Monday, April 07, 2008

Moisture is the essence of wetness, and wetness is the essence of beauty

g33kchic and I believe in the power of water. We each consume about two litres of water a day, excluding coffee and soda, and we've both witnessed the salubrious effects of our H2O habit on our health. There are many people who are sceptical about this, and indeed, two doctors have published an article in the American Journal of Nephrology debunking the need to drink 8 glasses of water a day. Every health benefit a rise in water intake is supposed to incur, like lessening headaches or flushing out toxins, is "clinically insignificant".

I do not dispute the results of the study, and without carrying out a scientific trial of my own, I cannot. In fact, I agree with the doctors that the eight-glasses-a-day stipulation is rather baseless, and it is kind of silly to parrot the need for so much water without knowing why. In my personal experience, however, when I drink less than two litres of water a day (roughly eight mugs) regardless of thirst -- the benchmark for drinking water according to experts -- I wake up with a sore throat and parched lips the next morning. After all these years of making a concerted effort to drink more water, I'll share with you a couple of things I've learnt about water consumption:

1. Water is good for your skin BUT it won't cure acne. Zits are caused by bacteria that are immune to anything except nuclear weaponry (mine, at least). Water plumps out skin cells and fine lines. That's it. Look, at least you didn't pay $200 for an ounce, okay?

2. Drinking lots of water may prevent you from catching that nasty cold spreading through the office like wildfire. I only have anecdotal evidence for this, I'm afraid. But I've never caught a cold from my co-workers, and neither have most of my fellow water drinkers.

3. Drinking lots of water will dilute the colour and smell of your pee. I have been that person at the doctor's who takes your jar of pee to be tested. I will judge you if you hand me a jar of foul-smelling neon yellow liquid. If you're going to be vain, be vain about your pee, too.

4. Tap water is just as good as mineral water and much less expensive. I am partial to certain mineral water brands, but I've yet to find a glass of boiled or filtered tap water that tastes offensive. Tap is easier on the environment and your wallet. All waters are fat-free, sugar-free, carb-free and possess zero calories, in case you didn't know. It's such a flexible beverage it can be used across ALL DIETS.

So, forget the myths and the mythbusters. Find out for yourself what your optimum water intake is -- drink two litres or eight glasses a day for two weeks and see if you feel any different from when you drink a glass as needed. For the readers, does drinking more water have any tangible effects on your health and beauty?

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