Doctors Discuss How Your Body Changes When Drinking Water

Joel Eisenberg

Drinking water in favor of other liquids has been directly linked to specific changes to not only the human body, but the mind. But is said link scientifically-based, or theory?

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Author’s Note

This article is based on modern medicine, science, and accredited media reports. No medical advice is offered herein on the part of the author. All listed theories and facts within this article are fully-attributed to several medical experts, scientists, and media outlets, including Google.com, Medical News Daily, Healthline.com, CDC.gov, The Mayo Clinic, WebMD.com, and Kaiser Permanente.

Introduction

The inspiration behind this article was a recent conversation with a friend. At 57, he is a year younger than I am and has recently taken to experimenting — under his doctor’s supervision — with a diet that includes largely natural foods and eliminates all drinks other than water. That is to say, no teas or coffees, juices, or alcoholic beverages.

I use the word “experimenting” here as my friend had a recent health scare and he was unsure he would be able to mentally cope with any new diet. He would not commit, he told me, but he would make the effort to do so.

He looked good when I finally saw him. Formerly 20 or so pounds overweight, my friend boasted to me on the phone beforehand that he’s not only lost the weight, but has developed an abdominal “six-pack” for the first time in his life. He says he credits much of that to eliminating his addiction: highly-sugared drinks.

Per a targeted Google search, doctors appear to largely agree with this type of diet in general, but the total elimination of liquids other than water, a compound many consider vastly underrated in terms of human health, nonetheless remains a question.

Let us explore further.

The Benefits of Water

According to Medical News Today, in their archived 2018 article entitled “Fifteen Benefits of Drinking Water,” written by James McIntosh and medically reviewed by Karen Cross, FNP, MSN: Some scientists have proposed that consuming more water might enhance performance during strenuous activity… Water may also help with weight loss, if it is consumed instead of sweetened juices and sodas. “Preloading” with water before meals can help prevent overeating by creating a sense of fullness.

The article lists and explains other potential benefits, and also shares some general facts, about the consumption of water including the essential nature of the compound for kidney and other bodily functions. Adult humans, as stated in the article, are 60 percent water with a blood content comprised of 90 percent water, which stresses its importance to the human body.

Per the aforementioned Google search, one medical article after another, from Healthline.com to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.gov), extols the virtues of drinking water.

The Mayo Clinic takes a more tempered approach, in their website’s article titled “Water: How Much Should You Drink Every Day?”

The article states: You don't need to rely only on water to meet your fluid needs. What you eat also provides a significant portion. For example, many fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon and spinach, are almost 100% water by weight. In addition, beverages such as milk, juice and herbal teas are composed mostly of water. Even caffeinated drinks — such as coffee and soda — can contribute to your daily water intake. But go easy on sugar-sweetened drinks. Regular soda, energy or sports drinks, and other sweet drinks usually contain a lot of added sugar, which may provide more calories than needed.

In a WebMD.com article written by Kathleen M Zelman, MPH, RD, LD, and medically reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian, MD on April 4, 2022, information was shared reflecting recent finds that water drinking guidelines may have been, in fact, previously overstated.

From WebMD.com’s “6 Reasons to Drink Water“: Apparently, the old suggestion to drink eight glasses a day was nothing more than a guideline, not based on scientific evidence.

However, the article does on to state water is, regardless, highly nutritious: "Think of water as a nutrient your body needs that is present in liquids, plain water, and foods. All of these are essential daily to replace the large amounts of water lost each day," says Joan Koelemay, RD, dietitian for the Beverage Institute, an industry group. Kaiser Permanente nephrologist Steven Guest, MD, agrees: "Fluid losses occur continuously, from skin evaporation, breathing, urine, and stool, and these losses must be replaced daily for good health," he says.

Still, a researcher will find many blogs online as well, both alleged first-person accounts (see here for Insider.com‘s “I Drank Nothing But Water For a Month — And It Made My Skin Look and Feel Like Porcelain,” by Ashlyn Lillibridge), and attributed pieces from freelance writers (see here for LifeHack.com’s “This is What Happens When You Drink Only Water For 30 Days,” by Gloria Donaldson, which delves into attributed results regarding increased mindfulness and physical capacity).

The consensus among all parties seems to be drinking water is highly healthy and even necessary, but there is no scientific standard to recommend a specific daily allowance.

Conclusion

I’m glad my friend feels better; that matters to me. However, as the jury is still out regarding a specific degrees of water intake in general that is most optimal, I will continue to treat myself to one coffee in the morning.

Thank you for reading.

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I am an award-winning author, screenwriter for film and television, and producer. My mission on News Break is to share socially important perspectives on both culture and pop-culture. Member of PEN America, and the WGA.

Northridge, CA
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