Key Concepts

Sources of Water

Don't get me wrong. Hydration is important. It is what keeps us alive. We can survive for an extended period without food but only about three days, depending on factors like age, health, and fitness, without water.

We know when we need to drink, we get thirsty. There is no need to count glasses of water and measure intake, and about 20% of the water we consume comes from food anyway. If you don't feel thirsty and your urine is colorless or light yellow, you probably have sufficient water intake. For most healthy people, that's all they need to know.

Yes, you can die from drinking too much water. In 2005, a fraternity hazing at California State University, Chico, left a 21-year-old man dead after he was forced to drink excessive amounts of water. In 2007, a 28-year-old California woman died after competing in a radio station's on-air water-drinking contest, "Hold Your Wee for a Wii (Nintendo)." What's wrong with California?

Drinking too much water leads to hyponatremia, which translates to "insufficient salt in the blood," which is the dangerous dilution of the blood. Paracelsus (1493-1541), considered the father of toxicology, famously said, "All things are poison, and nothing is without poison. Solely the dose determines that a thing is not a poison."

So, why is hydration boring? Well, suppose your water is a commodity, and you drink it for hydration. In that case, you're missing out on unique experiences you could have by selecting great natural water and enjoying it as a beverage rather than just drinking it because you have to.