While there is no doubt that there are several important health benefits of drinking water, the question of how much is enough continues to trouble people. I think all of us have heard the thumb rule that you must drink 8 glasses of water every day. But you might not know that while this is a good thumb rule, it is definitely not backed by scientific proof. In other words, there is no scientific evidence behind recommending 8 glasses of water a day. In order to gain the complete health benefits of drinking water, you need to ensure that you are getting enough water in your body to balance the water that you are losing from your body. What we’re doing here is looking at how water contributes towards healthy living and how we can make sure that we are drinking enough water every day.
8 Glasses of Water Not a Scientific Fact
The myth isn’t that you shouldn’t drink 8 glasses, the myth is that this is a scientific recommendation. Snopes has placed several places from where the myth might have originated but doesn’t fix on exactly where it came from. Sufficient to say 8-12 is a good number to follow but it is only a thumb rule.
Health Benefits of Drinking Water
- Every part of the body is dependent on water. The body is made up of around 60% water, A person’s brain is 75% water, blood 82% and lungs nearly 90%. Water is important for making sure your body runs well.
- A hydrated body speeds up your metabolism, helping fight weight gain.
- It keeps the liver and kidney functioning optimally ensuring no fat gain.
- An old weight loss trick is to drink water before meals.
- Lowers blood pressure, reduces constipation, asthma, depression, irritability and reduces stress.
- Keeps your body temperature in check.
Drinking Water Prevents Water Retention: Water retention happens when your body doesn’t trust you to keep it sufficiently hydrated. In other words, too much water does not cause retention, too little does. Your body stores water (in the ankles, hips and thighs) because it believes it may not get it’s daily requirement. If you drink enough water, you will notice that you lose weight quickly and suddenly – the body no longer stores water and you feel healthy again.
So are 8-12 Glasses Enough?
It’s a good start. In addition, your water requirement changes based on…
- Exercise and physical sports cause you to sweat more so drink additional water during workouts.
- If you’re out in the sun a lot, make sure you’re drinking more water again.
- Water also comes from fruits so try and make fruits part of your daily dietary intake.
- Aerated drinks, alcohol and coffee dehydrate your body so make sure to drink additional water.
- Unhealthy foods will dehydrate you – that’s why you ALWAYS feel thirsty with salty or deep fried food.
- If you’re ill then rehydration is extremely important.
Remember: If you’re drinking enough water to ensure that you never feel thirsty and are producing colorless or slightly yellow urine, you are already getting enough water for your body.