Do we really need 8 glasses of water a day?
Staying hydrated is indeed very important for our health, as our body needs water to function properly. But how much water do we need to stay hydrated? Is 8 glasses a day really a guideline?
Real dehydration can be caused by several factors like losing a significant amount of water because of excessive exercising, sweating or illness and not getting enough water. It is a serious health condition that causes various symptoms.
However, is real dehydration a cause for concern for otherwise healthy children and adults? Not really.
How much water we need highly depends on the individual. So much so, that there are no guidelines of how much water we should drink daily. So where does the idea of drinking 8 glasses of water a day comes from?
In 1945 the Food and Nutrition Board have released the basic nutritional recommendation. It said that people need around 2 and half liters of water per day. However, the following sentence, which apparently was ignored by many, stated that most of this quantity is contained in prepared foods.
Water is not the only source of hydration. In fact, you can get water from coffee, tea, milk, vegetables, fruit, meat, fish and other foods. You don’t have to consume all the recommended amount of water through drinks.
While drinking water can have benefits, such as assisting you to lose weight, there is no need to drink 8 glasses or 2-3 liters of water daily. Moreover, drinking too much can cause water toxicity.
You might consider consuming more water if you are an older individual, are exercising a lot or breastfeeding. Otherwise, drink when you’re thirsty, plenty enough to satisfy the thirst and you’ll be just fine!