Hydration Myths

by | Mar 17, 2018

Water is an integral part of our body’s functions. Good water intake is crucial to maintaining health and keeping your body in shape. Human body is composed of 70 percent water. Drinking lots of water might help you lose weight, make your skin better.  Yet, a huge population, especially adults, is dehydrated so much so that they are experiencing symptoms such as fatigue, headache, and heart & kidney complications. Your body needs water to be able to function optimally, and especially in the summer when the heat is turned up you need to make sure you’ve got water on hand to keep you hydrated. Still, there are a few myths out there about hydration that deserve to be addressed. Here are a few of the most prevalent hydration myths you should know about.

Myth 1:  If you’re thirsty, you are already dehydrated

If you start to feel thirsty, then you are headed in the wrong direction and should grab a drink of water, but thirst doesn’t necessarily mean you’re dehydrated. Actual dehydration is accompanied by nausea, light-headedness, dizziness and fatigue, and it happens when you have body water reduction of about 5 to 8 percent. Your body is set-up to feel thirsty at a reduction level of 2 to 4 percent.

Myth 2: Drinking water helps you lose weight

Drinking water won’t specifically trigger weight loss, but it can aid in the process. For one, it can affect metabolism. When we are well hydrated, our cells burn more calories than if we are dehydrated not a huge amount more, but every little bit helps. Water replaces other calorie-laden beverages in the diet, causing you to reduce your overall number of calories. Water-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, soups and yoghurt provide a high level of satisfaction, and there is some evidence that drinking water before a meal can help you eat less at that meal.

Myth 3: Sports drinks are better than water

Sports drinks compensate for the electrolyte loss in the body after strenuous workout. The sports drinks have an advantage in activities lasting more than an hour because the 6% glucose has been shown to improve performance in sports, and you may need electrolyte replacement with prolonged sweating. But water is sufficient to rehydrate the body. Water is the most natural rehydrating element for the body. Supplement water with other drinks but do not replace water.

Myth 4: There is no such thing as too much water

Drinking too much water can actually lead to severe complications. Too much water can cause hyponatremia where the sodium levels in your body are at a dangerously low level. For that to actually occur you would need to be drinking many litres of water in quite a short period of time. The best way to keep your water intake in check is to listen to your thirst.

Myth 5: Coffee dehydrates you

There is no truth to the idea that coffee makes you dehydrated. Coffee is made with water and will help you hydrate. This is possible as caffeine does dehydrate, but not when you drink coffee in moderation. Therefore it is not the coffee that you drink that dehydrates, but the quantity of coffee. Most people can drink about two cups of coffee a day and not see any dehydration effects.

Myth 6: Everyone needs eight glasses of water a day

This is a very common myth that people tend to believe. Eight glasses of water is the general recommendation, though this varies based on individual requirements. A number of factors affect hydration and the level of water in the body, such as climate, temperature, level of physical activity, age, and other factors account for how much water you really need. One size does not fit all. Listen to your body to keep it hydrated.

Myth 7: Water keeps your skin looking young

Your skin is about 30%water, so it naturally follows that staying hydrated is key for healthy skin. It should be remembered, that a number of factors determine the health your skin like age, sun exposure, diet, genetics and more. While water is not a magical youth potion, it is essential for maintaining health and that goes for your skin as much as any other part of you.

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