Debunking The 8 Glasses A Day Myth: What's Optimal?

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Debunking The 8 Glasses A Day Myth: What's Optimal?

Drinking Water

Whether for maintaining healthy skin, staying hydrated, or promoting a healthy metabolic rate, drinking 8 glasses of water has been the norm. However, health experts suggest that this is a myth; while eight glasses might be sufficient for some, they could be too much or too little for others. Let us understand more about how much water is too much and what is the ample dose of water required by a majority, and how to recognize it.

Drinking 8 Glasses a Day

While it is suggested that one must consume 60 ounces a day, it varies according to age, physical fitness levels, activity level, gender, and geographical location. For instance, individuals living at higher elevations or in dry/hot climates may require increased hydration.

It is suggested that water intake should be calculated in ounces and should equate to 25-50% of one's body weight. For those who sweat a lot while working out, they should consider consuming 17 ounces of water at least 2 hours before exercise.

What is the Right Quantity?

It is a fact that water loss takes place throughout the day through various physiological activities and natural bodily functions that include bowel movements, passing urine, perspiration, and even through breath. However, for a normal body to function properly, it is essential to replenish the supply of liquid, whether through water intake or through beverages or foods that supply water to the body.

Suggested fluid intake by health experts:

  • Around 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids per day for men
  • Around 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids per day for women

It is essential to note that fluid refers to liquids, beverages, and food that contain water. Interestingly, fluid obtained from food typically accounts for about 20% of total fluid intake.

Should One Drink 8 Glasses a Day?

Drinking eight glasses a day is generally the recommended intake for everyone. However, other factors should also be considered:

  • Consuming water when feeling thirsty is enough to keep an adult hydrated throughout the day.
  • Water consumption differs based on individual needs, which may be less than eight glasses per day.
  • Some people may need more water if they exercise more or live in a hot or humid environment where they perspire a lot.
  • The health of an individual is another deciding factor; for instance, water loss due to diarrhea, vomiting, or other illnesses requires ample water intake.
  • Lactating women and women during gestation may require additional fluid intake.

In conclusion, hydration levels are determined by two factors:

  • If you rarely feel thirsty
  • The color of urine is light yellow to colorless

A dietitian is the right choice to help you understand your daily water intake requirement. Another thing to remember is that eight glasses per day are not required for everyone; it varies for each individual.

Medical Disclaimer: The information and reference materials contained here are intended solely for the general information of the reader. Patients and consumers should review the information carefully with their professional health care provider. The information is not intended to replace medical advice offered by physicians. You should consult your physician before beginning a new diet, nutritional or fitness program. The publisher or its management do not claim responsibility of this information.