Do You Really Have to Drink 8 Glasses of Water a Day?

Rebecca Stokes We Tried It

waterDrinking water is apparently the magic key to curing all our body's problems. Eight glasses a day, that's what everyone says. Feeling tired? Drink more water. Want to lose weight? Make sure you're drinking enough water. House beset upon by evil spirits? Holy water works. I kid, I kid. But seriously -- water is touted as the solution to all ills, or so modern medicine would have you believe.

On the one hand, it's makes sense. The human body is comprised of 60 percent water. Maintaining solid levels of hydration is key to keeping us all up and running. But the 64 ounces of the stuff popularly pushed on all of us, is that really necessary? Some scientists say no.

One doctor points out in a study what we're doing wrong when we force down water. We aren't factoring food into the equation. That's right! Water-purists insist that stuff like fruit, coffee, or vegetables don't count towards your final tally. But several studies say otherwise.

While the average woman is found to be "well-hydrated" with fluid levels of 94 ounces, most of that comes from the food she eats throughout the day. This would point to something much more logical than drowning our guts in water eight times a day -- drinking water when we are thirsty for it. Listening to your body. How novel. 

I have a tendency to be a bit of a camel. I go for long periods throughout the day without drinking. Whenever I get a headache or feel sluggish, I typically blame it on me not being hydrated. That is because I have been brainwashed by this whole cult of All of the Water. Yesterday I decided to put this theory to the test and hydrate the hell out of myself and see what happened.

I noticed no real change in how I felt throughout the day. I wasn't more alert, nor was my skin transformed to that of a newborn babe. I mean, other than the fact that I am now much more familiar with the office restroom and can also tell you that if you've ever considered using a port-a-potty in a public park, maybe don't. Ever.

If anything it turns out that my natural shifts in energy throughout the day were just that -- natural. Sleepy after lunch? Sure, digesting. Tiny-sized headache by 5? Of course, I've been staring at a screen all day. In fact, as an avid eater of apples and berries, my going for long stretches without drinking water make a lot of sense. My body is already getting the hydration it needs. It's back to the camel's life for me. Minus the toe aspect. Because that is foul.

Do you buy into the eight glass a day rule?

 

Image via bradleygee/Flickr

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drinking, energy & fatigue