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Jul 20, 2006 05:10 AM

Good Eats Water Works II mistake?

I was watching Good Eats this evening, the episode titled Water Works II" and the little factoid blurb before a commercial break read as follows:

Every 24 hours the body recycles the equivalent of 40,000 glasses of water. Is this a mistake? If it's correct, what did I miss?

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  1. Your body mass is about 70% water. Essentially every bodily function involves water. I don't know where the figure of 40,000 glasses comes from, but the line itself perhaps comes from this book:


    1 Reply
    1. re: Darren72

      Wikipedia entry on Dr. Batmanghelidj


      Unless someone finds another source, I'll regard the 40,000 glasses as this doctor's ideosyncratic estimate.


    2. After watching the homebrew show AB did, I wonder what other bad "facts" and bad procedures he BS's his way through that I just don't know any better. Still think he is entertaining and pretty knowledgeable, but now I view his advice and scienitic facts with bit more skepticism.

      3 Replies
      1. re: LStaff

        What makes you think the water fact is wrong? I just provided a link to a book that makes the same claim.

        1. re: LStaff

          At what rate does blood flow through the kidneys? 40,000 cups per day translates to about 1/2 cup per second, or 1/4c per kidney. Is that unrealistic?


          1. re: paulj

            I'm not going to pretend to have a medical degree.

            I do know that most of the water in your body is *not* contained in the blood. Thus, blood flowing through the kidney is not where most of the action is. Rather than AB being wrong, I submit that he wasn't clear and, therefore, it is very difficult to understand what he is referring to.

        2. I'm just trying to translate that meaningless 40,000 number into something I can at least picture, or even look up in other sources.

          Anyways, my wife just checked one of her nursing books. The blood flow through the kidneys is about 1200 ml/min, and glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is around 130 ml/min. So the rate of production of the glomerular filtrate is on the order of 187,000 ml/day, 187 l/day, roughly 750 'glasses'. The kidney blood flow is about 7000 'glasses'.

          I accept that other body processes could be included in some sort of definition of 'recycle'. But if those processes are not specified, the 40,000 number isn't particularly meaningful. The glomerular filtration rate, at least, has its own wikipedia entry - and may be recorded in your lab results.