Sometimes, things we are so used to doing, things we take for
granted, aren’t things that are really good for us. For example, do you
know there is very little evidence, if any, that drinking water helps
you lose weight?
This is surprising, considering the fact that diets all tend to say
the same thing: Drink eight to ten eight-ounce glasses of water a day.
This has been the golden rule for many years. Drinking water, the diet
plan tells you, will not only keep you sufficiently hydrated, it will
also magically help the pounds drop off.
Everyone who has dieted has heard this, and if you have ever tried
to follow a diet perfectly, you probably struggled to get that water
down just like they said you should. It’s a hard job, unless you’re
really, really thirsty.
First of all, there seems to be no scientific support for the idea
that people need to force down eight glasses of water a day in order to
get enough hydration. The Institute of Medicine reports that most
people get enough water just through their day to day eating and
drinking. Recent studies show that for the typical adult, there is a
loss of approximately one liter of fluid per day—the equivalent of four
eight-ounce glasses. But people make up that loss from what they
naturally eat and drink daily.
And yet, the majority of diet plans blindly stick to their daily
prescriptions for water. Some tell you to drink half a glass every
hour. Some tell you to sip your water through a straw. Some tell you,
if you have trouble getting it all down, mix it with lemon juice and
ice. Some even advocate drinking water before meals as a way to curb
hunger. However, studies at Pennsylvania State University showed that
people who drank extra water before and during meals ate just as much
as those who drank less.
There is also a lack of evidence for other claims, such as the idea
that drinking water raises metabolism, or that drinking water helps
This is not to say that water isn’t good for you. Of course, it is.
It is obviously much better to drink water than to drink sugar-laden
sodas or milkshakes or sweetened teas. But just how much water is
enough really depends on you as an individual.
The best advice seems to be, let your thirst be your guide.