How much water you believe you should be drinking each day? Enjoy the read and let no one trick you into unhealthy lifestyle. Here are the most common myths about water consumption:
1. You need to drink 8 glasses of water per day (or 1/2 of a gallon) This is the most popular water myth. Every year, especially with the beginning of summer, we start seeing advises in media that you need to drink exactly 8 glasses of clean water and how to make yourself drink more if you don’t feel like it anymore. 8 glasses will help you get rid of toxins, lose weight, look younger... and the list goes on. There are even smartphone applications that remind you after a certain period of time that you need to drink water. At the same time, many admit that it is difficult for them to force themselves to drink a lot of water, and on the Internet, you can even find life hacks on how to consume the daily norm.
The fact is, there is no scientific evidence that drinking more water has beneficial effect on health. The norms of fluid intake are individual and depend on many factors, such as age, weight, level of activity, air temperature. In healthy people body itself perfectly regulates the need of water and a signal to drink is a feeling of thirst. Real dehydration is a serious problem, but it has nothing to do with most people.
This myth as many other food myths was born in the USA in 1945, after the publication of the USDA which suggested that the rate of fluid intake for an adult is about 2.5 liters per day.
2. Only clean water counts. This is not true. All the fluid received during the day is taken into account. Soups, juicy fruits and vegetables, any other drinks (even coffee and alcohol). We consume about 30-50% of daily need fluid with our food and drinks. The rest we drink as a clean water.
3. Water reduces appetite Despite the fact that many people drink water before and during meals to reduce their appetite, this has no effect. Water quickly passes through the gastrointestinal tract and does not saturate, as it does not contribute to the production of hormones that indicate that you are full.
4. Water helps to lose weight. This myth roams pages of magazines and newspapers and there is some truth in it. The fact is that sometimes we confuse the feeling of hunger and the feeling of thirst and think that we are hungry, when in fact the body gives a signal of slight dehydration. When it happens, you really need to drink a glass of water, and if hunger receded, then most likely it was false hunger. If you do it this way water will prevent you from getting extra calories.
The second option, in which water helps to lose weight, is if you drink water instead of high-calorie drinks, such as cola, juices or alcohol. Thus, you simply reduce the total number of calories.
That's it! Water does not possess magical fat-burning properties. Moreover, studies at the University of Penn showed that people who drank water at dinner consumed the same number of calories as when they would not drink water.
5. You need to drink water, even if you do not want to This is not true. The feeling of thirst is a mechanism created by nature precisely so that we replenish water supplies when necessary. Therefore, in most cases, you can safely be guided by it. Exceptions may be situations when you have fever, very hot and / or humid weather, intense exercising.
6. Water rejuvenates and improves complexion This statement is true only if you are really severely dehydrated. Dehydrated skin loses turgor, becomes dull and dry. Restoring adequate hydration will improve the condition of the skin, as well as the entire body. But drinking excess water to smooth wrinkles is useless.
7. Water cleanses the body out of toxins. Actually, this happens every time you urinate. Urine is a metabolic product (toxins) dissolved in water. Cleaning toxins is the natural function of kidneys and water doesn't have anything to do with it. If there is not enough water in the body, the kidneys will create highly concentrated urine (dark yellow or orange). But if you drink more than your personal need, this will not accelerate the work of the kidneys and will not lead to additional body cleansing or to do better cleansing. All it will do is dissolving the same number of metabolic products (toxins) in more water. BTW, when you see orange or dark yellow urine, for a long time, it can cause kidney stones, so you need to know you need to drink a little more water. Of course, keep in mind that the color of your urine is not the result of food you ate today (like beets, carrots, oranges, asparagus and others.)
8. We need to drink a lot of water. There is a medical term called "water intoxication." which can lead to kidney failure and even death just from consuming more water on daily basis than your body needs. Water, of course, is useful. But studies that would confirm the norm of 8-10-100 glasses per day do not exist today. The arguments in favor of high water consumption, which are found in the media, are only the following ones: our body consists mainly of water (50–70% of the mass), as well as blood, muscles, brain and bones (85%, 80%, 75% and 25 %, respectively), and therefore the body needs water in order to function normally - at least 2 liters or about 8 cups. And if it is difficult to argue with the first conclusion, then the second is not based on anything. Even in the publication of the USDA in 1945, it was mentioned that the 2.5-liter norm indicated includes not only drinking water, but also all other drinks, as well as all food, which also contains a significant amount of water. Therefore, according to that article, in order to get enough water, you do not need to drink a few bottles a day - you just need to eat right.
9. Water relieves a headache This is refuted by clinical practice and facts. Here the tail and the beginning of the problem where things are confused again. A headache MAY occur during dehydration, but drinking does not relieve it. A sufficient amount of water can prevent a migraine, but it may not help, because there are dozens of reasons for migraines.
10. Water helps to live longer The relationship between the consumption of large amounts of water and high life expectancy has never been established and is nothing more than a basic speculation.
Conclusion: We cannot exist without water. Water is the main component of our body; it accounts for about 60% of body weight. Water is in every cell. The loss of only 1–2% of the fluid causes dehydration, a feeling of tiredness and poor health. Severe dehydration can have irreversible effects and even life threatening. Water is really necessary for well-being and health, but excess water is just as harmful as its lack.
According to Christopher Van Tulecken, an infectious disease specialist, “People have evolved by performing hard physical labor in the conditions of heat and drought. We can get less water than usual without any problems, while even a slight water intoxication will lead to much more sad consequences. In simple terms, drinking too much water is just as bad as not drinking it at all.”
All you need to do is just listen to your body which was genuinely designed and give it water when it is asking for it. Do not force yourself if you don't feel like drinking. And try drinking some water when you have symptoms of hunger, to make sure it's a real hunger. Relax, enjoy your smart body and be off this myth hook!
I saw the picture below in one of Facebook health and fitness groups. These seem like pretty common beliefs relate to water. Even though some of these beliefs I already addressed in the article above. I still will mention there here again as I am going to break the myths from this picture one by one.
1. Banish headaches - MYTH. Water doesn't have healing abilities and can't cure headaches. The only headache it can fix is the one that is caused by severe dehydration and it is extremely rare. 2. Improve your mood - this I don't even know what is. Water doesn't have anything in it to cause such effect on our body. 3. Relieve fatigue - the same as in #1. It only will help if the fatigue is caused by severe dehydration. 4. Boost your energy level - water doesn't have anything in it to support this statement. 5. Relieve constipation - MYTH. Water doesn't have ability to do it. Enzymes and good bacteria are responsible for relieving constipation. Water doesn't have any of them. 6. Flush out toxins - BIG BIG MYTH. That is the work of kidneys which they do every day. It doesn't matter how much water you drink. Kidneys still will flush out the exact same amount of toxins each day. If you drink a lot of water this number of toxins will be just dissolved in more water. If you drink less, your urine will be darker color, but it still will have the same amount of toxins in it. Water doesn't have ability to flush toxins from out body. 7. Improve digestion - MYTH. Again, water doesn't have anything in it to support this statement. 8. Promote weight loss - Another huge myth. Water has zero ability to do it. Even if you drink 5 cups or a bucket of water before your meals, it gets out of stomach in 15 minutes. Water is not food and is not seen by our brain as food. It doesn't send hormonal message to our brain that we are full. 9. Prevent kidney stones - not true. Water has nothing to do with kidney stones. 10. Boost your immune system - I would like to know how? This is not even a myth. It's something sucked out of finger. 11. Improve your complexion - MYTH. Water doesn't have such ability. The only time it can improve complexion is if you are severely dehydrated. 12. Prevent hangovers - true and not true. It can only prevent hangover caused by dehydration after consuming alcohol. 13. Alleviate Back pain - what? 14. Regulate body temperature - this could be the only making sense statement, but it only applies to times when we have fever or being exposed to too hot weather. How much is enough to drink water? - the answer in the picture is so misleading, and doesn't carry any knowledge in it. You can't seriously tell everyone to divide their weight in 2 and that's how many oz they should be drinking. Do you realize that there is a big difference in how different people's bodies waste body water? You can't give the same number to people who work in the field under hot sun, who run 10 miles, and who is sitting in an office under AC all day. The fact that our body is made out of water and that's why we should drink a lot of it is the same as if you say that cars are made out of metal and that's why must be fed with metal... Exactly the same logic here. Our body knows exactly when and how much water we need and for that it has a special signal to us which is called THIRST. You should only drink when you feel thirsty. Drinking anything more than that will overwhelm kidneys and wear out your body which has to deal with all that liquid it doesn't need.