You do NOT need to drink eight glasses of water every day

According to scientists, drinking the recommended eight glasses of water a day may be too much for our real needs.

Since about half of our daily water intake comes from food, researchers estimate that we really only need about 1.3 to 1.8 liters a day instead of two.

Previous studies in this area depended on applied surveys of small samples of people, but more than 90 scientists around the world have now collaborated to measure water turnover using a different technique.

Since about half of our daily water intake comes from food, researchers estimate that we really only need about 1.3 to 1.8 liters a day instead of two.

They surveyed 5,604 people aged eight days to 96 years from 23 different countries.

Participants drank a measured amount of water that had been fortified with the element deuterium, which occurs naturally in the human body and is completely harmless.

They measured the rate at which deuterium was disappearing from the body, which revealed the rate at which water in the body was being replenished.

An analysis, published in the journal Science, found that people living in hot and humid environments and at high altitudes as well as athletes, pregnant and breastfeeding women need more water because their turnover is higher. raised.

Professor John Speakman, one of the authors from the University of Aberdeen, said that water turnover does not equal drinking water requirements.

“Even if a man in his twenties has a water turnover of about 4.2 liters per day, he doesn’t need to drink 4.2 liters of water per day,” he said.

“About 15% of this value reflects the exchange of surface water and water produced by metabolism.

“The actual water consumption required is approximately 3.6 liters per day. Since most foods also contain water, a substantial amount of water is provided just by eating.

“This study shows that the common suggestion that we should all drink eight glasses of water is probably too high for most people in most situations.”

Drinking the recommended eight glasses probably isn’t harmful, he explained, but isn’t necessary in most cases either.

“Calculations suggest that a typical middle-aged man might need to drink around 1.6 to 1.8 liters per day and a typical woman of the same age around 1.3 to 1.4 litres,” he said. -he declares.

“For octogenarians, this could drop to around 1.1 liters per day.

“But a lot depends on the types of food they eat. If they drink a lot of soup, for example, they should drink less.

Tea, coffee, soft drinks and fruit juices also count towards the daily total, he said, but they also contain other things that may not be healthy.

Co-author Dale Schoeller, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said: ‘Science has never supported the old eight glasses thing as a proper guideline, if only because it confused the total renewal of water with drinking water and a large part of your water. comes from the food you eat.

“But this work is the best we’ve done so far to measure how much water people actually consume on a daily basis – the turnover of water in and out of the body – and the main factors that determine water turnover. the water.”

It comes after doctors said this week that Kung-fu legend Bruce Lee may have died from drinking too much water.

The martial arts star and Hollywood icon died aged 32 in 1973.

Doctors ruled that his death was due to swelling of the brain, which was attributed to him taking a painkiller.

His death sparked rumors that he was murdered by Chinese gangsters, poisoned by a lover, or the victim of a curse.

Researchers reviewing the evidence concluded that Bruce likely died of hyponatremia.

“In other words, we propose that the kidney’s inability to excrete excess water killed Bruce Lee,” experts wrote in the Clinical Kidney Journal.

WHAT SHOULD A BALANCED DIET RESULT IN?

Meals should be potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally whole grains, according to the NHS

Meals should be potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally whole grains, according to the NHS

• Eat at least 5 servings of a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. All fresh, frozen, dried and canned fruits and vegetables count

• Meals based on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starches, ideally whole grains

• 30 grams of fiber per day: This is equivalent to eating all of the following foods: 5 servings of fruits and vegetables, 2 whole-grain crackers, 2 thick slices of whole-grain bread, and a large baked potato with the skin on.

• Have dairy products or dairy alternatives (like soy beverages) choosing low fat and low sugar options

• Eat beans, legumes, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins (including 2 servings of fish per week, one of which should be fatty)

• Choose unsaturated oils and spreads and consume them in small amounts

• Drink 6 to 8 cups/glasses of water per day

• Adults should consume less than 6 g of salt and 20 g of saturated fat for women or 30 g for men per day

Source: NHS Eatwell Guide

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