Over the years, the formula to drink half your weight in ounces of water (that doesn’t count anything BUT water) has evolved into some kind of sacred rule. However, that’s not what is in the original protocol.
Here’s a direct quote from Pounds & Inches:
Tea, coffee, plain water, or mineral water are the only drinks allowed, but they may be taken in any quantity and at all times.
In fact, the patient should drink about 2 liters of these fluids per day…
So, you can count your coffee and tea as part of your 2 litre requirement. if you drink enough of that, you might not need to chug much plain water at all. There are dangers involved in over-hydrating. I’m concerned when I read people who encourage extreme amounts of water and engage in “pounding” gallons a day. Taking in too much water disturbs your electrolyte balance and can make you weak and dizzy–and puts you at risk for a more serious problem.
Drinking an extreme amount in a short time can be dangerous. It can cause the level of salt, or sodium, in your blood to drop too low. That’s a condition called hyponatremia. You may hear it called water intoxication. It is rare, but very serious, and can be fatal. I remember a recent radio show contest that had participants chugging water to see who could drink the most without going to the bathroom. One participant DIED. And the coroners report confirmed it was from ingesting too much water over a short period of time.
A safe amount to chug would be 16oz. That’s about all your kidneys can comfortably handle at once.
If you feel you have an electrolyte imbalance during your P2 dieting, the simple remedy is mineral salt. Add a quarter teaspoon to the water you are drinking and keep doing that until you feel better (up to teaspoon for the day). The mineral or sea salt helps the water actually hydrate you better, and minerals will bring things back into balance. If you have magnesium and potassium supplements available, taking that can be helpful as well. If you don’t have potassium, you can safely take 1/4 tsp cream of tartar to get some potassium into you.
The truth is–you can’t make the protocol work any better by water-logging yourself. It’s just overkill. At first, I thought I had to drink extra water too….but I didn’t in my later rounds, and I found there was absolutely no benefit to over-watering. Unless you own stock in the toilet paper company. It’s just another unnecessary rule pushed on people by the diet mob.