Friday, April 5, 2013

True or False: I need to drink eight glasses of water a day.

OK... This is something I hear all the time... everywhere. I remember a period of time in high school when this craze began. Somehow it was wrought into all out heads that we need to drink 8 glasses of water a day! Girls would bring to school mini jugs of water to sip on all throughout the day. Along with that came multiple visits to the ladies room! We are constantly told that water is one of the keys to maintaining beautiful and youthful skin. We are told to drink water to exhaustion and if we don't there will be consequences.

So what is true?!

This statement is absolutely false. What is true is that up to 60% of your body is water, the brain is composed of 70% water, and the lungs are composed 90% of water.Our bodies have an amazing way of maintaining homeostasis, and sometimes we just have to trust that it can work itself. Our kidneys contain a complex system that control how much water is absorbed into the system and how much is excreted in urine. The kidneys also maintain salt balance and blood pressure. When your body needs water - It will let you know!

Remember, "water" is not only in what we drink, but also in the foods we eat. An apple for example is around 85% water!

In fact, drinking too much water can cause hyponatremia ( too much water and not enough salt). This itself can have negative impacts on the body.

So... while it is important to stay hydrated and drink water multiple times a day.. we should not get caught up on this figure. We should however, listen to our bodies, and use that as a gauge for what we need - whether is is more water, more sleep, or more exercise.

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