Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Water Consumption Important for Carnivores

In addition to fat, water is very important for carnivores, including humans eating a carnivorous diet. Inuits still eating a meat/seafood-heavy diet reportedly drink large quantities of water:

[The Inuit drink] large quantities of water (5 to 6 litres per day), characteristic of the protein-rich diet that triggers renal elimination of the products of catabolism. Jeremy MacClancy, Consuming the Inedible: Neglected Dimensions, p. 123

There's also the example of wolves and other carnivores who drink copious amounts of water after feasting on flesh. This vid is not of an actual wolf, but you get the idea: Josie Wales Wolfdog Wolf Dog drinking Water

Five to six liters is about 10.5 to 12.5 pints of water a day. That sounds excessive to me, so if anyone has any information on how much water the Inuit drank, I'd appreciate it.

I drink mostly mineral water myself, as some studies indicate it provides additional benefits and I figure Stone Age water was probably more mineral-rich than most of today's tap or bottled water.


going feral said...

i wonder what kind of water they were drinking? if it was just melted ice, it would have a very poor mineral content, making one more thirsty... it sounds like alot of water either way - definetely fascinating..

Paleo Phil said...

Those living near glaciers did reportedly drink mostly melted glacial ice, though glaciers do contain minerals (but I don't know the avg amounts and I would guess that Arctic glaciers contain less minerals than glaciers further south--such as in the Alps and Tibetan mountains) and traditional Inuits that were studied were not found to be deficient in important minerals. Their calcium levels were found to be lower than avg, but without any symptoms of calcium deficiency (I read one claim that some Inuits had osteoporosis, but could not find the original source), and their magnesium levels were found to be high. Seals are reportedly rich in magnesium and "stink fish" (fish that has soft, edible bones because it is fermented) is rich in calcium.

There are also mineral-rich rivers in the Arctic (such as the Copper River in Alaska) that could have provided water during at least the summers.

However, my knowledge of the Inuits and other Arctic peoples is limited, and the report of enormous water consumption has piqued my curiosity to learn more.