Who hasn’t heard their mother, grandparents, or perhaps physician urging the importance of eight glasses of water a day. But ever since I was little I considered such a required amount excessive, turns out I was half-wrong but also, half-right.
The Kidney: Our Body’s Water Regulator
Have you ever drank water and just after finishing, you find yourself in the bathroom? Or maybe you’re in soccer practice and weirdly you find that you haven’t peed for the entirety of those hours? Well, that’s your brain’s way of handling excess or lack of water in your kidneys. Whenever your kidneys senses any disturbance in your body’s water balance it’ll make molecular adjustments to both overhydration and underhydration. That is why it is very unlikely for humans to die from drinking too little or too much water. “Real” dehydration, as Aaron E. Carrol (pediatrician and writer for the New York Times) puts it, is when your body has lost a significant amount of water because of illness, excessive exercise or sweating, or an inability to drink. So when it comes to hydration, your kidneys know best. You know you need water whenever you feel thirsty and whenever you feel bloated by it, it’s probably time to stop drinking.
Food and Drinks: The Two Other Forgotten Sources For Hydration
Our own body does the job when it comes to maintaining a healthy balance in water levels but the amounts that I may need to drink, differ from the amount of water you may need to drink. Each and every individual needs different amounts of water according to factors like weight, dietary practices, environmental temperature, and physical activity. There can’t be a definite number of water we all need to drink because in truth there are days when you may not need more than two glasses of water. Foods and drinks provide enough hydration to keep you through the day, even if you only drank half of your usual water intake. So don’t stress about the appropriate amount of water to drink each day (because it doesn’t exist). As long as you eat well and consume water when your body tells you to, you can stay hydrated.
Now that you know that drinking eight glasses a day isn’t mandatory to maintain our water levels, what about the health benefits? Fitness influencers share their stories on a key ingredient for weight loss and dermatology enthusiasts share their secrets for an acne free face. Can you guess how they reached these goals? According to them, drinking one gallon of water per day. Sadly, there is no way drinking water can make you lose weight faster or improve the quality of skin. Scientists find no concrete relation between drinking water and weight loss or improvement in skin complexion. Yet, though water can’t afford you to lose weight, water can affect our mental state. Studies have shown better cognitive performances after increasing water intakes. And of course, water energizes you, therefore lifting your mood!
Whether you decide to drink eight glasses a day is entirely up to you. Besides, drinking extra amounts of water won’t harm and at the same time, won’t benefit you. Just make sure that next time mom says that it is necessary to drink eight glasses of water per day, be sure to correct her with science.
Carrol, A. (2015). ‘No, you do not need to drink 8 glasses of water a day’. The New York Times. Accessed October 19, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/25/upshot/no-you-do-not-have-to-drink-8-glasses-of-water-a-day.html
Hew-Butler, T. (2021). ‘Why you might not really need 8 glasses of water per day’. CNN. Accessed October 20, 2021,