Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » “The Gushing Rill”

“The Gushing Rill”

By: Ardis E. Parshall - August 24, 2010

BCC’s sidebar links to this report of a clinical study providing scientific evidence for something most of us have heard before: drinking water — plain, pure water — before meals helps you eat less, probably by filling your stomach and helping you feel fuller faster, or at least by reducing the amount of sugary sodas you might otherwise drink. The study says that in their trials, people 55-75 years of age who drank two cups of water before meals ate 75-90% fewer calories, and lost 5 pounds more during the study period than a control group who did not drink water before meals.

Well, this proves that just about anything can be made into a Mormon history post.

Our ancestors promoted the drinking of water — not to lose weight, but as a healthful alternative to drinks condemned by the Word of Wisdom. They even wrote songs to promote the drinking of water. Here are two such songs, the first dating to 1875 and the second to 1887.

They’ll never make it into the hymnbook, but they’re kind of fun.




  1. Drinking any beverage just before/during/after meals also causes/contributes to reflux… jus’ sayin’…

    Comment by Ariel — August 24, 2010 @ 7:48 am

  2. I now need to find a way to interject “potations” into a conversation.

    Comment by kew — August 24, 2010 @ 9:42 am

  3. Awesome.

    Comment by J. Stapley — August 24, 2010 @ 9:53 am

  4. I’m guessing the verse…

    “Kiss not to me the mantling brim where dancing bubbles gaily swim. For in each shining crystal round, a deadly lurking fiend is found.”
    is refering to champagne/sparkling wine. IIRC, carbonated soft drinks were still in their infancy in 1875.

    Comment by Bruce Crow — August 24, 2010 @ 10:09 am

  5. How fun. I love me a good ode.

    So long as I drink a glass of water 10-15 minutes before a meal (giving it time to flush through my stomach), I find it to be extremely effective in tricking my brain into thinking I’m full. If I drink right before/during my meal, well, I agree with Ariel that it seems to get in the way of good digestion. Anyhow, now I have a couple of tunes to hum while I’m imbibing my pre-meal drink. [wink]

    (I had to go look up what a “rill” was, and suddenly I understand that line from “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” a little better (“I love thy rocks and rills”). Thanks, Keepa!)

    Comment by David Y. — August 24, 2010 @ 10:21 am

  6. Usually I am the incurable optimist, but these days, pretty much any surface water west of the Mississippi, including lakes, rivers, streams, ponds, and even the gushing rills, are contaminated by the Giardia parasite, courtesy of the BLM and the Forest Service and their cattle grazing policies. Just sayin’.

    Comment by kevinf — August 24, 2010 @ 2:11 pm

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