Wednesday, February 17, 2010

You need to drink eight glasses of water a day to be healthy

Growing up I was always told that I needed to drink more water, the goal being eight glasses worth. When I was young soda and juice were my main sources of hydration because they obviously tasted much better than water. My mother still to this day claims that I need to drink eight glasses of water a day to maintain properly hydrated. It is a known fact that water is necessary for survival, but doesn't eight glasses worth everyday seem like a lot of water, and do we really need that much? Simply put the answer is no.
It is believed that the "eight glasses of water myth" may have actually originated from a government agency, who in 1945 claimed, "the human body needs around eight glasses of fluid a day, including the fluids from all the foods we eat and drink like coffee and tea." Over time people somehow replaced the word "fluid" with water, and a myth was born. The general answer to the how much water question is that we need enough water and fluids to support what we lose during the day through bodily functions and perspiration. Eight to ten glasses of water a day is a rule of thumb, it is not a minimum and our fluid intake does not need to come from just glasses of water.
Many medical professionals claim the best advice for the water rule is,"if you are thirsty drink, if you are not thirsty don't." http:/// Medical School advocates only drinking water when you are thirsty because even modest amounts of increases in fluid intake can result in "water intoxication," which can lead to mental confusion and even death has occurred in some athletes. Also, once you become thirsty it is not too late, you are not already dehydrated. It is often stated that by the time people are thirsty, they are already dehydrated. "On the contrary, thirst begins when the concentration of blood (an accurate indicator of our state of hydration) has risen by less than two percent, whereas most experts would define dehydration as beginning when that concentration has risen by at least five percent."http:///
The truth of the matter is eight glasses is just a magic number, and the amount of water to keep a person adequately hydrated varies from person to person.

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