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You Don't Need 8 Glasses of Water a Day

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Some see it as common wisdom now, but the old advice that you need to hydrate constantly-- or else risk becoming a shriveled husk-- is a total myth. In fact, extreme amounts of water can actually be a health hazard! So, where did this myth come from, and why is it so popular?

It's hard to pinpoint where exactly myth originated. Drinking 8oz of water, 8 times a day, doesn't exactly seem like the type of thing a doctor would recommend. In 1945, the U.S. Food and Nutrition Board recommended 2.5 liters of water per day, in order to combat normal water loss in urine, sweat, and breath. In actuality, your body loses very minute amounts of water in normal processes, excepting urine. But since we don't have a meter showing us how much water is in our bodies, we have to rely on another sign of dehydration. That sign is thirst!

You might be remembering reading somewhere that you should drink 'before you're thirsty' in order to prevent dehydration. This could well be the result of some truly brilliant advertising. Water and drink companies often sponsor hydration research teams, like Hydration for Health. The reason? The more you drink, the more it pads their bottom line.

So, can you drink 8 glasses of water a day? Sure! But remember, your body will probably tell you when it needs water. As long as you pay attention to your thirst, and drink when you need to, you'll likely be perfectly hydrated.

Photo: Pixabay