WATER does not prevent dehydration.
That is the view of the EU, a ruling which in the light of Brexit, is worth re-examining to determine if the nine-year-old ruling is down to Brussels bureaucracy or carries scientific weight.
This seemingly incredible dictate goes back to 2011, when EU officials prevented a drinks manufacturer from stating that “regular consumption of significant amounts of water can reduce the risk of development of dehydration”.
This followed a submission three years earlier when German scientists Dr. Andreas Hahn and Dr. Moritz Hagenmeyer submitted an application to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), regarding a label for a water bottle.
They requested the right to make the claim that “regular consumption of significant amounts of water can reduce the risk of development of dehydration and of concomitant decrease of performance”.
This fell under a health claim referring to disease risk reduction with dehydration identified as a disease by the applicants.
The rejection of the claim came due to the incorrect application, not to the statement they presented.
The EFSA panel did not dispute that consumption of water can prevent dehydration or the universally acknowledged fact that water hydrates. The discussion and research were based around the question: ‘Could dehydration be considered as a disease, and if so, could drinking ‘significant amounts of water’ be considered a cure?’
EFSA’s purpose is protecting consumers from misleading information on products, and as the claim fell into the disease risk reduction category the august body could not allow such communication to be produced.
Had bureaucracy gone mad, or was this the correct action?
The Telegraph – never ones to be slow about its ‘anti’ views on the EU - reported that Conservative MEP Roger Helmer described the notion as: “Stupidity writ large.”
“The euro is burning, the EU is falling apart and yet here they are: highly-paid, highly-pensioned officials worrying about the obvious qualities of water and trying to deny us the right to say what is patently true.”
Someone else who agrees is Prof Hahn, from the Institute for Food Science and Human Nutrition at Hanover Leibniz University.
“The European Commission is wrong; it should have authorised the claim,” explained the Professor.
“That should be more than clear to anyone who has consumed water in the past, and who has not? We fear there is something wrong in the state of Europe.”
There is a steady flow of experts and opinion formers who were as fast to report that this ban was nonsense, but many without knowing the terms of the application.
But nevertheless, the question remains: Does water necessarily prevent dehydration?
Marie Farag, Head Nutritionist with Cellnutrition Sport Ltd, and an expert in hydration and sports nutrition explained:
"We lose water all the time, constantly dehydrating through a number of natural activities, whether that is breathing, sweating, urinating and even due to the environment.
“Mild dehydration - as little as 1% to 2% is a common state that most people are in daily.
“Whilst this may not seem like much, even small percentage numbers could mean increases in fatigue, muscle weakness and poor cognitive function and it can even affect mood and digestive health.
“More severe dehydration – up to and over 10%, can lead to delirium and muscle spasms, and in extreme conditions, a 20% loss could lead to death as a result of kidney failure.”
There are three main types of dehydration:
- Hypotonic dehydration (loss of electrolytes, salts & minerals)
- Hypertonic dehydration (loss of water)
- Isotonic dehydration (loss of water and salt at similar rates)
Many people think water alone is sufficient for hydration. However, to fully hydrate at the cellular level your cells require the full spectrum of electrolytes and trace minerals.
The full spectrum of electrolytes and trace minerals are lost repeatedly throughout the day and it is essential to fully rehydrate at the cellular level as this enables water to be held in the cell.
Whilst required in small amounts, minerals and trace elements are essential for cellular health and hydration.
These elements are involved in a range of different enzymatic processes in your body, enabling each cell, organ and bodily system to function optimally, supporting your entire body.
Without replenishing the full spectrum of electrolytes and trace minerals that are lost there is a risk of dehydration as water cannot be effectively held in the cell.
Totum Sport is the only electrolyte supplement that contains the full spectrum of electrolytes and trace minerals that cells require (all 78) in the correct proportions and in a bioavailable form. By providing the full spectrum of elements, in the correct proportions, this enables each one to be absorbed and metabolised effectively in the body, at the cellular level.
So, were the Scientists right to ban the claim?
In short, yes. Consuming regular amounts of water is not enough to prevent dehydration, if it is to be considered a disease.
Disease risk prevention claims fall under a stricter and more rigours application process, the EFSA concluded that water alone is not enough.
As minerals and trace elements along with water are lost from your cells, they need to be re-consumed to rehydrate effectively at the cellular level.
As a risk reduction, both water and electrolytes need to be replenished to fully mitigate the risk and effects of dehydration.