You have probably heard, for far too long, that you should drink eight glasses of water a day; each glass providing 8 ounces of the life-sustaining liquid. It’s known as the 8×8 rule. And it made sense, right?
Your body is mostly water, and it’s easy to see the logic of consuming this resource in abundance. This recommendation was based on previous studies, which made the Institute of Medicine advise men and women to drink 3 and 2.2 liters of beverages a day.
Listen To Your Body
But this target has been hard to achieve for many people, hasn’t it? For some reason, the body does not seem to agree with the reasoning behind this rule.
And as it turns out, your body was right all along. You have an inbuilt capacity to tell when you need more water. The need for a mechanical fluid intake system is completely uncalled for and even harmful to your health.
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Drink Water Only When Thirsty
A study by a group of scientists revealed that consuming more water than you need could put you at risk of suffering from certain health issues.
And they are as serious as can be – some people have even died from taking too much water while trying to comply with some water intake volume recommendation.
But even when the downsides do not take you that far, you will still be putting your health in jeopardy by messing up your sodium balance. This condition is called hyponatremia.
If you knew just how important sodium balance is, you would be concerned more about it than the need to drink excessively.
If there is one thing this study proves, it is that drinking water in the right amount is the only thing that matters.
The study was also able to demonstrate that there is no scientific basis for the recommendation that we should consume eight glasses of water a day. And when you think about it, it makes sense.
Consider how different people’s bodies are regarding size, and how much the level of perspiration varies with physical activity. The study also showed that the brain had a very clear way of letting you know that you had already had enough water.
Biological Mechanism Prevents US From Drinking Unnecessary Water
The participants were made to drink water when they were thirsty, when they were not, and immediately after exercise. They then rated how difficult it was to swallow water under each scenario.
It was thrice as hard for the subjects to take water when they were not thirsty. This resistance was simply the body’s way of saying that the person had excess water.
Besides, fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) also revealed that when people drink water forcefully, some parts of the right prefrontal cortex became very active because the conscious effort was used to overcome the natural swallowing inhibition that kicks in once you have had enough water.
So, the next time you find yourself reaching for your water bottle, ask yourself if you are doing it out of a sense of duty or because your body has asked for it.
If it’s the latter, then go ahead and take a few sips; otherwise, wait until your body gives you the go ahead – you will be healthier this way. Rely on your body’s mechanisms. If you are thirsty, drink. If you are not, do not drink.
A word of caution, though: Many times, our hectic lifestyle can make us miss our body’s signal that we need water. And this is why we may need to make a conscious effort to drink a certain amount of water every day.
Does The US Drink Enough Water?
A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 7% of adults do not drink water at all. This is over 10 million people who are risking their health by not taking enough fluids.
Some of these people may drink other beverages to get the fluids their body needs. But, the problem with these other beverages is that they may contain sugar or alcohol which compromise health.
Epidemiological studies have found that the more water you consume, the less calorically sweetened beverages you will be tempted to take.
Drinking Water Suppresses Appetite
Now, if you are on the diet, overweight and want to slim down, drinking plenty of water does help you lose weight. Research has shown that when you drink a cup of water before meals, it curbs your appetite, and you tend to eat less food.
Also, when you drink water, you replace sugary drinks that are loaded with empty calories. This is why weight loss programs like Weight Watchers recommend you drink at least eight glasses of water a day. But this is only if you want to lose weight. According to the study mentioned earlier in this article, the 8-glass a day recommendation does not hold real value for the average person.
Study Reference: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/313389.php
About The Author:
Matthew often at www.lodlois.com. He enjoys presenting in layman’s terms recent scientific findings related to health, fitness and weight loss. To those who carry extra weight and want to get rid of it in a safe and proven way, Matthew recommends Weight Watchers. Here is some additional info on Weight Watchers and their coupon codes.