8 Glasses Rule :: Not Too Scientific

A while back Gillian Mayman wrote a piece titled "The mysterious origins of the “8 glasses of water a day” rule" at "Mind the Science Gap". Here are a few excerpts ...


The idea that you need to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day is ubiquitous in American culture. I’ve had doctors tell me this. I’ve read it on credible medical web sites. I’ve listened to a professor of public health discuss this as if it is scientific fact. However, there is no scientific basis for the “8 glasses of water a day” rule. Even more intriguingly, the origins are somewhat of a mystery.
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So how much water do we need? Clearly, athletes and people who live in very hot climates need more water. But for the average person, the amount of liquid that they take in just needs to match the amount that they lose through bodily excretions such as urine, feces, sweat, and exhaled water vapor. For women this is about 2.2 liters and for men it’s about 3 liters, according to the Mayo Clinic. [This translates to about 74 ounces for women and 101 ounces for men.] However, the liquid that is consumed does not need to be water. It can be tea, coffee, soda, juice or other beverage. It can also come from foods that we eat which contain water.


I do feel that the 8 glasses of water rule has some merit - even if only for the awareness that it brings. I think that it is a good idea to stay hydrated even if the means is not purely water. What do you think?


6 comments:

  1. I try to keep a full gallon jug at my desk at work, since work is the place where I am most easily dehydrated due to being too busy. If I drink half a day, I get my 8 cups.

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    1. Mike, if I did that at my age I would have to move my desk into the bathroom. :)

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    2. Ha! There are bathrooms close enough! ;-)

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  2. I feel better if I drink more water, but I have to be very conscience about it or it won't happen.

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    1. conscious about it, not conscience.....

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    2. I can relate Ma. I sometimes have to force myself to drink enough liquids.

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