendation to drink eight
glasses of water daily.
"There is a lot of individual variation" in exactly how much water
or fluid people need," he says.
Most of us, he says, are OK "by trusting our instincts" about how
much to drink. "If you have a normal heart, normal kidneys, and normal
thirst mechanism, it's not likely you will get dehydrated if there is a
sufficient supply of fluids available," he says, and drink when
Drinking Water: A Placebo Effect?
Might drinking a lot of water make us think we feel better, look better, and
function better? Could there be a placebo effect to those eight daily
"I'm certain there is," Goldfarb says. "The placebo effect is
And if you're still convinced lots of water does your body good? No problem.
"People say they feel stronger and healthier if they drink more water,"
he says. "That's fine. If they enjoy that benefit, so be it. [But]
those who don't feel that way shouldn't feel obligated to drink the eight