Friday, April 25, 2008

Water, the legend, the myth, the reality

Water has always been under great debate and scrutiny so I figure I'd get this one out of the way early. There are basically two extremes to this argument with a variety of gray in the spectrum. On one end you have people who think water is the godsend and you should drink as much as humanly possible during the day. On the other end are the ones who shun waters existence and curse the day that water was born and was forced upon us to consume in those unheard of quantities. I hope that most people are going to be somewhere in the middle of those two extremes. I fall into the middle some where though I lean more towards the drinking more water than not side.

I have read through a number of different articles talking about how much water do I need, should I drink eight glasses a day, how much is too much, and is there any benefit to drinking more water. The following is what I got out of the articles.

Drink water.....

Let's start out with some basics. Below are two simple formula's for figuring out how much water you should drink.

Male Drinking Requirement, in fluid ounces:Body Weight x .35
Female Drinking Requirement, in fluid ounces:Body Weight x .31

Those are just general formulas for an average person.

Hydration Calculator
This a series of nine questions that will help you to determine how much water you need. Take it for what it's worth and not as the final word on how much water you should drink.


Water: How much should you drink every day?
This article was posted at the Mayo Clinic site. Among the articles I read it provided a good amount of comprehensive coverage. It lists the health benefits of water which include flushing toxins and bringing nutrients to the body. It goes on to explain three approaches to determining how much water you need, replacement, 8 - 8 ounce glasses a day, and dietary recommendation. All three approaches boils down to this quote taken from the article, "Even apart from the above approaches, if you drink enough fluid so that you rarely feel thirsty and produce 1.5 liters (6.3 cups) or more of colorless or slightly yellow urine a day, your fluid intake is probably adequate." Next it discusses different factors, exercise, environment, health conditions, and pregnancy/breast-feeding, that will affect the amount of water you need. Then it continues with other sources of water besides plain water such as fruits and vegetables, milk, juice, and other beverages. Finally it wraps things up with ways to stay safely hydrated, not relying solely on if you feel thirsty before you drink something, and to make sure your water bottle is sanitary.


Benefits of drinking water oversold?
This article from MedicineNet.com was one of a number of sources that had an article about a recent study on benefits of water. I picked this one because it seemed to be the most detailed of them all as it outlines all the claims of water instead of just glossing over them. It covers the five claims of water, Drinking water helps to excrete toxins, Drinking water helps your organs work better, Drinking water reduces food intake and helps you to lose weight, Drinking water improves skin tone, and Drinking water wards off headaches. The general consensus of all the claims on whether or not they are true is that water does not help as much as it has been claimed too.

Basically there is no real benefit of drinking more water. On the same note, there is no real benefit of not drinking more water. It just comes down to personal preference and listening to your body. The article ends with some thoughts on the placebo effect of water. It says that if you think that water is helping you lose weight, have better skin, makes you feel stronger, or any other benefit that you perceive more water consumption is giving you, continue to do it. Like I said before, science hasn't really proven that more water is better, and there is no benefit of not drinking more water. So if you feel good because you just downed your eighth - eight ounce glass of water then drink on.

I like to drink water, most of the time. It does get hard to stomach after large quantities of it, but that goes for most things in life. I am a believer in the placebo effects of water in that I think it makes me feel better, makes my skin look a little better, and it gives me a general feel of being healthier when I drink more water than less.

I hope that this write up covers some questions you might have had about water and how much you need. As always stay fit, listen to your body, and you will be on your way to being 365 fit. Good things.

1 comment:

Abimars said...

Very enlightening