From the dawn of time water has been essential for the function of the human body. From the dawn of time, there have been water myths and legends told for assorted reasons from teachings to misunderstandings. Today we debunk some of the myths and mystique surrounding water.
One prominent myth is that of water and weight-loss. During the early days of media when “scientific studies” were an advertising normality without backing; many claimed that water was the cause of excess body mass. This was usually a crutch to sell products for quick and easy weight-loss. The body uses retained water over time to ensure constant hydration. Excess water retention in the body can happen, but this usually occurs when there is an excessive consumption of vitamins and minerals – one of the biggest water retaining minerals being salt.
For a long time, many believed that drinking too much water is bad for one’s health. This is a more complex path of thinking than previously realised. Excessive water consumption can have adverse side effects but this usually occurs when the water that is consumed is hard water – i.e. water that is high in mineral content. The minerals in the water can start to congest various mucous membranes within the body, inhibiting the functions of the various parts of the urinary system. Drinking pure, natural water is an excellent way to negate these effects.
There are various water myths surrounding boiled water.
A prominent myth is that of boiled water killing bacteria. It is true that boiling water may kill some bacteria but not all bacteria can denature or deteriorate due to elevated temperatures.
Another common water boiling water myth is that of twice-boiled water. According to various sources, boiling water twice is dangerous as it allows for an increase in the concentration of minerals that cannot dissipate due to evaporation. Although it does indeed increase the concentration of minerals in the water, it is not dangerous unless there are problems with the water supply pre-boiling the first time. The initial quality of the water makes the biggest impact in this scenario.
The next two water myths are somewhat intertwined with one another. These are the myth of only drinking water when you are thirsty and the myth of water is only needed to quench thirst. They are connected as the reasons they are false are very similar. Thirst is a side-effect of dehydration. As such, yes you should drink water when you are thirsty, but not only then. Other side effects of dehydration include fatigue, dry mouth, cramps and even nausea. These symptoms may arise long before the thirst sensation. Water is also not only needed to quench thirst but is needed for daily bodily functions and processes.
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