Many people have heard of the generally accepted rule for daily hydration of being eight glasses of water a day. This also equates to 2 liters, which seems like a daunting amount of water to consume that many people are not able to drink daily. Are we really just chronically dehydrated or is this a fact we should question?
Research has been done by nutritionists that do not correlate with the eight glasses a day rule. The reasoning behind the myth is that we lose about 2 liters of fluid a day, just from doing normal tasks like breathing, sitting, and walking. The downfall to the myth is that it does not take into account the amount of water we take in from food, rather than just drinking straight water. Dr. Monica Reinagle, a nutritionist, argues that the food we ingest from water equates to about a liter and a half, especially if fruits and vegetables are part of the diet.
So if we don’t need to drink as much water as previously recommended, how much water is too much? There have been frightening stories of infants and athletes suffering from water intoxication. When the body has too much water, it suffers in the same way the body would drown in fresh water. The sodium levels drop and water seeps into the cells, causing an imbalance of salt outside of the cell. The cells then swell from excess water. In extreme cases, the cerebral edema and fluid in the lungs manifest. These factors can cause death if the sufferer is not medically treated. However, since the kidneys can process 15 liters of water daily, it is not likely for this to occur. Also, is not recommended for a person to drink more than 8 ounces in an hour, so the body has adequate time to process the liquid.
So as a summary, drink water when you’re thirsty and don’t drink more than 8 ounces an hour. Also, don’t drink an excessive amount of water in a short amount of time. Do any of you feel you drink an adequate amount of water? Would you be willing to change your drinking habits based on this nutritionists’ recommendation? Do you believe the research is accurate?