Do I Really Need Eight Glasses of Water a Day?

The one-size-fits-all recommendation does not hold water, researchers say.

Researchers say individual water needs vary from person to person. Therefore, general recommendations for water intake shouldn’t be used. Their recent findings were published in Science, a journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Money Talks News’ recent article entitled “8 Glasses of Water a Day? Nonsense, Says a New Study” reports that for decades, study co-author Dale Schoeller, a University of Wisconsin-Madison emeritus professor of nutritional sciences, has studied how water intake impacts the body.

In a summary of the study findings, he says, “The science has never supported the old eight glasses thing as an appropriate guideline, if only because it confused total water turnover with water from beverages and a lot of your water comes from the food you eat.”

Schoeller says the new research is the best to date for measuring daily water turnover and the factors that influence it.

“Water turnover” is the amount of water going into and out of the body. As a result, it serves as a measurement of how much water the body actually uses each day.

In the study, the researchers measured water turnover in more than 5,600 people of all ages and from 26 countries.

They found that daily averages of water consumption range from one liter per day to six liters per day. (There are about 33.8 ounces in 1 liter.)

The study measured the time it took water to move through a person’s body by tracking the turnover of what researchers call “labeled water.”

In short, the study participants drank water containing trackable isotopes that allowed researchers to know how much water went into and out of their bodies.

The biggest factors that impacted water turnover in the participants included, activity level, sex, age, pregnancy, socioeconomic status and environmental characteristics (latitude, altitude, air temperature and humidity).

In addition, another primary factor was the Human Development Index of the county a participant lives in. This was developed by the United Nations. It’s a measure of a country that combines life expectancy, schooling and economic factors.

In the end, the study findings suggest that given how much variation there is in people’s water turnover patterns, “pointing to one average doesn’t tell you much,” Schoeller says.

Reference: Money Talks News (Nov. 28, 2022) “8 Glasses of Water a Day? Nonsense, Says a New Study”

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