DR. MOHLER: Water — myths, bottles and bizarre economics | PostIndependent.com

DR. MOHLER: Water — myths, bottles and bizarre economics

Phil Mohler, M.D.
Free Press Health Columnist

1. Myth: You need to drink 8 to 12 glasses a day.

Fact: Probably not, most of our fluid needs come from the foods we eat. Further, there are few data to support the common advice to “drink more water” when you have a respiratory illness.

2. Myth: Once you’re thirsty, it’s too late!

Fact: The thirst mechanism really works well. Exceptions might be in situations where you are losing fluids rapidly, as with strenuous exercise or severe diarrhea.

3. Myth: Caffeinated drinks aren’t hydrating.

Fact: Caffeine is a very weak diuretic. The fluid you get from coffee or caffeinated soft drinks more than makes up for any small loss from the diuretic effect.

4. Myth: Bottled water is healthier for you.

Fact: Most certainly not, particularly here in Happy Valley where we enjoy excellent public water supplies. The potential health concerns with residual BPA (bisphenol A) with the use of plastic water bottles have been laid to rest by hundreds of studies, but the environmental impact of plastic bottles is huge.

Interestingly, several bottled water distributors have been discovered using tap water in their “purified” or “natural spring water” products. In 2007, Pepsi admitted putting city water into their Aquafina bottles, when the packaging suggested that their pricey water originated from “natural springs.”

The biggest boondoggle of the bottled water business is the cost. Convenience store individual 16 oz. bottles go for $1.29 or $10.32 a gallon. And you thought gasoline was pricey.

Dr. Mohler has practiced family medicine in Grand Junction for 38 years. He has a particular interest in pharmaceutical education. Phil works part-time for both Primary Care Partners and Rocky Mountain Health Plans. Email him at pjmohler@bresnan.net.

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