Friday, March 11, 2011


There was a time when I had no problem drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day. Recently, if I make four glasses I think I did well.

But do I really need that much? Complicated answer.

Daily, we lose water through our breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements. For your body to function properly, you must replenish its water supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water.

Heinz Valtin, MD, an emeritus professor at Dartmouth Medical School in Hanover, N.H., and an expert on hydration, wrote in the Journal of Physiology that there is no evidence that supports drinking eight glasses of water a day.

The Mayo Clinc tweaks this rule by saying we should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of fluids a day, since all fluids count toward the daily total. Mayo, like Dr. Valtin, says there is no scientific data to support the fact that we do need this much water, although they say it is an easy rule to remember and can serve as a guideline. With this guideline, coffee and tea would count to our fluid total.

The Institute of Medicine ups this rule a tad, advising men consume roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day and women consume 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day.

Here's Mayo's rule: If you drink enough fluid so that you rarely feel thirsty and produce 1.5 liters (6.3 cups) or more of colorless or slightly yellow urine a day, your fluid intake is probably adequate.

I'm not about to measure my urine, but I will try to up my water intake because it keeps me full. In the middle of the day, when I could eat anything in sight, often a large glass of water might be all I need.

My main problem: I have to remember to reach for the water first before reaching for Twizzlers.

No comments:

Post a Comment