Yeah, that’s exactly what it sounds like; nutrition influencers are actually advocating people stop drinking water for significant periods of time, i.e. fasting without water.
You know, that thing that you’re mostly made of that keeps you alive.
I’m not going to preach to you about how important drinking water is, because, if you’re over the age of 3 and not a Camel (any Camels reading this, feel free to drop out now), you’re probably already aware of that.
WHO’S ADVISING THIS?
Some idiots on Instagram. Albeit idiots with enough followers to make their advice dangerous enough.
Let’s look at each idiot in detail
Idiot #1 – Sophie Prana https://www.instagram.com/pimpyourprana/
The positively skeletal Sophie Prana claims she’s ‘fruit-based’, which is where she gets most of her ‘living water’ from. Wait, what; ‘living water’?! I’ll let Sophie explain;
This highly structured water is referred to as fourth phase of water, not H2O but H3O2, and can be called living water. It’s more viscous, dense, and alkaline than regular water; has a negative charge, and can hold energy, much like a battery, and deliver energy too
I literally have no idea what she’s going on about (I don’t think she does either).
Idiot #2 – Alice Copilet https://www.instagram.com/p/B2hE-MQjD7m/
Alice has definitely been smoking too much dope out in Thailand; her Instagram posts barely make sense;
‘We’ve been so deeply conditioned to poison our mindbodies with toxic “foods”, water, “beauty” products, pharmaceuticals, toxic media & stress’
Toxic water? If you’ve been drinking toxic water then you’d have been dead years ago, what a ridiculous statement. Also, what the hell is a mindbody?
She goes on to talk about intermittent fasting;
‘I’ve been #intermittentfasting by having only juice for breakfast for over 15 years now 😁 and it’s a positive habit that has yielded sooo much richness and growth in my life 👌’
I hate to break it to you but if you’re having juice for breakfast then you’re not intermittent fasting; maybe look up the definition.
Idiot #3 – Alise Miksta https://www.instagram.com/p/B8Qy4CxpGCZ/
Alise is actually way ahead of idiots one and two, and offers some revolutionary advice in one of her Instagram posts
‘Relax, I’m not promoting to stop you drinking water, but what I eat and drink is my choice… I still consume water, but definitely not 2l a day, if anything I drink when I’ve been eating cooked food or when I’m thirsty and fruits are not around’
Read that again; ‘I drink…when I’m thirsty’.
Thanks Alise, you’re a true pioneer in the health industry.
HOW PRACTICAL IS IT TO GET WATER FROM FRUIT AND VEG ONLY?
Basically, these people think you can get all the water you need from fruit and vegetables.
This is probably technically true, but let’s look at the practicalities.
Say you normally drink 2 litres of water a day.
You decide you’re going to follow the advice of the charlatans by getting your water from Apples.
One Apple weighs about 100g and Apples are roughly 85% water, so that’s 85ml of water per Apple.
In order to hit your 2l target, you’d need to eat 24 Apples. TWENTY F*****G FOUR.
Now, I like an Apple but would I want to eat 24 in a day? No. For two reasons.
That’s 2.4kg of Apples, that’s a lot of food sitting in your gut, and 58g of fibre. It’s also about 2,400 calories, again, JUST from Apples.
Fibre is great, and most people probably don’t get enough, but 58g is excessive considering the recommended daily intake is 30g. Too much fibre will make you feel bloated, sluggish and most likely give you constipation.
2,400 calories is probably around what the average bloke would need to maintain their weight. Fine. But remember we’ve ONLY eaten Apples, if you want a decent amount of protein and fat as well (which you do) you’re looking at another 1,000 calories on top of that. That brings you up to 3,400 calories, which (on a daily basis) is enough for the average bloke to gain weight; and that’s before you’ve added in some crisps, a slice of birthday cake, and a couple of pints.
Definitely not conducive to losing weight, if that’s your goal.
Just thinking about that is enough to put me off Apples for life.
Let’s take another example; what about the staple green veg of choice; Broccoli.
Broccoli is 90% water, so 100g will contain 90ml of water.
To get your 2l per day, you’d need to eat 2.2kg. 2.2kg of broccoli. That’s 6 and a half entire heads of Broccoli from Tesco.
Drinking water to get hydration is much quicker and easier.
IS WATER FULL OF CHEMICALS?
Yes; Hydrogen, Oxygen and some other trace minerals (the exact minerals and quantities depend on where in the world you are; but some common ones are Copper, Chlorine and Fluoride).
Is the presence of these chemicals dangerous to human health? Rather than listening to some unqualified tree hugger living in Bali, let’s look at the actual scientific evidence.
This study says;
‘Assessing the health impacts of chemical contaminants in drinking water is a challenge that requires improved methodologies and enhanced interdisciplinarity in future epidemiological studies’
Essentially, a question like this is virtually impossible to answer accurately because there are so many variables. Where in the world are we talking about, what demographics, and what level of exposure will all influence the harmfulness of chemicals in water.
‘The magnitude of the relative risks tends to be small.’
Another similar study from 2014 agrees;
‘The presence of a contaminant does not necessarily translate to an adverse impact on human health; the levels may be unimportant, exposure is not a given, and toxicity may depend on individual susceptibility’
‘“The amount that we know about chemicals is really very little,” says Herman Gibb, president of research consultancy Tetra Tech Sciences’
Funny how the president of Research for a global Scientific Research Firm knows very little about the risks of chemicals in drinking water, yet these Instagram influencers seem to know everything.
In summary, the long term side effects of chemicals in drinking water are a total unknown, but what is known, is that you don’t drink water you will die very quickly.
Another point to make, is that these influencers claim they get their water from fruit, because water has too many chemicals, as if fruit contains no chemicals.
Look at the chemical make-up of a Passion Fruit, as that’s something that these influencer twats seem to love to decorate their ‘smoothie bowls’ with;
That Methyl Butanoate doesn’t sound very appetising does it?
The fact is, EVERYTHING is made up of chemicals (even you), and unless you stop eating, drinking, and breathing, you can’t avoid absorbing chemicals in some way shape or form.
Yes, some chemicals are harmful, but the poison is in the dose.
Maybe the no breathing diet will be the next big thing… Don’t want to get too much of that horrible oxygen and nitrogen.
SO WHERE SHOULD YOU GET H20 FROM?
Carry on drinking water. Out the tap, from a bottle, from a Well (if you live in the 1600s).
Should you only drink water? No. Tea, coffee, sodas, sports drinks, squash and juice can also hydrate you. As mentioned above, fruit and veg do contain some water too, but don’t eat 24 Apples just to stay hydrated.
If you REALLY want to optimise your hydration; Milk has actually been found to be more hydrating than water https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26702122
No, that’s not an invitation to do a milk fast; although that would probably be infinitely healthier than a ‘dry’ fast.
HOW MUCH SHOULD YOU DRINK?
I don’t know.
It depends on your age, gender, muscle mass, activity levels, the temperature on any given day, and loads of other stuff.
There’s no point in giving a blanket recommendation. Drink when you’re thirsty.
And the award for most obvious piece of advice ever goes to…
Joe is an online coach and qualified personal trainer of 15 years who helps busy, professional men and women lose weight and build muscle.
Having a 9-5 desk-job, Joe understands the struggles of juggling a hectic life with trying to maintain a good physique.