More importantly, have you ever tried to do it?
Think about it: a cup of coffee or two in the morning followed by a glass of water. Have some sweet tea at lunch and two more glasses sometime in the afternoon. If you have a glass of wine with dinner and maybe some hot tea after that, you’re going to be full. That’s a lot of fluids- more than most people bother to drink.
But, that’s not really the point. It’s really not all about hitting the numbers every day. It’s more about good hydration. Staying hydrated is critical to healthy organ functioning, but there are a lot of factors to keep in mind. A person’s genetics play a role as does the weather, humidity, level of activity, etc. All of these factors and more need to be taken into account when considering what constitutes good hydration for someone, so where did the 8 glasses a day come from?
No one really knows.
Sure, there are some theories out there. Some are solid ideas. Some are conspiracy theories. But, we know that rigorous physical activity increases the body’s core temperature and drinking water helps keep the body out of the overheated red zone. Also, it’s a myth that we’re all walking around dehydrated all day. The truth is that we should drink water when we’re thirsty. That’s the body’s way of saying, “Hey, pay attention!” In fact, some experts think that by the time your brain sends the “I’m thirsty” signal, you’ve only lost something in the neighborhood of 1-2% of your water which is far from the danger zone.
Plus, keep in mind that we get a considerable amount of water from the food we eat. Fruits and vegetables make up a large percentage of our water intake. Meat also contains a fair amount of water and so does bread and cheese believe it or not.
By this time, you might be thinking that caffeinated beverages such as coffee or soda contribute to dehydration, but the reality is not all that much. While clearly not good for you, caffeine does cause a loss of water, but only a fraction of what you are adding by drinking the beverage itself.
If you enjoy the feeling you get from drinking a lot of water throughout the day, that’s a good thing. We don’t want to get in the way of that, but here’s the thing, you don’t need to feel guilty if you don’t. Chances are, you’re still getting plenty of fluids in your diet.
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