How Many Glasses of Water Should We Drink a Day?

more than 2,000 years ago Hippocrates said if we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment next size not too little not too much we would have found the safest way to health what does that mean when it comes to water water has been described as a neglected underappreciated and under research subject but a lot of the papers extolling the need for proper hydration are funded by the bottled water industry turns out the often quoted drink at least eight glasses of water a day has little underpinning scientific evidence where did they come up with that then the recommendation was traced back to this 1921 paper it which the author measured his own pee and sweat and determined we lose about three percent of our body weight in water a day which comes out to be about 8 cups consequently for the longest time water requirement guidelines for humanity were based on just one person but now we have evidence suggesting not drinking enough water may be associated with false on fractures heat stroke heart disease lung disorders kidney disease kidney stones bladder and colon cancer you’re an attractive affections constipation dry mouth cavities decreased immune function in cataract formation the problem with many of these studies though is that low water intake is associated with several unhealthy behaviors such as low fruit and vegetable intake more fast food less shopping at farmer’s markets and think about it who drinks lots of water those that exercise a lot so maybe no wonder they have lower disease rates only large and expensive randomised trials could settle these questions definitively but given that water cannot be patented such trials seem unlikely who’s going to pay for them so we’re left with studies that link disease with low water intake but are people sick because they drink less or are they drinking less because they’re sick there have been a few large prospective studies in which fluid intake is measured before disease develops for example a Harvard study 48,000 men found that the risk of bladder cancer decreased by 7% for every extra daily cup of fluid one maid drank so a high intake of water like 8 cups a day 8 times 7 may reduce the risk of bladder cancer by about 50% potentially saving thousands of lives the accompanying editorial comment that strategies to prevent the most prevalent cancers in the West or remarkably straightforward and principled to prevent lung cancer quit smoking prevent breast cancer maintain ideal body weight and exercise prevent skin cancer stay out of the Sun and now it seems that this seemingly simple way to reduce the risk of bladder cancer is just drink more fluids this is probably the best evidence we have for a cut-off 20,000 men and women in the Adventists Health Study about half vegetarians so we’re also getting extra water eating more fruits and vegetables and those drinking five or more glasses of water a day had about half the risk of dying from heart disease compared to those who drank two or fewer glasses a day and like the Harvard study this protection was after controlling for other factors such as diet and exercise so they suggest it was the water itself perhaps by lowering blood viscosity meaning blood thickness so based on all the best of evidence to date authorities from Europe the u.s. Institute of Medicine and the World Health Organization recommend between 2 and 2.7 liters a day of water a day for women that’s 8 to 11 cups a day for women and 10 to 15 cups a day for men now but that’s water from all sources not just beverages and we get about a liter from food in the water our body actually makes and so these translate into a recommendation for women to drink four to seven cups of water a day and men 6 to 11 assuming only moderate physical activity at moderate ambient temperatures we can also get water from all the other drinks we consume including caffeinated drinks with the exception of stronger alcoholic drinks like wines and spirits a beer can leave you with more water than you started with but wine actively dehydrates you note though in the cancer and heart disease studies I mentioned the benefits were only found with increased water can not other beverages so unless you have conditions like heart or kidney failure women should drink four to seven cups of water a day and men should drink six to eleven you

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