So I was browsing Facebook earlier today, and saw a link for an article on WebMD that “debunked health myths”. Naturally , I was intrigued. The very first myth they discussed was about the age old advice to drink 8 glasses of water a day. I agree with them that this is inaccurate advice (or in other words a myth), BUT not at all for the reason they gave us in the article.
The article said that most people get enough water through their day by drinking only when they are thirsty, as well as from foods they eat. They went on to say that coffee and tea will hydrate you just as well as water.
That may be true in a strictly survival-based medical model, but my health philosophy is not about just SURVIVING…. it’s about flourishing, thriving, feeling great and LIVING life to the fullest! How about you?
Here is why I disagree with their statements. First, coffee and tea have acidic and diuretic qualities, which mean they take water to metabolize and remove them from your body, through the kidneys. So while they are indeed fluids going into your body, they do not NET you hydration for other cellular processes. My second concern with the article is that if you wait until you are thirsty to drink, you are ALREADY dehydrated. So I will agree that if you drink only when you are thirsty, yes – you will accomplish the goal of survival. But why even let it get to that point? You need H2O for brain function, maintaining blood volume, kidney and liver cleansing properties, cellular health, digestion, and so many other things that go on daily in our bodies. Why would we want to wait for the body to say, “Help! My stash is low!” before stocking up our inventory?
Now, here is any I agree with them that eight 8 ounce glasses a day for everyone is not correct. While it’s an OK starting point, it’s a blanket recommendation that does not take into account the individual. For example, why would a 12 year old student and a 250 pound linebacker need the same amount of water? The answer: They don’t. Their bodies have different needs.
Here is accurate advice for a healthy, preventative lifestyle (not just survival):
Aim for half your body weight in ounces. Weigh 200 pounds? Drink 100 ounces. It’s as easy as that. Try to spread it out throughout your day. Add more if you sweat or exercise during your day, are pregnant, or take medications that dehydrate you. People who stick to this rule have less headaches, less fatigue, more energy, and just feel better overall. I guarantee it!
So be your own critic when you read things online. Does it make sense to you? Are you confused by conflicting advice? Give us a call or send us a message and we will help you wade through all the information out there. I promise to always explain my opinions. Then you decide what’s best for you!