My husband and father-in-law are both former college football players. My FIL was told, while playing football, “Don’t drink water!” My husband was told by his own coaches and trainers in the 80′s, “Don’t drink too much water!” Every year a college or high school football player drops dead in the August heat during what every football player knows as “two-a-days.”
We have been collectively rather confused about water, for a long time.
F. Batmanghelidj, an Iranian medical doctor, was a true pioneer, ahead of his time, and probably the main researcher behind changing attitudes towards water. Football coaches know better, now, than to give the advice my DH and FIL got. Dr. B spent over 30 years of his life trying to get the attention of the National Institutes of Health, the FDA, and medical journals to take note of his documentation of free, life-saving cure for common ailments. He addressed a phenomenon every bit as common as constipation in our culture: DEHYDRATION. (And dehydration is related to our chronic constipation problem, too.)
Dr. B’s teachings have often been repeated with the slogan, “You’re not sick, you’re thirsty.” But we are still dehydrated and unaware of the many symptoms and problems that occur from not being hydrated.
Dr. B’s first experience as a young doctor reminds me of Dr. Colin Campbell’s paradigm shift studying cancer in children in the Philippines–and, for that matter, many great discoveries, like Ben Franklin, the kite, and electricity. That is, it was accidental and totally contrary to what he expected to find based on conventional knowledge.
Dr. B was called to tend to a young man curled up in the fetal position from a peptic ulcer, in acute pain. The young man was lucky his ulcer didn’t perforate, as he had eaten an entire bottle of antacid with no relief. Having no medication, Dr. B gave him two glasses of water, and the boy began to recover. Twenty minutes later another glass of water was given, and the boy was up walking around the room, pain free.
From Iran, Dr. B was wrongfully incarcerated after medical school and nearly executed when they discovered he was a doctor and could help in the prison. During his stay of execution, he found an “ideal stress laboratory” in which to test his water hypothoses. He presented a paper to his executioners and they dropped the 32 false charges so he could continue his research. His discoveries about water were published as an editorial in Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology and in The New York Times. The Journal of Anticancer Research published the essence of his first book on pain relief and water–all in the 1980′s. The vast majority of his efforts to get the attention of the medical profession and policy makers were completely unsuccessful. But I believe the public is now much more aware of the importance of drinking water primarily thanks to him. You can read his theories in his books Water Cures and Drugs Kill and Your Body’s Many Cries for Water.