Myth: You must drink at least 8 glasses of water a day
Bust: Somewhere around 1945 a government health agency said that the human body needed around eight glasses of fluid a day. This statement included getting fluids from other sources like the foods we eat and drinks like teas and infusions. Over time the term “fluid” became “water” and the modern water myth was born. That eventually became 8 eight-ounce glasses, more commonly known as the 8×8 rule. But there has been much research to prove otherwise. Heinz Valtin, a Dartmouth Medical School professor, found no scientific evidence to support the eight glasses rule.
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That’s not to say there are not some proven benefits to drinking water: Dehydration slows down your metabolism and drinking 5 glasses can help reduce the chance of getting some cancers, including colon and bladder cancers.
So how much water should you drink? At least enough to replace the fluids you lose through breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements, according to the Mayo Clinic. You can replace it by drinking fluids and foods that naturally contain water. Ever notice that vegetarians don’t feel the need to “drink” as much water as omnivores. Why? Because their diet includes lots of fruits and vegetables, which contain large amounts of fluid. That’s why during summers, our bodies have a tendency to want more fresh fruits and veggies—to keep the body hydrated. You can also get fluids from other sources, if you’re a tea or mate drinker, for example.
Much like the myth of need eight glasses of water, it’s long been said that once you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. If is definitely a sign from your body telling you, it is time to feed it some fluids. And there is no better fluid than water. So, if you’re thirsty, drink some water. If you aren’t, don’t. No need for counting to eight!