For the past month, I’ve been observing a sort of water diet.
An Iranian fellow, by the name of Dr. Batmanghelidj (or, as most refer to him, Dr. Batman), was of the belief that a deficiency of water in the body can be cited as the cause to near all illnesses and afflictions. A search of his name turns up numerous criticisms of the method, but I thought I’d try it. It’s clear that dehydration can contribute to, if not cause, many ailments, and it’s no leap of faith to call our society chronically dehydrated, what with all the shit we shovel down our throats.
I’ve yet to read Dr. Batman’s book, but built my schedule from the ZehChill blog, which claims the regiment consists of drinking half one’s body weight in ounces per day, along with 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt per 32 ounces water, and avoiding alcohol and caffeine. Now, as I mentioned above, Dr. Batman was Iranian. He was also trained in Scotland and practiced in England. So, it would follow that if he tells us to measure our drink based on body weight, he would be referring to body weight in kilograms, no? Well, the aforementioned blog uses pounds, and, as an American, it’s expected of me to be stubborn and not recognize that the French invented a superior system. So, I’m sticking with pounds.
Luckily, I’m a small guy, so the required amount of water is not difficult to consume. I already avoid alcohol, and the only caffeine I take is the occasional bit from green tea, which I don’t drink terribly often. Pretty much anything I cook involves obscene amounts of sea salt, making hyponatremia not much of a concern, though I’ve upped the amount, regardless.
My regiment has been to drink 16oz of water with 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt second thing upon waking (first thing is a piss), doing the same in the evening (including the pissing), and fill the rest in during the day (I piss a lot here, too). Actually, I usually end up going a bit over half my body weight (though I probably piss twice that amount out).
The most noticeable result of all this, in case you haven’t gathered, is that I have to piss like a man just cut for the stone every few hours — and it’s always clear, or bordering on it. Which is actually quite satisfying (both the pissing and seeing how clear it is). But, there have been a few results beyond that.
I first started this thing on a Saturday. The Thursday previous I had come down with what could have been an exceptionally bad cold, but felt to me like influenza (I don’t get vaccinated). By Monday, I was fine. Whether it was a cold or the flu, I’m impressed.
I feel I have more energy throughout the day since starting. I also began playing with my diet (solids) at about the same time, though, so I can’t contribute the energy solely to water.
My skin, particularly my hands, have the habit of becoming extremely dry and cracked (occasionally painful) during the winter. This ceased a couple weeks into the water diet. My knuckles are still a little cracked (driving my barehanded fists into focus mits probably isn’t helping in that regard), but nothing near like what they usually are.
All in all, I see no reason not to continue. It is quite clearly not producing any negative effects, and possibly producing positive ones. I’d be curious to hear any other experiences.