You’ve likely heard the oft-repeated advice to down 8 glasses of water a day, but you may be surprised to learn this hasn’t actually been backed by science. We’ll be diving into the biggest myths around one of our most vital life-sustaining resources – water.
Water is one of our body’s biggest chemical components, making up around 70% of our body weight – so it’s no surprise that we need this stuff to live. Every part of our body – from our cells to our organs – rely on water to function, just take a look at some of the critical functions it's responsible for:
- Clears out waste and toxins through our bowel movements and urination
- Regulates our temperature
- Helps lubricate our joints
- Keeps us hydrated – dehydration leaves us feeling fatigued, headachy and weak, and even a mild form of dehydration can take us out.
Myth #1: We should be drinking 8 glasses of water a day
Since the 8-glasses of water myth was never proven, you’re probably wondering where it actually came from. It was actually popularised by a weight loss program rather than any reputable medical journal. So, what does the research actually say? Well, it’s all about drinking when you feel like it and taking sips throughout the day – but you don’t have to wait until you’re parched to drink, nor do you have to force yourself to drink, it’s about striking a balance. It’s also not ideal to be chugging excessive amounts of water at once, but it's worth noting that drinking when you feel like it may not necessarily be enough for everyone – various studies have come out over the years with differing recommendations for staying hydrated, but it’s worth noting that your individual needs play a role in your health – it’s not a one-size-fits-all. Environmental factors like your weight, your activity level and the climate you live in. that’s why it’s essential to get to know your body.
Myth #2: You can only drink your water
There are a number of foods which provide hydration – cucumbers, for instance, are 90% water, and this water consumption counts towards keeping you hydrated. Of course, it’s important not to solely rely on food for water, but don’t underestimate their worth either. Your body gets around 20% of its water needs from our food, so you’ll need to drink the rest! The foods that have the most amount of water are fruits and raw veggies, including the following:
- Watermelon – it’s in the name!
Ensuring you’re getting foods like these in your diet also have the added benefit of fibre to improve digestive, along with a good dose of vitamins and minerals.
Myth #3: You can’t be dehydrated if you’re not thirsty
I know we said it’s about drinking when thirsty and relying on your body’s signals to ensure you’re hitting those aqua targets, but, as we mentioned earlier, it’s not a one-size-fits-all. As dehydration occurs when your body needs to replenish lost fluids, your individual body and environment will affect this process – this is because thirst may not always be a trustworthy marker for low hydration. Some, especially older people, won’t feel thirsty until their bodies are dehydrated already. This is why you should up your intake of water in hotter weather or after physical activity, along with sipping some water even when you’re inactive. Take a look at some of the major signs you’re dealing with dehydration:
- Excessive thirst
- Less frequent urination
- Dark-coloured urine
- Fatigue and weakness
A few extra tips for your hydration
- If you exercise often or intensively, you’ll need to drink more water to replenish lost fluids.
- Conditions like kidney stones often mean you’ll need to drink more water – but do check in with your doctor on this one to ensure you’re meeting your needs.
- The colour of your urine is a great indicator of your hydration – it should be pale yellow in colour, while darker urine is a sign something is amiss. Your urine doesn’t need to be clear – another myth busted! – as some vitamins, specifically B vitamins, tend to add a bit of colour to urine.
- Remember, if you drink more, you’ll end up going to the toilet more. This is why many of those sticking rigidly to the 8-glasses-a-day routine find themselves in and out of the bathroom – constantly.
If you’ve been having a little trouble keeping that sugar addiction at bay, we’re here to help. We know how hard it can be stick to your health goals – especially when you’re trying to manage it alone. Join us for the 8-Week Program where we’ll be quitting sugar and turning our health dreams into a reality. When you sign up with us, you’ll have the whole team rallying behind you, along with access to clear-cut meal plans, community support and exclusive access to our sugar-free content. Here’s what’s on offer:
- 8 weeks of meal plans and shopping lists
- Delicious and easy member-only recipes
- Community forums to share your journey
- Support and guidance from the I Quit Sugar team
- Exclusive content from our panel of experts
So, if you’re ready to ditch sugar and the host of maladies that come with it, it’s not too late to JOIN NOW!