1. says

    The Mellow Monkey@#3:
    It’s like when you eat all the salty pretzels at the bar and suddenly start going “BEEEEEEEEEEER”* – our bodies have no ability to regulate our liquid level, we’re like cars that need some outsider to come along and pour a new bottle of branded filtered water in every couple hours or we’ll throw a rod.

    (* in my case: Cider)

  2. chigau (違う) says

    I question whether humans have done anything for “millions of years”.
    Just to nit pick.

  3. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    The thing is though …
    many people will take Coke (cola that is) to quench their thirst, not realizing the sugar will cause their body to expel more water than the coke bottle contained so dehydration could be a consequence. “could be”, only if one only uses coke to relieve their thirst. Still, the exaggerated claims of H2O vendors is worth countering the claims of Cola industry. Yeah, 8 glasses is ridiculous goal, but sometimes better to assert a precise goal to achieve, regardless, it gets people to drink more water rather than cola. fait accompli, case closed.
    [while tongue WAS ‘in cheek’, that was actually sincere.]

  4. blf says

    [People are] like cars that need some outsider to come along and pour a new bottle of […] water in every couple hours or we’ll throw a rod.

    Ye FSMs, yes! For example(sort-of), I threw a rod — actually, a wobbly — a day or so ago, and then again today: It’s very hot right now in the south of France. A day or so ago, late in the evening, I went to a nice restaurant for a late dinner, and was immediately seated. The waiter provided a jug of water very quickly — but there was no glass. I waited and waited, thirstier and thirstier, until I almost snapped at the gentleman (I managed to keep a fairly polite tone), “Please, a glass for the water. Right. Now.”
    Similar fecking oversight at lunch today: Seated in partial shade. No water. Wait. No waiter either. Wait. No water. See waiter, signal to him. Nothing. No water. No waiter. (Not very busy either.) No water, no waiter, I’m overheating, and getting very thirsty… Storm out, quite angry…

    (In the first incident, my own water bottle was empty (long walk to the restaurant), and in the second case, the restaurant is a very short stroll away so I didn’t bother to have any water with me.)

  5. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    re 7:
    soory to display my ignorance, or presuppositions, but WT-Hay.
    As an American, I was always told that European Restaurants are generous with water, but ONLY if asked. That water, unlike the USA, is more precious and not so freely distributed. An American restarant will populate table with water regardless of occupancy and quick to refill half empties. While Europe is a little more reserved, freely serving when asked for water, but not providing it unasked.
    I guess your plight made it quite clear you wanted water, your body asking for it unspoken. The oversight of implement is “inconceivable”.
    so my question: is it really the case that water must be asked for, when dining in European restaurants. or is that some urban legend to aggrandize America? ( I hope the latter)

  6. cartomancer says


    It varies from restaurant to restaurant. In England one generally has to ask for water, but that has nothing to do with how freely available water is over here (hint: it buckets down from the sky during the Season of Storms, which normally lasts from late July to mid June). Usually the waiter will ask the diners whether they want drinks as soon as they have been seated, giving them the option to have tap water (free) or another drink (expensive). This is a purely money-making protocol: if we were given water for free to start with then we would be less likely to choose something else that the restaurant makes money on. Also note that only “tap” water is free – they are allowed to charge you for bottled water if you don’t explicitly state that you want it from the tap.

    Of course, in the distant fantasy kingdoms of Southern Europe, where deadly temperatures in the high 20s centigrade are common, dehydration is more of an issue. Here we’re more likely to contend with drowning.

  7. stumble says

    Unquestioning everything please start with this video. The science behind dehydration is pretty solid, and very well settled. And it is well known by sports physiologists that thirst is a poor indicator of hydration levels.

    Yes if you drink whenever you are thirsty you will prevent yourself from a cute problems with dehydration, but your body will also be operating at below optimal capacity for work. A hydration loss of 2% for instance will reduce a sprinters capacity for work by almost 45%, or about 3lbs of water in a 175lbs person. This works out to be right at 1/3 of a gallon. Dehydration at this level is possible to achieve without the body cues indicating you are thirsty.

    The reason for this is that the first thing being even mildly dehydrated does is reduce blood volume, and results in thicker blood. Causing the heart to work harder to pump the same volume. As the hydration gets worse there are other real psychological changes to the body, decreased sweat rate, increased core body temprature, increased glycogen use rate of the muscles, decreased skin blood flow.

    The reduced blood volume can also cause the heart to work harder even in sedentary people.

    No drinking X amount of water a day isn’t necessary, but being fully hydrated shouldbe. And thirst is a poor indicator of hydration levels. You really do have to look at your urine and gage from there.

  8. anat says

    In my personal experience I can easily ignore my sensation of thirst. I have been chronically dehydrated to the point that I was dizzy whenever I attempted to stand up. The rule I learned was ‘drink until your urine is colorless’.

  9. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    re 10:
    in addition (I hope), dehydration is often produced by quick-weight-loss schemes. Often, rapid weight loss is due to water loss. Maintaining hydration would result in far fewer anecdotal endorsements of such regimens. Exercise does drive the need to maintain hydration. [remember it is possible (though extrememely rare) to OD on H20; overhydration is a thing]
    Another reason these hydration exaggerations are slightly justified.

  10. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Dianne of Pharyngula commentariat suggested* I might be dehydrated when I complained about often feeling faint and my hands shaking for no apparent reason. I didn’t even notice that I was going without water all day, usually only having a glass before bed.

    I still don’t really recognize thirst, so I just got used to always keeping a glass of water on my work desk.Since it’s right there, I remember to drink and regularly refill it.

    * I miss the old endless thread

  11. unclefrogy says

    I have noticed a bad habit response in me. I will often go and find some snack when I would have just as easily have been satisfied with a glass of water with the result of a slow weight gain instead of stability.
    I have read some where that coffee can “count” in the amount of water you drink.
    For me now it seems best to be aware of what I am doing to consciously do thing instead of relying on just feelings and sensations. To think about what I am eating and when to what I am drinking and how much. To do things with regard to the benefits of the “work” involved as good exercise not always find the easiest softest way to do it or avoid doing it at all. Use a hand saw instead of an electric saw use my hand instead of a screw gun. Drink first then maybe snack.
    the ideal shrived for but not always achieved
    uncle frogy

  12. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    re 14:
    I read: the first rule of weight loss is, when contemplating a snack, no matter how small or fat free, drink a glass of water, _then_ consider the snack.
    might work if disciplined enough, but still worth considering.
    (umm while maybe not for weight loss per se, more for avoiding gain )

  13. ChasCPeterson says

    many people will take Coke (cola that is) to quench their thirst, not realizing the sugar will cause their body to expel more water than the coke bottle contained so dehydration could be a consequence. “could be”, only if one only uses coke to relieve their thirst.

    That’s incorrect, unless one is diabetic. Drinking sugar water is the same as drinking water, in terms of hydration. (Unless one is diabetic.) You may be confusing the story with seawater, which contains chloride in higher concentrations than you can produce in urine and therefore causes dehydration if drunk.

    It is in fact very easy to get dehydrated without thirst when working or otherwise exercising in dry heat.

    The story goes that the Israeli Army did studies of hydration in troops marching and carrying loads in the heat of the desert. Four treatment groups included 1) as much water as desired, 2) as much water flavored with fruit juice as desired, 3) as much beer as desired, and 4) one liter of water per hour. All groups stayed well hydrated except #1. I can’t find confirmation of this story.

  14. says

    Sorry, but no, I do not believe this video. People vary widely. My father does not get too thirsty in general, so if he drunk only when thirsty, he would probably have his former problems with kidney stones again. Further, if I understand this article correctly the sense of thirst becomes more unreliable in older people and there are real risks of dehydration for them when the weather is hot and they are not reminded dot drink.

    So I followed the advice in the OP and I searched further. And found this -click-. Unfortunately I am not able to read the whole article and I would not probably be able to understand it completely, so I hope this one sentence from the abstract is not in some bizare context that would mean it says something else than when I quote it here:

    Thirst could have limited utility in guiding hydrated practices when attempting to quickly reestablish euhydration following prolonged exercise in the heat.

    So I still think that drinking only after the thirst sensation kicks can be bad advice in some cases. Just as it is a bad advice to tell you you have to drink so much you have to pee every fifteen minues. And each individual hast to find for themselves what works best for them – some might be OK drinking only when thirsty, some might have to drink regardless of thirst. I do not think that there is to be expected a general rule here that would be ideal for everybody around the globe.

  15. says

    Sorry for doublepost, but I am bugged now. I tried to find the Israeli soldieres study and I found this

    As presented earlier in the chapter, the sensation of thirst appears at ~295 mmol/kg 156 or ~2% of body mass loss. Thus, a significant amount of fluid loss occurs before the sensation of thirst drives fluid intake. During activity, if fluid intake occurs after being signaled by thirst sensation and is less than fluid loss through thermoregulatory sweating, the outcome is progressive dehydration. As a result of blood pooling in the skin and reduction in plasma volume secondary to sweating, cardiac filling is reduced and larger fractional utilization of oxygen is required at any given workload. Ultimately, these responses have a negative impact on exercise/work performance, especially in warm/hot environments.

    Again, I did not manage to read the whole article, I only searched for relevant phrases. But unless an expert shows in these comments with a metric ton of citations to the contrary, I will consider thirst a poor indicator of whether the organism is well hydrated, only an indicator that it is necesary to hydrate already – and at that slightly more than just to the point when the thirst is quenched.

  16. blf says

    FSMsdamnit, I just typed in a long-ish answer to @8 but then pressed some unknown “hot key” combination that sodding destroyed the text, loaded some other page, and triggered a volcanic eruption, not necessarily of a volcano. So the retyped short answer is: It depends on the restaurant and location. The two incidents I recounted were both atypical (at least locally), as the usual(? local?) practice is to ask if you want something to drink when, or shortly after, being seated. Which is a good time to ask for water (either tap or “mineral”), along with — if desired, as others have also mentioned — an apéritif.

  17. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    The last time I was doing as the video advises, it didn’t work out so well. But I wasn’t dying so I suppose I was fine. Lightheaded often, trembling and vaguely nauseous but fine.

  18. magistramarla says

    I breastfed five babies, and as a result, I got into the habit of ALWAYS having a large glass of liquid next to me as the baby nursed. It was a case of liquid out, liquid in. I’ve never gotten out of that habit, and now that I’ve been diagnosed with Sjogren’s Syndrome (causes every part of the body to be dry) I have to be even more careful about staying hydrated.
    As I type this, I have my glass of ice water at my elbow. A refrigerator that dispenses filtered water and ice from the door encourages me to drink it more often.

  19. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    RE 16
    thanks for the correction. maybe I was blaming it on the caffeine in coca cola as being diuretic. like coffee, and exaggerating the effect.
    thanks once again. for correcting my misunderstanding of why to avoid sugar water when thirsty. oops

  20. Karen Locke says

    Thirst can’t keep up with water needs in certain environments. I frequently spend time in the high desert. High enough so that heat isn’t really a problem most of the year, but it is really, really dry. I’ve learned that there is no way my thirst can keep up with my need for water there; it’s evaporating out of my body. Days when I drink only when thirsty, I end up with very yellow pee and a headache by nightfall. When I keep a water bottle handy and sip all day, I’m fine.

    I also discovered that unless I sip constantly in that environment, I set myself up for bladder infections.

  21. says

    Having had kidney stones myself, I do try to be more sensitive to any sensation of thirst these days, and try not to get so absorbed in anything that I forget to monitor my water input (and check output for colour density). Sometimes depression interferes with that, though.

  22. colinday says

    At first I thought you meant I should question the video, but I now believe that I should question ads selling water. Is that it?

  23. wzrd1 says

    First off, 8 glasses of water is hokum. Period, it’s an arbitrary number.
    That said, what was in the video is also hokum. Thirst lags behind need of water, otherwise we’d not see so many football team members in junior high and high schools suffering heat injuries, not to mention the extreme number of our armed forces suffering heat injuries every summer!
    Hell, I’d go through six cases of normal saline on an infantry battalion. I guess that was wasted!
    Indeed, we can go to many cemeteries and dig up the people who died of heat strokes, they’re really OK.
    Hypertonic solutions actually hydrate cells, as do hypotonic solutions, it’s all equal. Hell, while we’re re-writing the laws of chemistry, let’s go do the same with physics, you only need to eat when you’re hungry, screw the laws of thermodynamics, they don’t apply to humans.
    Or something.

    Above, we’ve had a few produce excellent references of peer reviewed studies. One, quoting a study that couldn’t be found (which, oddly, ignored what hypertonic solutions do to cellular biology). We also have PZ’s video, which was, per many, many, many studies that it claims do not exist, bullshit.

  24. chrislawson says

    chigau@5: it depends on how strictly you want to define “human.” Modern humans only appeared around 200K years ago, but other species of Homo have existed since about 2M years ago.

  25. chrislawson says


    The 8 glasses line isn’t quite as bad as that. It’s a very limited bit of advice, to be sure, because it assumes every person’s fluid needs are pretty much the same as everyone else’s and the same on any given day, but as a general rule it’s not way off the mark.

    Fluid balance has been incredibly thoroughly studied in physiology and medicine, and we know that people need about 1-2 L/day (women) or 2-3 L/day (men) to make up for normal physiological fluid loss. Eight standard glasses of 250ml or 8oz (depending on the rationality of your nation) is about 1.8-2 L, so it’s not bad as a ballpark figure. The problem is that it seems to have become some oft-quoted Golden Rule when it’s nothing more than a rough estimate that needs to be adapted to each person and their environment. (And water isn’t magic — an over hydrated patient in intensive care is more likely to die than an under hydrated one.

  26. wzrd1 says

    and their environment. (And water isn’t magic — an over hydrated patient in intensive care is more likely to die than an under hydrated one.

    Quite true! In the infirm, that can be a *really* big deal. Also, for those who think that more is better – always.
    Each year, there are healthy fitness freaks that die of water intoxication.
    It’s all really about balance, balancing one’s physiological needs against both one’s environmental exposure and physical activities.

    I’d love to say, “Use common sense”, but alas, common sense seems to have long been a critically endangered species.

  27. wzrd1 says

    Heh, tell me about it. With the amount of coffee that I drink, the diuretic effect just doesn’t happen. I’ve literally enjoyed a hot cup of coffee when it was 110 – 115 outside.
    It beat the hell out of caffeine withdrawl.

  28. Derek Vandivere says

    #8 / Tove: Not only is it not the standard to get water with your meal as a default in Europe, many places won’t give you tap water. I’d say maybe a third of restaurants here in Amsterdam will give you tap water, but the others will only sell it to you. I’ve never seen tap water (or indeed flat water at all) at a German restaurant.

  29. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    re: tap water in European restaurants

    I think it depends on the fanciness of the restaurant. Cheaper places are going to get you tap water by default, in more expensive ones you have to make it clear that yes, you want just tap water and in those higher end ones you don’t even dare to ask for tap water :)

    Admittedly, my experience is mostly from Croatia and I can’t really remember how it was on occasions in Italy or GErmany. I think I ordered beer the last time in Germany, so brining water didn’t make sense either way.

  30. Don Quijote says

    Here in Galicia, Spain if you ask for water you wil be given bottled water. It is possible to ask for tap water but not many people trust the quality of it.

  31. wzrd1 says

    In the US, it’s easy enough to get tap water, in quite a few communities, with complimentary lead. :/
    In some US communities, arsenic is also present in elevated levels in ground water.

    Spain has areas with high fluoride levels in the drinking water, high enough to induce fluoridosis in the teeth.

    Sometimes, a distrust of one’s water supply is justified.
    Still, the dose makes the poison and for a guest traveling through, the exposure would be minimal and treatment can reduce the harmful elements in the water supply.

  32. says

    German restaurants will sell you bottled water for the same price as beer. Beverages often make a huge part of the restaurants income and have a nice profit margin with little work compared to food. But remember that we pay out waiters, so at tip of around 10% is actually a tip and not the wage.

    Having said that: Yeah, humans vary a lot. As a kid/teen I hated using the toilets in school and as a result I wouldn’t drink anything all day in order to avoid having to pee. After some years the “thirst” feeling vanished. I’d come home in the afternoon, sport a fantastic headache, swallow some painkillers which helped because I took them with a glass of water…

    My mother says that I never drank much. That I was the only kid on the family holidays (2 families, 4 kids) who got Orangina (a lemonade) because it meant I drank at least half a litre a day.

    Once I noticed the pattern I started to “train” myself. I always carry water when I leave the house for longer. By now “thirst” happens, but rarely, because I remember drinking.
    Also: food contains water and depending on what you eat it can also make a big difference.

  33. naturalcynic says

    @ stumble #10
    Checking the humankinetics article referenced, there are some strange numbers that give me pause: 45% decrease in capacity for work with 2% weight loss for sprinters, but only 5% loss for distance runners with a similar amount of water loss. I think that the latter is a much more accurate for what we humans are likely to encounter. Also from personal experience marathon training 35-40 years ago – I encountered several 5% weight losses on longer runs without severe loss of speed – going from 7.5 min/mile to 8 min/mile.

    @ slithey #12
    The rapid weight loss at the beginning of a diet is due to the water associated with liver and some muscle glycogen. IIRC there is up to about 400 grams of glycogen in total between the liver and muscles which is necessarily associated with about 2.5 times as much water. At the beginning of a carb/calorie restricted diet, this glycogen is mostly depleted in the liver and some is depleted in the muscles if any exercise is done, so there is the loss of water + glycogen that amounts to more than 1 kg. Because the glycogen is not repleted, the associated water weight is neither repleted and you have magically lost 2-3 lbs. Then you plateau.

    The question of Coca Cola and other sugary drinks as thirst quenchers needs to be picked apart a little. At first, because Coke is hypertonic, it draws some water from the body into the stomach to balance the effect of the relatively high concentrations of sugar and other molecules. This leaves the body tissues transiently slightly more dehydrated. This fluid and the fluid in the Coke is then fairly rapidly absorbed so the final effect is a slightly slower rehydration than can be achieved with something isotonic or plain water.

    A rule of thumb is that you don’t need a sport drink if you are going to exercise less than an hour, unless you are subject to higher than normal heat stress. This means that Gatorade can be a good thing, but it sux as a beverage for normal consumption.

  34. naturalcynic says

    A personal anecdote, but also a common finding is that rapid dehydration during dialysis is more likely than anything else to induce muscle cramps. I have been a long-term diabetic now in kidney failure, so I am now in hemodialysis 3 times /wk for 3.5 hours each. During dialysis 2-3+ liters of fluid is taken depending on my starting weight. Fairly painful lower leg cramps are common after about 2.5 hours if larger amounts of fluid need to be lost. If my starting weight is lower, full-blown cramps are much less common, although I occasionally feel a little twitchy. This is a very common occurrence with others in dialysis. A rapid infusion of 200 ml saline is what usually reduces the cramps.
    So, from personal experience at least, dehydration can lead to cramps. It is interesting to note that exercise-induced fluid loss very rarely [see marathon training way back when in previous comments] seemed to cause muscle cramps. When I was younger, the only time I suffered from muscle cramps was at the end of early season swim team workouts.

  35. chigau (違う) says

    Of these studies about hydration:
    how many are done on elite athletes at universities and
    how many are done on employees of garment sweat-shops?

  36. wzrd1 says

    @chigau, easy enough, how many military service members performing infantry tasks, vs how many military service members operating armored vehicles without air conditioning?
    Six of one, half dozen of the other, as both do significant work without air conditioning or other work conditions accepted as acceptable in the western world as industrially accepted, by far.

    Shorter answer, one could easily die, if one is exerted to survive in an emergency.
    As one is somewhat so, in both conditions, yeah, it’s a mixed bag. From there, it depends upon who’s managing.

  37. John Morales says

    wzrd1, I think you missed chigau’s point, to the effect that the studies may not be universally representative.

    (cf. WEIRD studies — obviously, with reference to physiology rather than to psychology)

  38. wzrd1 says

    @John Morales, the entire point is just that. Psychology, necessity or reality all meet and one has to have rubber meet the road, despite what’s desired.
    People try to cope, right until physiological collapse. At times, far past that point, then, they’re doing that dead thing.
    *Nothing* is universally representative. If it was, we’d have a cure for every disease afflicting mankind!
    Hell, we have people who have survived full blown AIDS, a retrovirus that has literally re-written their very genetic code.
    While, they’re outliers, there’s a vast spectrum of what is survivable.
    The median, well, that’s a different thing entirely and that’s what’s at risk when tossing out what PZ went with trying to toss out.
    Not the best of ideas.

    I’ve survived under conditions that camels survive under, I’d never consider those for my wife, daughters or cat. I might consider them for a camel or a rare few other individuals who survived the very same series of events, but it’s unlikely, as I’d consider it unlikely that I’d survive a second experience.
    In biology, things are… Complicated.
    PZ knows that far better than I do, he’s a biologist. I have an idea, he’d likely be able to write a book.
    Which is why I object so and am surprised at his statements.

  39. chigau (違う) says

    The formal, published, studies are done with university-level,
    high-performance atheletes.
    Nobody gives a shit about garment workers or grunts.

  40. wzrd1 says

    @chigau (違う), actually, the US DoD also sponsors and pays for such studies, but not exclusively at university level, but at NIH level.
    And those studies are peer reviewed and published. :)

    As I said, nothing is universal. Some can go into physiological failure earlier than others, normal is just an average condition. Those beyond the average are all over the bell curve in some things, this being more significant than many other areas.

    Do excuse the poor example from earlier, it was rushed.
    Life and all.
    While the example was somewhat valid, it was a complicated, extreme example, with multiple confounders. Comparing apples to boulders. Hydration factors in a wide range of hosts in varying ranges of physical condition and health vs genetic minorities in a vast range of people exposed to a retrovirus.
    My bad, rushed response that really deserved a longer response.

  41. says

    @chigau # 39

    Of these studies about hydration:
    how many are done on elite athletes at universities and
    how many are done on employees of garment sweat-shops?

    Are you adressing your question to the video or to commenters? If yo the video, then OK, but if to the commenters:

    At least one of them was a study of how elderly persons are at risk of dehydration.

    I fail to see how your question is relevant in the context of this topic. The argument of the video was “there are no studies that say you are at risk of dehydration, you will be just fine when you drink only when thirsty”. It was presented as a universally valid statement and a reasonable rule to go by.

    The response of people in this topic was twofold:
    1) there are in fact studies that show (non-trivial) risks of dehydration in certain contexts and certain demographics
    2) there are studies that show that thirst is not always reliable indicator of sufficient hydration as it might sometimes lag behind the real need, especially when performing physicaly demanding tasks in heat.

    These two statements remain true regardles whether the studies were all performed on high performing athlets or “grunts”.

    I also do not understand what you mean with that question in wider context for example with regard to which policies and health recommendations can be infered from these studies. Because the conclusions of these studies are “if you exert yourself in heat, you should drink more often than indicated by thirst only” and therefore policies that could be infered for people in sweat shops would be “the workers should have enough drinking water available”.

    The only reason for arguing for invalidity of such recommendation on the basis that the studies were performed on athletes (soldiers) would be trying to discredit this health recommendation.

    Therefore if the arguments were “high performing athletes are always ok when drinking only as thirst indicates” I would understand why you state your question perfectly. But I do not see anyone here making such argument.

    From purely academical perspective, the more data there is the better of course. No doubt average San react to this differently than awerage USAmerican. But if the policy recommended on study in USAmericans is “be carefull” there is little need to try hard and search for context where being carefull is not needed and it can serve as a distraction from efficient risk prevention. It is in fact akin to pointing to a grandpa who smoked 40 cigars a day and lived 100 years in discussion about the harmfull effects of smoking..

  42. says

    Sure, hydration has been amped up to a ridiculous degree. Athletes get dehydrated but keep pushing through. They end up dizzy on the sidelines, needing to rest when they could still be playing. And having passed several kidney stones, I know how easy it is to get wrapped up in your work while your urine darkens to the color of weak coffee. So I start every day with a litre of water and it has to be gone by the time I go home. I pay attention to urine now – it should be a light straw color.

    For those who have not passed kidney stones, some are worse than others. My first stone was an education in pain, and a couple stones later I had some that were MUCH worse. It motivates you.

  43. Menyambal says

    Hydration is important, and I’d say a lot of folks don’t know enough about it and don’t enough water. But that “8 glasses” thing is kind of a straw man. I mean, most of us know we need more water on some days, and we know that a glass isn’t a standard unit of measure – it’s just a way to say we need to drink enough (granted, a stupid way that the vid could address).

    Me, I just finished a summer in a hot warehouse. I really needed to keep hydrated, and I have special issues. Kidney stones are prevalent in my family, and constipation is very prevalent in me (hydrated fiber is good, dry fiber is very bad). I generally try to get through four liters in a day in an office, and in the warehouse, I was really chugging it.

    I didn’t drink cold water, just cool, and I put electrolytes in it. Gatorade is junk, as far as I am concerned – it has lots of sugar, and only one electrolyte. Me, I used Morton’s Light Salt. It has sodium chloride and potassium chloride, and a bit of magnesium. I’d put some in the water, according to taste, and it really helped me. (It even made the distilled water taste good.) The first hot day there, I was not prepared, and I felt terrible on plain water. I found my shaker that night, and was good the rest of the summer.

    Provided that I drank enough. Part of my point is that I really don’t feel “thirst”. I feel symptoms that I know are related to dehydration, but thirst isn’t a thing that I’d be telling folks to trust. My general rule is that urination should be a regular occurrence, and urine should be nearly colorless. I would rather be passing excess water than trying to pass dry fiber or kidney stones.

    Yes, drink more water, but don’t trust your thirst, and don’t mock folks for trying to encourage others to keep healthy.