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The common advice to drink eight glasses of water a day doesn't hold water, say nutrition and kidney specialists who want to dispel the myth.
"What drove us to drink two litres of water a day?" asks an editorial in this week's issue of the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health.
The recommendation was driven by vested interests rather than health, suggests author Speros Tsindos of the department of dietetics and human nutrition at La Trobe University in Victoria, Australia.
Chef Rodney Bowers, left, pours a glass of water as Russell Smith, organizer of a campaign to encourage the drinking of tap water instead of bottled water at restaurants, looks on. Other beverages also help us meet the body's fluid needs, say nutrition specialists. (Aaron Harris/Canadian Press)
"Humans need to maintain fluid balance and need to drink water when required, but should also consider fluid in unprocessed fruits and vegetables and juices. There is further evidence that water and a well-balanced diet does far more than water alone," Tsindos wrote.
"Water is important for health; however, the recommendation of eight glasses of pure water per day appears an overestimation of requirements."
Even a baked potato is 75 per cent water, said nutrition Prof. Susan Barr of the University of British Colombia, who sat on a Canadian-U.S. committee that looked at fluid intake.
"There's nothing magical about water from a glass of water as opposed to water from a food or any other beverage," Barr said.
Drinking caffeinated beverages such as tea and coffee do not lead to dehydration, said Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, a nephrologist at the University of Pennsylvania who reviewed research claims on drinking eight glasses of water and studied how the kidneys handle it.
Let thirst guide you
"Drinking the coffee will count towards your total water intake for the day," Goldfarb said.
Goldfarb said despite the common idea that it's important to "drink eight glasses of eight ounces of water" a day, "There’s no evidence that benefits health in any real way and it really represents an urban myth."
There's no evidence you need to drink more water than what thirst dictates, Goldfarb added.
Studies on desert nomads showed people can consume minimal amounts of water in harsh environments. The military has also looked at how much water soldiers need to take with them when patrolling in hot climates without harming their performance.
"If one is just playing a game of tennis in an indoor facility, for example, or having a short run on a treadmill in an air-conditioned gym, the need to maintain hydration during that is just non-existent," Goldfarb advised.
People have died of dehydration and from drinking too much water too quickly.
A good guide to tell if the body’s finely tuned fluid balance is to check the colour of your urine. If it's very dark, you're on the dry side; if it's very light or translucent, then you need to drink a bit less water, said Dr. David Price, head of family medicine at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont.
sharkman121 wrote:somebody embed d vid for mih nah
not saying i agree with it 100% but i want Vega and his 8 LITRES of water a day to see this.
Rx wrote:not me and kidney stones again. No Sah !
Bizzare wrote:Your body tells you when it's lacking water. It's called thirst. And thirst doesn't mean u gotta be panting with a dry throat. Forcing water down your body when you're clearly filled up on water and not in need can even be detrimental. Read up on "water intoxication".
I use to fool myself too thinking I'm being all healthy and sh1t by stuffing more than sufficient water down my gut That's ignorance and you can pay for that later on by thinking you doing something good to the body. There are products out there for ridding the body of contaminants. Going on a water craze is not the way.
I'm sure you heard and believe that too much of a good/one thing is not good. Water included.
AllTrac wrote:your water requirements would definitely differ from one person to another according to their activity levels, food and sodium consumption. For me, i put down 7 glasses of water without even noticing it or trying to get 8 glasses down. Its just a normal need for me, i get thirsty and i drink water during the day, end up being 7 glasses, give or take 1.