We always hear about the countless purported benefits of drinking plenty of water, from improving memory and mental health by drinking eight glasses of water to boosting energy and improving skin, but some health experts seem to have a different opinion on the matter.
According to the New York Times, the explanation for drinking a lot of water is exaggerated, explained Kelly-Ann Heydemann, a kidney function researcher at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Of course, she added, staying hydrated is important, but the idea that just drinking more water will make you healthier just isn’t true.
She also said that it’s not true that most people are chronically dehydrated or that we should drink water throughout the day.
The most important indicator of hydration is the balance between sodium and water in the body, explains Dr. Joel Taupf, MD, a nephrologist and associate professor of medicine at the University of Oakland in Michigan.
How many glasses of water do we need per day!!
The common recommendation is to drink eight glasses of water a day, says Tamara Hugh Butler, an exercise scientist at Wayne State University, emphasizing that the idea is a myth.
She added that factors such as body size, outside temperature, difficulty breathing and sweating will determine how much water we need.
She stressed that the amount of water we need each day also depends on our health, noting that people with conditions such as heart failure or kidney stones need different amounts of water than those who take diuretics.
In contrast, Dr. Töpf explains that, for most healthy young people, the best way to stay hydrated is to simply drink water when thirsty.
Do you have to drink water to stay hydrated?
From a purely nutritional point of view, drinking water isn’t necessary to stay hydrated, but it’s better than unhealthy options like sweetened soda or fruit juice, explains Dr. Hugh Butler.
Regarding the common belief that drinking caffeine or alcohol dehydrates us, Dr. Töpf says the effect is minimal.
He also explained that water can be obtained from what we eat, as fluid-rich foods and meals such as fruits and vegetables, soups and sauces contribute to water intake.
The myth of drinking water to lose weight
It is rumored that drinking a lot of water contributes to weight loss, but what not everyone knows is that this information is incomplete and sometimes incorrect.
Drinking water helps in losing weight within certain cases and special mechanisms
Such as drinking water before and after food, and refraining from drinking water while eating, as this affects the digestion process
Drinking water is one of several processes that contribute to weight loss and does not depend on drinking water a lot as a way to lose weight without exercising and reducing sugars.