How much water should you drink a day? Most people you ask these days will say that you need to drink at least 6-8 glasses per day. But is this really true?
In all 20 years of my existence, I’ve been told by doctors, parents, and teachers that you NEED to drink 6-8 glasses of water every single day otherwise you risk the chance of dehydrating your body.
I never liked being told that I have to drink a “mandatory” amount of water each day, so I decided to do a little digging and actually found some surprising information behind how much water should you drink a day.
Does it make sense to constantly drink water?
In this article in Daily Mail, general practitioner Margaret McCartney concluded that the advice to drink 6-8 glasses of water per day is “not only nonsense, but thoroughly debunked nonsense.”
If you think about it, McCartney is right. How does it make sense to drink 6-8 glasses of water every day if you’re not even thirsty?
Drinking when you’re not thirsty
I’ve done this so many times before, that I’ve lost count. I used to constantly drink water because I thought it was helping my body.
Man, was I wrong.
In this study, scientists tested people who drank on set time intervals versus people who only drank when they were simply thirsty.
But experts now warn that drinking eight glasses of water a day is not good for you after all – and could be harmful.
The study basically concluded that the group who drank water on timed intervals were NOT more hydrated than the group who simply drank when they were thirsty.
Remember, there’s water in your food!
Do you remember when your mind was blown when your 3rd grade teacher told you that the Earth was 75% water, well… it’s sorta like that with food.
So unless you’re eating nothing but dry white bread all day, chances are that you’re getting a lot of water through the food you eat. In fact, the average person drinks 4 cups of water per day from food.
For example, a 10 ounce orange is 80% water, while even foods like a piece of beef can have up to 70% water. That’s why steaks get dryer and tougher the more you cook them, because they’re constantly losing water.
Do caffeinated drinks dehydrate you?
Last time I checked, you needed water to make coffee, soda, or any beverage for that matter, but why is it that most people believe that caffeinated drinks dehydrate you?
I used to believe the same thing. I thought that drinking coffee or tea would dehydrate me and cause me to lose water.
In this study The Effect of Caffeinated, Non-Caffeinated, Caloric and Non-Caloric Beverages on Hydration, scientists concluded that caffeinated drinks hydrate your body just as well as water. They showed that a cup of coffee hydrated your body just as well as a cup of plain water.
And the same goes for caloric beverage like milk and juice – they have the same hydrating effects as water.
But what about for weight loss??
When it comes to weight loss, it’s pretty much a universal agreement that you should be drinking a ton of water. In fact, some fitness experts even suggest drinking up to 1 gallon of water per day (16 freaking cups!).
Doing so will supposedly flush out toxins and help you lose weight easily. Well… that’s a bunch of horse feces.
When dieting, I do recommend you to try to drink a little bit more water, but not for reasons like detoxifying and accelerating weight loss.
The reason you should drink more water when dieting is because it helps curb hunger and helps you stay full.
Cutting down your calories is never fun, and when you start getting hunger pangs, one of the best things you can do is drink a cup of water. This will greatly help reduce your hunger.
So… how much water should you drink a day??
That depends. If you’re a professional athlete who exercises multiple times per day, then you probably shouldn’t be consulting me for advice. My guess is that you’ll need a lot more water than the average person.
But if you are the average man or woman who simply works out 3-5 hours per week, then my recommendation to you is to simply drink when you’re thirsty.
- If you’re thirsty, drink water.
- If you’re not thirsty, don’t drink water
The human body isn’t stupid. It’s not going to burst into flames if you drink less than 6-8 glasses of water per day.
Hopefully this article gives you some insight to how much water should you drink a day. I realize the advice given in this article is the polar opposite to most water drinking advice, but if you think about it, does it really make sense to structure your day around drinking water?
Agree? Disagree? Let me know what you think below.