Tuesday, April 8, 2008

How Much Water Should I Drink Each Day?

It is often said that we should drink 8 glasses (I assume 8 cups) of water each day. That is a medical myth (a statement without any scientific basis). However, I think it is a good advice. Here's why.

8 cups is a half gallon. We should take in at least of half gallon of fluids each day. If we are physically active with exercise or just lots of movement at work or home, we need even more, up to twice that much. We lose water every day through our skin, with sweating whether we feel it or not. We breath out water vapor with each breath. We need water to help keep our stools soft and to keep our urine flowing. Our bodies are about 60% water, even more if we take away the bones. Almost every chemical reaction in our body uses water.

If we are not drinking water, what are we drinking? Sodas are not good for us, too much sugar and even the artificially sweetened ones have lots of phosphorus that leaches calcium out of our bones. Fruit juice also has lots of high glycemic sugar. Better to eat the natural fruit. Coffee is ok in moderation, but is a diuretic and makes us lose more water than we would naturally. Tea does the same thing, and is often sweetened. Water is clearly the best liquid to drink. I consider it the cleanser of the body. It washes out those waste products in the blood, especially the ones that come with losing weight.

So, make water the mainstay of your daily fluids. 8 cups is not too much to drink. Use other fluids sparingly and eat well. Even though the 8 cups recommendation is a medical myth, I think it is still good advice.

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