You’ve heard the recommendation ad nauseum– drink eight glasses of water a day to stay hydrated!
Now researchers say “never mind”.
The University of Pennsylvania researchers reviewed all the science on staying hydrated by drinking lots of water.
Their conclusion- if you are an athlete, have certain diseases or live in hot, dry climates, you might need to increase your fluid intake. Otherwise more water does not translate to better health and apparently is lacking in any scientific basis.
Water is supposed to
- Minimize headaches from dehydration
- Improve skin tone
- Remove toxins
- Make one less hungry
Dr. Stanley Goldfarb of the University of Pennsylvania told Reuters, “Our bottom line was that there was no real good science -- or much science at all -- behind these claims, that they represent probably folklore," Goldfarb said.
Water helping you excrete toxins was not verified by any scientific study since kidneys do the job regardless of how much water you consumer.
There are no studies about skin tone and headaches, though anecdotal evidence would back up both claims.
The good news is if you want to keep your appetite suppressed, drinking water does not seem to do any harm and if it makes you feel better keep doing it researchers said.
The literature review by Drs. Dan Negoianu and Goldfarb reveals that there is no clear evidence of benefit to increasing water intake. On the other hand, no clear evidence exists of a lack of benefit. “There is simply a lack of evidence in general,” they explain in a press release from ASN.
This might be a good time to cut back on water consumption.
A recent Associated Press investigation reveals that hundreds of drugs are making their way into our drinking water from sedatives, to angina medication, mood stabilizers, drugs for high cholesterol, asthma, mental illness, epilepsy and sex hormones found in the water of 41 million Americans.
How much water do you need every day? Ideally you need to replenish what you lose about a quart and a half. That translates to four to six glasses.
Bottom line says researchers - If you’re thirsty drink- if you’re not- don’t. Just watch out for drinking too much or too little.
The work is published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.