Match Frame

Thoughts from an American editor and filmmaker in New Zealand about film and video production and post-production. Plus whatever else I feel like talking about.

Location: Balmoral, Auckland, New Zealand

A work in progress.

Sunday, April 06, 2008


As one of the most vocal proponents I know of drinking lots of water, you'd think this would leave me humble pie. Maybe. And I'll admit that saying everyone should have "8 glasses a day", regardless of height or body build, is a poor metric. But I'm unconvinced.

Part of the reason is that, empirically, I feel like I feel better when I drink more water. I had a bout with eczema several years back, and although it's mostly gone, when I don't have enough water I can feel my skin get itchy. Drinking water relieves it. I used to get headaches. I don't anymore. Et cetera. Obviously this doesn't mean that it's generalizable to everybody, but there's that.

Part of it seems to be the clear joy with which they're trying to take down the bottled-water industry - an industry I have no particular truck with, but good science is not made by good nemeses.

And part of it, at least in this short form, is that some of the inferences are silly. For instance:

The body is already 60 percent water. So, if you take a 200-pound man, he's 120 pounds of water.

Adding a few extra glasses of water each day has limited effect. "It's such a tiny part of what's in the body," says Goldfarb. "It's very unlikely that one's getting any benefit."

Imagine if he said:

The body contains over 50,000 potential calories in fat. Therefore, adding an ice cream cone or two a day has limited effect.

And then the idea that water and diet soda are completely neutral in their effect on the body is, to me, somewhat offensive.

But do I just have an investment because this is a sacred cow of mine? Maybe. And the one statement that is of legitimate concern is that excessive fluid consumption could impair the kidney's ability to function. So I'm going to try to work out a test experiment. The problem is getting a control. In the meantime, I'd be curious with your experiments with water drinking.

For what it's worth, by the way, here's the simultaneously more snarky and more compelling Snopes take on the same topic.