Drinking water

What does the research say?

(Keywords: drinking water, chiropractic help, latent heat fusion, head neck pain )

It goes without saying that water is important, we cannot live more than a few days without it. But how much? And what about quality? Is the water from the tap in Chicago the same as the stuff that I drink in Holland? Decidedly not! Four years of living in Illinois convinced me that they pumped the water straight from a sewerage farm called Lake Michigan whereas the Dutch are masters of everything to do with water. They have to be as 60% of the Netherlands lies beneath sealevel.

So, if you are seriously interested in healthy living, and the quality of your water is 'shit', sorry about my misguided sense of humour, then you might think

The wisdom of the ages suggests that we drink too little water. It's probably correct. But the anecdote going back some eighty years, started by a medical doctor who suggested we should be drinking 8 glasses per day turns out, according to new research, that it was simply his opinion, and not based on any solid evidence. In short, like many medical anecdotes, it's pure myth.

There is little evidence that drinking the recommended 8 glasses of water per day improves your health, say scientists from the University of Pennsylvania. Kidney experts, Drs Negoianu and Goldfarb, explained that drinking extra water may be a waste of time. (Journal of the American Society of Nephrology)

  • Toxins

It has been claimed that consuming lots of drinking water clears toxins, keeps organs in better condition, improves skin tone and prevents you from putting on weight. The researchers say there is not one published study proving the benefit of drinking so much water for ordinary healthy people. It’s probably a myth.

Persons suffering from certain specific diseases do benefit from more water, as it clears certain substances like urea and sodium, and this may apply to healthy people, but there is no proven evidence.

In chiropratic we recommend everyone drink more water, so that tissues remain fully hydrated. Good clean water, not the SH-1-T that comes out of sewerage plants like Lake... oh, dear, better be careful, may be sued! That doesn't mean you have to drink an extra 8 glasses a day. Personally I drink at least 5 glasses of water a day, and numerous cups of very weak tea with fruit. But that too is just an anecdote, without any real justification.

  • Athletes

It is well known, of course, and proven, that athletes should be drinking water; but plenty more water? Amongst other things drinking too little water makes an athlete's skin tight and ‘dried out’, but there is not one study confirming this need for ordinary people.

More controversial, is should that water be loaded with sugar, glucose, fructose... simple sugars.  Prof Tim Noakes, MD, in the chair of sports and exercise at South Africa's premier Cape Town University has come full circle from being an advocate of "carbo-loading" to a low carb fan.

Veteran of some 70 marathons his latest book, Waterlogged, concerns overhydration in the athlete. He advocates: "drink when you're thirsty."

(I'm a Kindle fan, but frankly livid that Amazon has joined the ebook bandwagon. The kindle edition is MORE than a paperback, with zero expenses associated with distributing and selling books. Pure greed. Throw in the postage and your ebook is marginally cheaper)

Should we be carrying waterbottles when running? Noakes says, definitely NO.

  • Headache

Another myth is that drinking more water helps headaches . One small trial did not produce statistically significant data. There is of course plenty of research proving that a chiropractic adjustment will help your headaches ! Well, 70% of headaches come from the upper neck.

  • Weight loss?

Certainly there is no evidence that drinking more water will decrease your appetite , and help you lose weight . There is simply no research showing that it helps; it’s purely anecdotal and has no solid basis in science. However that doesn't mean that drinking more water doesn't help! It's just not been proved.

"We must be skeptical even of our skepticism."

- Bertrand Russell.

For some solid ideas from our free weight loss programs ... click here. FREE WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAMS ...

In conclusion

Drs. Negoianu and Goldfarb concluded that there is no clear evidence to indicate that consuming extra water is good for the health - they also stressed that there is no clear evidence of a lack of benefit. "There is simply a lack of evidence in general," they wrote.

As famous scientist Carl Sagan said: Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. We simply do not know. For sure, that is.

Water for Kids

Absolutely don't start your children on the notion of colas and artificially flavoured drinks stuffed with sugar/sweetners and chemicals. Drinking water, weak teas and the drinks suggested above are just as fine for your children as for you.

For more information about water, click here. Read this page with your kids. You and they will enjoy,

I promise! WATER FOR KIDS ...

Pure water and Auto-immune diseases

Whilst cleaning up our water supply has been one of the greatest public health achievements of the Twentieth Century, a fascinating new study (this is no April Fool's joke!) is that our pure drinking water is possibly the cause of auto-immune diseases.

And doctors are now treating patients by deliberating putting parasitic worms in the drinking water of patients suffering ... Read more: DISEASES OF THE IMMUNE SYSTEM ...

Infantile Colic

Is your baby suffering from Infantile Colic? Do you know what the Rule of Three is? Read more … COLIC CHIROPRACTIC

Our opinion?

I confess to enjoying both tea and coffee. About two cups of each. When half the world's scientists are saying that they are full of anti oxidants, thus good, and the half are saying they are full of caffeine, thus bad, then I delude myself that it's okay.

In this lovely painting by Lorraine Harrison it would seem that the teapot and the coffeepot are in fellowship, in agreement: Drink more water not and cola filled with either sugar or chemicals. Aside: I'm not strongly convinced of this, but I THINK that instant coffee, like instant-everything-else, is probably not good. They use xylene to extract the caffeine, and traces remain. It's toxic stuff. And teabag-tea tastes so S-H-one-T that I stick to loose tea, despite having to dispose of the tealeaves.

My rule: Treat ANYTHING that is processed by the food industry with a tad of suspicion. Mostly they seem to screw it up.

So, drink more water, but don't get neurotic about the eight glasses per day. And consider other delicious ways to get it down.

A little chopped piquant fruit (mandarin, lemon, plum ...) in a pot of very weak tea is delicious. Kept hot, or cold, in a thermos makes it available for hours. Best strain off the leaves after ten minutes though, otherwise it gets bitter.

In summer, squeeze half a lemon (or less) and a teaspoon of honey into a couple of litres of water. Keep in the refrigerator, and enjoy it all day. Drinking water need not be drudgery. Keep a glass of drinking water on your desk all day. That's what I do.


It's the magical polar nature of water that enables us to make an MRI scan like this:

People come to Jesus Christ for all sorts of bizarre reasons. It was the polar nature of water, and in particular the Latent Heat Fusion that finally convinced me in the existence of a Creator. To believe otherwise was just far too far-fetched, too improbable. LATENT HEAT FUSION ...

A slipped disc like the one above at L4-L5 generally causes pain and tingling down the side of the leg and towards the web between the great toe and the second toe. If severely pinched you won't be able to lift the big toe. Bread and butter for the Chiropractor but each case is a challenge and when severe these slipped disc rules have to be followed to a T or it won't heal. And you know what that means: surgery.


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Interesting challenges of the day

1. Mrs B has had one of the nastiest of conditions; vertigo caused by a disturbance in the inner ear. Falling repeatedly and vomiting she consulted her doctor but medication didn't help. After two sessions of the Epley manoeuvres she was 50 percent better. After two weeks she was 75 percent improved; no longer vomiting or falling. She's not enjoying the Brandt Daroff home exercises.

2. Mr S, a 48 year old man, has right low back pain, groin pain and a numb feeling in his lower leg when he sports. For six months he's been off football. He too has two problems; a very treatable lumbar facet syndrome and a very serious blocked artery in the groin; it's called intermittent claudication. Smokers beware.  

3. Mr S looks like the leaning tower of Pisa; he has a slipped disc at L5 making him lean towards the opposite side. It's called the postero lateral disc hernia; we'll fix it, but he has to stop for a week or two. Antalgias are serious so take them seriously. 

4. Mrs V too has two conditions; a chronic low grade sciatica giving her an ache in the right leg, and a threatening Morton's neuroma. She's glad I'm back in Holland; chiropractic fixed it before, and we'll fix it again. 

5. Mrs W is one of the lucky ones, says her doctor. I agree. He says only 40% of patients with lumbar stenosis have a successful operation. We fixed a nasty slipped disc three years ago, but it came back two years later; the surgeon did a fine job but she has a weak ankle now giving her subtalar joint pain; it's routine stuff. 

6. I myself had an acute exacerbation of a femoral nerve lesion last year. One immediate treatment of the new strain by my colleague has fixed the pain in the lower back, but there's some residual numbness in the lower leg; no soaring tomorrow alas.

7. This lady is a 86 year old woman with a 63 scoliosis. Chronic lower back has been her lot in life but she's well pleased with chiropractic and comes for chiropractic help once a month; some conditions you can never cure.

8. She is an 78 year old woman, is doing remarkably well with a bad sciatica. But over 200 pounds she is not losing weight; in fact, gaining despite my suggestions. She's high risk for a stroke. I have referred her to a dietician to crack the whip.

9. A 61 year old man with upper cervical pain yesterday; it's not severe but also not getting better of its own accord. He's afraid it may turn very acute as when I treated him three years ago. Since then it's been fine. 

10. A 64 year old woman has had scheuermanns disease; it's left her with a spinal kyphosis and chronic middorsal pain. She responds well to chiropractic treatment provides she come every six weeks or so for maintenance treatment.

11. Mrs C has been having severe headaches, and taking a lot of analgesics. It's a non complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she's doing well.

12. Mrs D, a middle aged woman with hip pain of one year duration, despite other treatment. Xrays reveal an impingement syndrome and early hip arthritis. There's much to be done.

13. Mr D, a 71 year old man, has a severe ache in the shoulder and midback since working above his head. Trapped nerve tests are negative but he has advanced degenerative joints of Luschka; after just two treatments he is 50 percent better. Can we reach 90?

And so the day goes; chiropractors shouldn't be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that's so much bunkum.

Have a problem that's not getting better? Looking for a different slant on your pain? Want to pose a question?

Interesting questions from visitors

CLS writes:

Greetings, Dr B.
You helped me quite some time back with a soothing and professional response which turned out to be exactly correct. I now consult a local chiropractor. You write a superb newsletter, too.

Your own unresolved problem. Pose a question

Knowing that up to 70% of the time the correct diagnosis is made with no examination, no special tests, no xrays, but just from the history, there's a fair chance I can add some insight to your unresolved problem. But at least 30% of the time, I may be quite wrong! Give plenty of detail if you want a sensible reply.

You visited this chiropractic help site no doubt because you have a problem that is not resolving and want to know more about what chiropractors do.

The quickest and most interesting way is to read one of my ebooks of anecdotes. Described by a reader as gems, both funny and healthful, from the life and work of a chiropractor, you'll love them. Priced right at $2.99, though Kindle fiddles the price without telling me.

"Gems, both funny and healthful, from the life and work of a chiropractor."

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