Is it a myth or fact that this many glasses of water can make you healthier? There is a difference between quenching your thirst and drowning your cells in an over-abundance of water. Yes, there is indeed such a thing. First, let us look at the facts…
- If you have a speedy metabolism – either you are young and your active cells burn energy more efficiently or you just have the right genes that keep things going for you – you will need more water than those with lower metabolic rates.
- Hotter equatorial climes see people in need of more water in their system than those living in cold, cool, or snow-ridden areas. Whether you feel thirsty or not, your body uses more water to compensate for hotter climes anyway.
- Water is a fluid and it can be found in foods as well. Yogurt, ice cream, apples and other fruits, all contain water and add to its content in your system.
- A heavier more obese person needs extra water than a lighter slimmer person. In fact, even if you are bulked up on muscle you are still technically bigger than the average person is and your cells therefore need more water.
- How much activity is you involved in everyday? For instance, if you happen to take long walks thrice a week you will require less water than someone who runs two miles a day. The more strenuous the activity, the more water intake is required.
- Gulping slows you down. You can best see this in marathons where sips of water are leagues more effective than downing a large amount in a few seconds. Over-drinking water can result in Hyponatremia, further resulting in nausea, lethargy, headache, confusion, even seizures; these are all rare, though, so not to worry.
- Alcoholic beverages are not the same as bona fide water. The former quickly passes through your system and exits through urination. The latter lingers on for much longer, needless to say the health benefits are light years better with good water than good alcohol.
- On a slightly similar note, flavored water is good for you. Adding natural citrus extracts, or other fruit flavors, or even cucumber extracts make for a healthy drink of water.
So, 8 Glasses Or No 8 Glasses?
Whether it is sweating, urinating, bowel movements, or even breathing your body loses water in these and other ways. Replenishing its natural store keeps your body functioning at optimum levels.
According to an ace study conducted by the Institute of Medicine, using all the simple facts you learned above and some complicated ones…
- The adequate intake (AI) of water for men is approximately 13 cups (or 3 liters) of water a day.
- The adequate intake (AI) of water for women is approximately 9 cups (or 2.2 liters) of water a day.
The common consensus has been to drink ‘eight 8-ounce glasses of water’ each day. This is just a memory-trick to remember the number of glasses to drink (8-8) but at 1.9 liters it is not much different from the Institute’s recommendation.
The main change you need to make in your water intake is to change the word ‘water’ to ‘fluid’. As you learned above, water is found in plenty of diverse sources. If you get enough of them in you everyday you can honestly look forward to a healthier future.