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  /  Organic   /  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.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition conducted research comparing short-term hydration effects on several beverages. They studied and compared a variety of drinks such as sports drinks, beer, tea, milk, orange juice, and of course, water. They found through urine analysis of study participants that many of the beverages were actually more hydrating than plain water.
Not to say that replacing water with orange juice and milk is a good idea. Drinking water is hydrating, but not as effective as other beverages. The researchers stated that there are several “elements of a beverage” that determine how much water stays in the body. A major factor is the drink’s nutrient content. Drinking water along with fats, minerals and amino acids helps the body to retain more water, which leads to better benefits of hydration. This is particularly important for those who exercise a lot.
Simply drinking mass quantities of water with little to no food is not a very effective hydration method. Most of the water intake is flows in quick and is expelled as urine just as quickly. The notion that heavy water consumption helps remove toxins and unwanted material is not totally true. Urine does eliminate chemical byproducts and waste out of your body, but drinking mass quantities of water on an empty stomach doesn’t have a huge impact on this process.
Athletes may have a negative impact of drinking too much water after exercising for prolonged periods. In this case the water can flush out too much sodium and can cause an imbalance in the body’s sodium levels. Doctors call this imbalance “hyponatremia” which, in some cases, can cause death. Alternatively, sports drinks that contain nutrients and sodium is a better choice and safer for athletes who train on a regularly.
It is better to drink water or any healthy beverage a little at a time. This will prevent the kidneys from be overloaded and actually helps the retention of water in the body.
Several studies have shown that rehydration is more rapid with IV fluid. … Many studies have shown improvements in cardiovascular function and thermoregulation with IV fluid.
Bottom line, IV fluids hydrate you faster than drinking water.
Water is absorbed much later in the large intestine, so it can take several hours after drinking water before your body starts to benefit. … IV hydration helps you to feel better much faster than drinking cup after cup of water.
Intravenous therapy (IV) is a therapy that delivers liquid substances directly into a vein (intra- + ven- + -ous). … Intravenous therapy may be used for fluid replacement (such as correcting dehydration), to correct electrolyte imbalances, to deliver medications, and for blood transfusions.

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