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“The Eight Glasses of Water a Day Myth”

With the warmer weather and longer days, we are reminded to “stay hydrated” and drink eight glasses of water – or about two liters – a day. But is this based on science or is it a myth? Healthy people can actually die from drinking too much water. However, since water and sodium balance are essential to life, it is extremely rare for people to die from drinking too much – or too little – fluid. In most cases, your body’s finely tuned molecular processes are unconsciously taking care of you. Sports and friendly competition try to ensure that we drink compulsory amounts of water throughout the day. “Gallon Challenges” support the widely held belief that water consumption beyond physiological need or thirst is healthy. But this is not so. Individual body water needs – intake – are primarily based upon how much water people lose. How much water each person needs to drink mainly depends on three factors: 1) Body Weight. The bigger you are the more water you need. 2) Environmental Temperature. The hotter it is the more you sweat and lose water. And 3) Physical Activity Levels. Exercise increases water loss. Consequently, a “one size fits all” fluid replacement strategy, such as drinking eight glasses of eight ounces of water per day, is inappropriate for everyone. It is not known where the eight glasses a day myth came from.

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