Thirst perception not reliable
Mike: I'd like to you talk about how people can know when they need to drink water, because you talk about in the book how some of the signs of dehydration, the classic signs are not necessarily the only signs, and also how much should an average person be drinking?
Dr. B: First and foremost, don't wait until you get thirsty, because that's an error. Unfortunately, the National Academy of Sciences and some other people recently have been telling people to wait until they get thirsty before they drink, which is the main error that we inherited 100 years ago from a man called Walter Bradford Cannon. And that's why, at the time, there was a Frenchman saying that dehydration or thirst is a general sensation and we should study it, and Walter Bradford Cannon said, no, thirst is only a matter of dry mouth.
When the mouth is dry we are thirsty, which is an arrogant statement, and unfortunately western medicine bought into that understanding, and that's why we have a sick-care system, because from the age of 20 onwards, we gradually, imperceptibly become dehydrated without knowing it. We lose our perception of thirst. By the age of 70 we may be totally thirsty and obviously thirsty and yet not recognize the need to drink water, even when water is put next to us.
This was done as an experiment. A scientist asked a group of elderly people to withhold from drinking water for 24 hours, and similarly with young people. After 24 hours when water was made available, the elderly did not recognize that they were thirsty.
Mike: Even after 24 hours with no water?
Dr. B: Correct. Even when water was left next to them, some of them wouldn't reach for it. But the young people drank water, and corrected this dehydration. Now, this is a major problem, and that's why we have so many people in the elderly sector of our society who are sick, because they are totally dehydrated and they do not recognize it.
So, waiting to get thirsty is to die prematurely and very painfully. In fact, this is the title of an article that is posted on my website, www.WaterCure.com, and also on NAFHIM, National Association For Honesty In Medicine (http://www.nafhim.org).
We should not wait to get thirsty, because water is the main source of energy. By the time you get thirsty, you will have lost energy from the water that you should have drunk and made available before you get thirsty. So, if you don't allow the gas tank of your car to come dry before you stop and take some gas, then why should you let your body become thirsty so that it stalls on the roadside before you drink water?
So, first thing, people should never allow themselves to get thirsty -- they should drink throughout the day. An average person needs two quarts of water a day. Average person really needs four quarts of water a day. But two quarts we have to supply. Two quarts we get from food metabolism and water content in foods. We need this amount of water to manufacture at least two quarts of urine. You know, not to put pressure on the kidneys. When we drink enough water so that the urine is colorless, that is a good sign. When the urine becomes yellow, it means that the body is beginning to become dehydrated and when it becomes orange, then the body is truly dehydrated and some part of the body is suffering from that dehydration.
Mike: So this is a very easy sign that people can pay attention to.
Dr. B: Absolutely.
Mike: They don't need a medical degree to see the color of their urine.
Dr. B: Well, that's why we should become observant to our urine production. And breathing -- when we are short of breath, it means we are dehydrated.
Mike: Are there other similar, simple symptoms that people can pay attention to?
Dr. B: The skin -- if the skin is nice and loose and smooth, then we are hydrated. If it becomes creasy and shriveled, it means dehydration. The crow's feet on the face of elderly people, that's a sign of dehydration. The turkey neck under the chin is a sign of dehydration. These are mentioned in my books, Your Body's Many Cries for Water, and also in my Water For Health, For Healing, For Life. I recommend everyone to read Water Cures, Drugs Kill, because in this book I've identified over 90 health problems that we in