Drinking water

What does the research say?

Drinking water of a high quality, without toxic ingredients is perhaps the greatest factor in improving human longevity. Typhoid and cholera alone have taken millions of lives.

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 sea level.

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 of a filter.

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)

Drinking water


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.


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.

Chiropractic help

  • 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


One of the most deadly, incurable diseases is a cancer called mesothelioma; it caused by exposure to asbestos fibres. If breathed in, it causes lung cancer. If swallowed, bowel cancer.

Many of the old pipes carrying water to our homes are made of a asbestos concrete mix. Recently one cracked outside our home where we have retired in South Africa. Looking down the lumen of the pipe, all one could see was a shroud of asbestos through which our drinking water filtered.

It's for this reason that we have put in a reservoir to collect rainwater, and to preserve the planet. Drinking water that has passed through these pipes is simply madness. This week I'll be visiting a friend with large bowel cancer. I wonder if it's mesothelioma, or caused by chronic constipation?

Read here about our rainwater harvesting model.

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.


Did you find this page useful? Then perhaps forward it to a suffering friend. Better still, Tweet or Face Book it.

Interesting challenges of the day

1. Mr S is a 76 year old man with neck pain of some 9 months duration. Luckily, most of the discomfort is upper cervical which is only rarely arthritic; his lower cervical spine is a degenerative mess that I've left alone. After seven treatments his pain and stiffness is 50 percent better, and he's happy in the circumstances. He can sleep through the night now and that makes a huge difference.

2. Mr P is 32 year old man with very severe lower back pain radiating to the big toe which is 30 percent numb. He had an episode three weeks ago, took anti inflammatories and was soon better as is typical of the medial disc herniation. But before it healed, after a trivia it came roaring back, much worse. The characteristic crossed sign was evident; sitting in a chair, straightening the right leg provoked severe left back pain and tingling in the leg. He's doing well.

3. Mrs T looked like the leaning tower of Pisa; she had a slipped disc at L5 making her lean towards the opposite side. It's called the postero lateral disc hernia; she's much better after two weeks of treatment and will go back to work next week, part time. Lateral discs are more difficult; both take a minimum of six weeks to heal. In my opinion, antalgic patients need what I call exercising bed rest. Sit and it won't get better.

4. Mr S has had lower back, groin and back of thigh and calf pain for fourth months. He has a pincer deformity in the hip causing the groin pain, and a degenerative facet causing the sciatica. Both are responding well to chiropractic and he's well pleased; sixty five percent better after three treatments.

5. Mr T is a wise man; he's taken a warning TIA seriously and has lost 15 pounds, and has at least as much again to lose. A change to a low starch diet and half hour daily walk has made the difference; but the walking is making his foot and back miserable. The expensive orthotic is hopeless; luckily his hips and back are fine, but he needs a simple heel lift.

6. I too have had serious lower back issues, luckily fixed by my own chiropractor; so I too have to do my exercises, take care when lifting supers full of honey, gardening and using the chainsaw. Regaining the function of your lower back is just as important as the pain.

7. My own granddaughter, only 7 is hypermobile giving her hip, knee and ankle issues. Xrays show a mildly dysplastic hip. Years ago we would have called it growing pains. She too regularly needs chiropractic care and luckily responds well. Hypermobility is more difficult that too stiff in my opinion. Chiropractic is for kids too.

8. This 65 year old lady is a serious gardener; every day she is bending, lifting and digging for 2 to 3 hours a day. It regularly catches her in the sacroiliac joint, so she has a treatment once a month that sorts it out. She does her lower back exercises faithfully.

9. This 88 year old lady is an inspiration; every day she is busy in the community. With a nasty scoliosis she manages very well with a chiropractic adjustment every six weeks and exercises faithfully done.  

10. Mr X is a 71 year old retired man who wants to continue with maintenance care every six to eight weeks; he had suffered from two years of lower back pain when he first came a year ago. He has no discomfort now after 8 chiropractic treatments, but is aware that danger lurks.

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. Mr D is a 38 old year man with chronic shoulder pain after a rotator cuff tear playing cricket. It responded well to treatment, but he knows he must do his exercises every day; for two years he couldn't sleep on that shoulder.

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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