How much water to drink a day? You’re probably familiar with the popular health rule that says you should drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. Still, you must wonder where it came from or if it’s ever been proven.
If you have doubts about this rule, you may be thinking correctly. There’s no solid scientific evidence that supports this rule. However, it continues to make rounds and many people strongly believe it.
This post will review the rule’s origin and validity and health professionals’ current recommendations.
Where Does the 8x 8-Ounce Rule Come From?
We can’t say for sure where the 8x 8-ounce rule originated. There isn’t a specific study showing this as the exact amount of water a person needs in a day. This rule may have just been a rough suggestion that ended up spreading very quickly. Drinking adequate water can have more of an effect on your health than fitness supplements, so it is critical to drink enough water.
However, there have been speculations that the rule was first propagated by a popular weight loss program years ago. Many other people believe the source of the rule was a recommendation made by the National Food and Nutrition board in 1945. Either way, people do suspect there is actual logic behind the rule. Specifically, for every calorie of food consumed, there needs to be at least 1ml of fluid intake. So for people consuming an average of 2,000 calories a day, 2000ml of water would be the required fluid intake. This is approximately 64 ounces or eight 8-ounce glasses.
Unfortunately, a school of thought believes this amount of water would be too much for some people and too little for others. Also, people have pointed out that this rule fails to consider that a percentage of the body’s fluid requirements is compensated for in the food we eat. It also doesn’t factor in how dry it is where you live or how much you are sweating. Additionally, it doesn’t take into account how much time you spend outside, your activity level, or multiple other factors.
How Valid Is This 8x 8-Ounce Rule?
As we’ve stated, many medical professionals and scientists believe that this rule is a myth. Some even say the amount of water specified by this rule could be too much for certain people to consume.
Furthermore, they claim that normally healthy people don’t need to drink such large quantities of water. There may be a few exceptions like athletes or nursing mothers.
Their argument is based on the fact that the human body has a natural regulatory system that ensures the body stays hydrated. This is done when your body triggers the sensation of thirst. So a person can adequately hydrate themselves just by following their sense of thirst.
On the other hand, if people are overly conscious about drinking water, there’s a risk of overhydration. This could lead to hyponatremia. Hyponatremia is a case of low sodium concentration in the body due to high water retention. The argument also relies on the fact that some of our water needs are satisfied by the water content in the food. Things like fruits and vegetables can contain quite a lot of water.
Even in the cases of people with increased water needs, medical professionals insist that the 8-glasses rule may not be accurate. For example, while athletes may need to drink more water to replenish what they lose in sweat, it’s not established that they’d have to drink up to eight glasses daily. They could even drink more than that amount. Also, while increased water intake may benefit people with illnesses such as kidney stones, it’s not determined whether they’ll need precisely eight glasses of water daily.
Drinking Enough Water Is Still Important
While these scientists and professionals don’t necessarily agree with the advice given by this rule, they didn’t outrightly dispute the importance of drinking enough water. Many still maintain that water is the healthiest beverage and the best source of hydration.
Not drinking enough water can lead to mild dehydration (losing up to 2% of the body weight due to fluid loss). However, you don’t need to strictly follow the 8-glasses rule to avoid dehydration. Instead, you should follow your thirst.
Also, the amount of water you get from the food you consume depends on how water-rich the food is. So if you eat enough water-rich foods like fruit and vegetables, you may not need to drink so much water, but if you don’t, you should drink more.
Also, if you regularly perform rigorous physical activities that make you sweat, you’ll need to constantly replenish the water you lost. This doesn’t mean you have to follow the rule to the T, just that you have to drink more water than usual. Breastfeeding individuals also need to be adequately hydrated to replace the fluids they lose while producing milk.
As for healthy people, drinking eight glasses a day may not be necessary, but drinking enough water is. Replacing high-calorie drinks like soda with water can result in significant health changes or even help with weight loss. Drinking enough water can also help your energy levels as well as much as other energy-boosting foods.
Drinking enough water can also reduce the frequency of headaches, improve physical performance, decrease the risk of kidney stones and relieve constipation.
Water Filters Can Help Boost Your Water Consumption
If you’re the kind of person who opts for soda instead of water when you’re thirsty, there’s a tiny possibility that you’re avoiding the water because it isn’t clean. It could be the taste, odor, or color of the water putting you off. Either way, it’s not a sustainable way to live. Filtering your water may be a great way to reduce your resentment toward it. You may even increase your daily water consumption. What’s more? Filtered water comes with a lot of added benefits:
· Lowers your risk of getting waterborne diseases.
· Reduces your risk of ingesting cancer-causing substances.
· Tastes better.
· No odor or color.
· May contain fewer toxins.
· Saves you the cost of buying bottled water.
If you decide to get a filter, look for one that removes a wide range of contaminants. You can start by checking out this Seychelle pitcher review.
In conclusion, we can say that although it’s essential to drink enough water daily, it’s not necessary to follow a laid down rule unless you feel like you have too many distractions. Our bodies can guide us to drink the right amount of water we need to function.