Do I have to drink eight glasses of water per day?

Everyone knows humans need water and we can’t survive without it. We’ve all heard we should be aiming for eight glasses, or two litres of water per day.

This target seems pretty steep when you think about how much water that actually is, and don’t we also get some water from the food we eat?

We asked five medical and sports science experts if we really need to drink eight glasses of water per day.

According to Karen Dwyer”

You only need to drink to thirst. The best gauge of your hydration level is the colour of your urine. You should aim for light yellow in colour; if very dark then you’re dehydrated and need more water; if clear (like water) then you don’t need so much water. Excessive water intake can be dangerous, particularly in those with heart conditions. The kidney has a remarkable ability to concentrate water so if you are “getting dry” the kidney will concentrate the urine and send a message to the brain to drink more.

According to Michael Tarm Gp

Eight glasses, which is just less than two litres of water, is very roughly the basal water required by a fasting, well adult per day, who is doing nothing at all (for example, staying in hospital), with no special losses (such as vomiting or diarrhoea). In day-to-day life, we usually have additional losses (exercise, or sweating during a hot day), and we receive water from other sources. There are the obvious ones from our diet such as beverages, and juicy and moist foods, such as fruit and vegetables. Less obvious is water from the metabolism of food. The conversion of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins to energy in our bodies all produce water. Rather than focusing on the number of glasses, simply drink fluids when thirsty. Aiming for more water (especially in place of sweetened drinks) is often a good idea to improve health.

 

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