People may think I've gone a little overboard with my recent endorsement of water, but I'm not sure if I'm ready to read a whole book on it.
Sarena, any initial thoughts from what you've seen?
I'm well aware of the woman who died in the drinking contest. Unlike her, I plan on peeing frequently and heeding any warning signs, like the "discomfort" or "visible signs of distress" mentioned in the Dr. Ben Kim article.
Part of the reason why I started drinking more water is because of this article I read in T-Nation, Shredded in 6 Days
(wfs). I was really reluctant to post that because I'm now at risk of looking like my appearance takes disproportionate priority over my health and performance. I'm not a bodybuilder, but the article was an interesting read to know the reasoning and methods behind lowering water retention for aesthetics.
The T-Nation article recommends drinking 3 gallons throughout the day. Compare that to the two gallons the late woman consumed and held over a short period of one or two hours.
The Kim article is good. It touches on some of the things that occur to your body when you overhydrate. I just wish that there was a more definitive guideline recommendation of what is healthy consumption. This may be of no fault of the article though, as it's implied that there is no conclusively definitive amount range.
Still, here are some choice quote I'm taking away:
"The filtration system that exists in your kidneys is composed in part by a series of specialized capillary beds called glomeruli. Your glomeruli can get damaged by unnecessary wear and tear over time, and drowning your system with large amounts of water is one of many potential causes of said damage. "
"Putting unnecessary burden on your cardiovascular system and your kidneys by ingesting unnecessary water is a subtle process. For the average person, it is virtually impossible
to know that this burden exists, as there are usually no obvious symptoms
on a moment-to-moment basis. But make no mistake about it: this burden is real and can hurt your health over the long term." (emphasis is mine)
"Some people suggest observing the color of your urine as a way of looking out for dehydration. The idea is that clear urine indicates that you are well hydrated, while yellow urine indicates that you need more water in your system. While this advice is somewhat useful, it is important to remember that some chemicals (like synthetic vitamins) and heavily pigmented foods (like red beets) can add substantial color to your urine. Thumbs down for synthetic vitamins, and thumbs up for red beets and other richly colored vegetables and fruits."
This is interesting because I do this. GNC Mega Man pills make your pee look like neon/anti-freeze while beets make it an orangey amber. And sometimes I eat asparagus with my beets to make it all into an experience for multiple senses.