Many myths have been created around water consumption. This is partly due to the popularity of fitness and a healthy lifestyle: people are seriously concerned about how many times they need to drink water and how much.
For example, there is a very popular statement that we must drink 8 glasses of water a day to be healthy. This is actually a not true. This is a myth. About this and other myths we will talk in this article.
You should drink eight glasses of water a day
This is probably the most common myth. For a long time there has been talk about the “magical” properties of the sacred eight glasses, various studies have been conducted and even apps have been created to calculate personal water consumption.
It is important to remember that the rate of water consumption for each person is calculated individually, based on body weight. It is approximately 30 ml per 1 kg of weight. That is an average of 2-2.8 liters per day.
However, only 35% of this volume should be water and beverages. The rest are:
- water in liquid foods (22%);
- water in solid foods (30%);
- and endogenous water (13%).
Thus, the average need for drinking is 0.8-1 liters.
It is also necessary to take into account the stress to which the person is exposed. For example, on training days the amount of liquid should be increased to 50 ml per 1 kg of body weight.
If you have edema, drink less water
Many people try to drink less water to combat edema. But this only makes it worse, because the lack of water in the body is the main cause of edema.
Our body tends to accumulate what it lacks. Consequently, the less water we consume, the greater the accumulation. To get rid of edema, you need to drink an individual daily rate.
It is better not to drink water with meals
You can and should drink with meals. And nothing bad will happen to you. But you should prefer non-carbonated and unsweetened water. And it’s better not to drink while chewing food (it needs to be impregnated with enzymes and saliva necessary for digestion).
The claim that water dilutes gastric juices is also a myth. On the contrary, it helps to grind the food and make the food lump softer, which facilitates its movement down the esophagus.
The lack of water makes us older
This is also a myth. It appeared as a result of research of scientists who noticed that the body of a newborn baby contains 70% of water, the body of an adult – from 65 to 55%, and in older people the percentage of water in the body decreases even more.
But simply drinking water does not raise that bar. You will never get “berry” again, no matter how much you drink! The fact is that this process is related to other things, namely a decrease in the ability of proteins and some other colloidal substances to bind large amounts of water, which leads to age-related “dehydration”. So it’s not about the amount of fluid you drink, but about your body’s ability to retain water inside.
It’s better to drink water on a schedule to stay healthy
This statement has become so popular that there are even dozens of smartphone apps whose task is to remind you to “wet your throat”, otherwise you will suffer from dehydration.
In fact, this is also a myth. Humans have a sensitive natural detector, the thirst center in the hypothalamus, next to the center of hunger. It always reminds you to replenish your water supply with the thought: “Thirsty!” If you do not limit yourself in liquids, you will get exactly as much as you need at the moment or a little more. You won’t be in short supply for sure.
Drinking without waiting for thirst is the same as eating without waiting for hunger. Just listen to your body!
Drinking too much is dangerous for your kidneys
It’s a myth. Although some doctors still erroneously believe that kidneys that pump large amounts of fluid wear out faster.
In fact, excess water in the body primarily harms the heart, not the kidneys. Although even the excessive consumption of water for a healthy person poses no danger. Only people with heart disease, hypertension, glomerulonephritis, kidney failure and urinary incontinence should limit themselves.
Children and the elderly do not feel thirsty, so they should be given water according to special hours
This is a myth. Children and the elderly are very thirsty, but they cannot quench their thirst in time if they do not serve themselves. In addition, they have a much harder time with dehydration, so they require special care from loved ones.
Pregnant women need to limit fluids
This is not entirely true. You should only limit your water intake if it is prescribed by your doctors. Moreover, it is more beneficial for pregnant women (especially in the late stages) to drink more water.
Restricting drinking leads to a violation of the water balance, blood clotting, increased strain on the body of the future mother. To cope with edema, you should limit the amount of salt, not water.
It is harmful to mix boiled and raw water
It is believed that it causes an upset stomach. Although in reality it is, of course, a myth.
In fact, you should not drink freshly boiled water (60°C or higher). Frequent consumption of such a hot liquid can lead to burns and even laryngeal cancer. Therefore, you should cool or dilute your drink with cold water.
As for raw water. If it is clean (purified from bacteria and impurities), then mix of it with boiled water it is not harmful. Indigestion is caused by raw water contaminated with germs.
You should drink only the “right” water
Today we can often see in advertisements that it is necessary to drink the “right” water. That there is water with special properties: frozen, enriched with oxygen, coconut and structured water, etc. It is much better than drinking ordinary water, because is useless for health.
This, of course, is a myth. In fact, any drinking water is useful for our body. And the only right water is pure water. In order to be sure of its purity, we can simply take a sample to a laboratory for chemical and bacteriological analysis.
As for the special “right” water: its unique properties have not been confirmed by the scientific community. Moreover, in fact it turns out that:
- Frozen water is too distilled. When you use it continuously, it disturbs the water-salt balance of organism. Replacing distilled water with regular water in the heat can cause cramps and heart palpitations;
- Oxygen-enriched water is exhaled within minutes of uncorking the bottle;
- Coconut water has a very specific taste, similar to dried fruit compote or birch juice. That obviously not everyone will like it;
- And the healing properties of structured water is just quackery. Why? It’s all about physics: even if you swallow pieces of ice, the water in the stomach becomes unstructured, i.e. amorphous.
So don’t fill your head with this nonsense. It is better to drink simple, pure water.