Why Drinking 8 Glasses of Water A Day Is Not A Good Hydration Strategy
By Thet Aung, M.D.
Recent health studies have shown that drinking water all day is not the best way to stay hydrated. According to a 2018 study in the journal Frontiers In Physiology, dehydration can have a negative impact on endurance for athletes and cause fatigue. Dehydration doesn’t have to be severe to have an effect on your mood or ability to concentrate or focus on day-to-day tasks and overall cognitive functions.
Video Courtesy of Time Health, August, 2019
Water is cheap and healthy And drinking H2O is an effective way for most people to stay hydrated. The National Academy of Medicine recommends that adult women and men drink at least 91 and 125 ounces of water a day, respectively. (For context, one gallon is 128 fluid ounces.) But pounding large quantities of water morning, noon and night may not be the best or most efficient way to meet the body’s hydration requirements.
“If you’re drinking water and then, within two hours, your urine output is really high and [your urine] is clear, that means the water is not staying in well,” says David Nieman, a professor of public health at Appalachian State University and director of the Human Performance Lab at the North Carolina Research Campus. Nieman says plain water has a tendency to slip right through the human digestive system when not accompanied by food or nutrients. This is especially true when people drink large volumes of water on an empty stomach. “There’s no virtue to that kind of consumption,” he says.
In fact, clear urine is a sign of “overhydration,” according to the Cleveland Clinic. And some of the latest research supports Nieman’s claim that guzzling lots of water is not the best way to stay hydrated.