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Recent Report Disputes Daily 8-Glass Water Recommendation


How many glasses of water do YOU drink a day? It’s likely that for as long as you can remember, you’ve been told to drink at least 64 oz of water per day to maintain optimum health.  But recent research indicates that might not necessarily hold true. Apparently the “8 glasses of water a day will help keep the doctor away” myth has been debunked. Let’s take a look at the details of this scientific discovery . . .

How many glasses of water do YOU drink a day? It’s likely that for as long as you can remember, you’ve been told to drink at least 64 oz of water per day to maintain optimum health.  If you have changed your ways (and begrudgingly at that) to include extra water into your daily regimen, you might be disappointed to find out that there is no evidence that drinking eight glasses of water per day will increase your health benefits.
  
WHAT!!!??? Isn’t this one of the longest-running health recommendations of all?

Apparently the “8 glasses of water a day will help keep the doctor away” myth has been debunked. Let’s take a look at the details of this recent discovery . . .

Right from the Doctor’s Mouth
According to a recent article featuring Stanley Goldfarb, MD, professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, there is no evidence to support the benefits of drinking eight glasses of water each day. He also states, "There is also no clear evidence of lack of benefit. There's a general lack of evidence either way.”

Just when did water become such a “way of life”?  Why is drinking eight glasses of water highly recommended?  According to Goldfarb, doctors are not basing this 64-oz recommendation on any scientific information. Goldfarb also stresses this new information is really only for healthy people who have healthy kidneys and who do not live in dry, warm climates. 

Let’s take a look back at what we have been told over the years about how water can benefit us.  Goldfarb has researched these ideas and his findings are surprising.

Remember being told . . .

Water can help improve kidney function and boost detoxification.  According to Goldfarb, the kidney’s filtration ability and ability to remove waste products is called glomerular filtration.  However, in a study where 12 young and healthy people increased their water intake, the increased water amounts decreased their glomerular filtration rate.  And in another study on improved bladder function, a group of older men drank more water and their frequency of urination did not change at all in a six month period.

Water can help you lose weight.  This is one that millions of people in this society are hoping will be true (me included – darn-it!).  According to Goldfarb, “The [medical] literature on this is quite conflicted."  The idea of this is that drinking more water will help you feel fuller and therefore you will eat less.  It is recommended to drink a full glass of water before each meal to induce this effect.  Hopefully more studies will be done to prove this theory to be accurate (cross your fingers).

Water can improve skin tone.  "From a quantitative sense, this doesn't make sense," Goldfarb says. The water you drink will be distributed throughout the body. "Such a tiny part of it would end up in the skin," he says.  In the article, it is stated that a small study showed that drinking more water would increase blood flow, but there were not any studies to see if it improves skin tone.

Could drinking water really just have a psychological benefit?
Absolutely, but there is nothing wrong with thinking eight glasses of water will help you feel stronger and more energetic.  At this time, evidence is lacking in the scientific field for the true benefits of water. There are many people out there who feel a little guilty about not being able to get those eight glasses of water down.  If you’re one of them - you don’t have to feel guilty anymore!

“Most of us,” Goldfarb says, are OK "by trusting our instincts" about how much to drink. "If you have a normal heart, normal kidneys, and normal thirst mechanism, it's not likely you will get dehydrated if there is a sufficient supply of fluids available," he says, “and drink when thirsty.”

We have all grown up with many different reasons why water is the healthiest drink for our bodies.  This is not to say that it is not helpful; however, there is lack of evidence to support that it is more beneficial to drink that 64 oz each day.  So, the next time you think you should have a drink of water, go for it – or not!  It is up to you!



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