Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Mixed Messages

Medical myths

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: (Published 20 December 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:1288

Rapid Response:

The risks of propagating a new myth - drinking water is bad for you

While I am all for dispelling a few myths, the means to do so should be solidly grounded. Relying solely on the iconoclastic paper by Valtin in respect of minimum water intake risks throwing the baby out with the bathwater. A later report by the US National Academy of Sciences ( for a press release overview) reinforces the point that adequate hydration is achieved through a number of routes but that average fluid intake is of the order of 3.0 litres (101 fluid ounces) and 2.2 l. (74 fl. ozs.) for 19-30 year old men and women respectively.

Perhaps we should be offering informed guidance rather than (potentially) suggesting giving up water drinking entirely.

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

24 December 2007
Cameron Sellars
Speech and Language Therapist
Glasgow Royal Infirmary, G61 3ET, UK