Why Don’t You Need to Drink 8 Cups of Water a Day

Do you really need 8 cups daily?

8 cups of water a day

8 cups of water a day – is that a scientifically proven recommendation? Why 8 cups of water a day and not 7 or 9? Where is all this information coming from?

Everyone has heard the time-tested recommendation to drink 8 cups of water a day. But even if you fall short, it’s okay; the advice was probably bad, to begin with.

According to recent research, which was published in the Journal of Science, most healthy adults don’t actually need to drink eight cups of water every day. The suggestion is flawed partly because it ignores the water we obtain from other sources, including meals and beverages like coffee and tea. According to the study, each person’s water requirements are unique and depend on age, sex, size, amount of physical activity, and geographic location.

According to the study’s authors, there is no significant advantage to consuming eight glasses of water per day for healthy persons. It’s also not harmful: The extra water you take in will simply be eliminated by your body through urine.

Professor of evolutionary anthropology and global health at Duke University and co-author of the study Herman Pontzer said, “If you drink eight cups of water a day, you’ll be fine; you’ll just be spending a lot more time in the bathroom.”

8 cups of water a day

The suggestion from the National Research Council’s Food and Nutrition Board in 1945 that adults should drink around 64 ounces of water each day is the source of the advice to drink eight cups of water per day. It was widely believed that the suggestion meant that people should drink eight 8 cups of water daily, even though it referred to a person’s entire daily intake of water, including liquids from all of their foods and beverages.

The commonly held view, according to some experts, is not supported by science. In one study of 883 senior adults, for instance, the 227 participants who regularly drank fewer than six glasses of water each day showed no signs of dehydration.


The researchers concluded that pushing a fluid intake above what is comfortable for the individual “seems to serve no helpful purpose until we have additional evidence-based confirmation that fluid intake of eight glasses per day enhances some component of an elderly person’s health.”

But because the advice is so widely accepted, numerous businesses promote their goods using it. Water-bottle sensors that track your water consumption and remind you to “hydrate” every 30 to 40 minutes are also available. 64-ounce water bottles are made to encourage you to drink the equivalent of eight cups of water each day.

We have recommendations for how much water to consume, but in practice, people tend to make up their amounts, according to Pontzer, the author of the metabolic book “Burn.”

How much water do we need? 8 cups of water a day?

Pontzer,  the Associate Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology and Global Health Associate Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology and Global Health and his co-authors examined data on 5,600 individuals in 26 nations, ranging in age from 8 days to 96 years old, to determine how much water humans require. People from diverse walks of life, such as farmworkers, athletes and non-athletes, office workers who spend their days sitting still in Europe and the United States, as well as members of farming and hunter-gatherer communities from South America and Africa, were among the participants.

The participants were monitored using the industry-recognized method of “doubly labeled water,” which involves using water laced with tracers that can be used to track the body’s production of carbon dioxide. This method gave the researchers accurate measurements of the participants’ daily energy expenditure. They were able to quantify how much water the individuals lost through evaporation as well as how much water they produced through metabolism.

Are you drinking too much water

It accurately measures not only how many calories you burn each day but also how much water you consume and lose, according to Pontzer.

Using this technique, the researchers calculated the subjects’ daily water turnover or the amount of water they lost and restored. They discovered that a person’s size and body fat, which contains less water than muscle and other organs, greatly influence their daily water turnover.

A person needs more water and more “fat-free” mass they have. Men often need more water since they typically have larger bodies and less body fat than women. Because we have a larger system to stay hydrated, men consume more water daily, according to Pontzer.

The study revealed that your lifelong water requirements vary. In general, our water requirements reach their peak between the ages of 20 and 50, then begin to fall as our metabolisms slow down. This is because how much water you require depends partly on your metabolism and how many calories you burn daily.

Your cells use water to perform their daily tasks, according to Pontzer. “Over the course of your life, the amount of water you use to the number of calories you burn remains quite constant.”

I tried drinking 8 cups of water a day for a week.

Jennifer Wong, – a famous Chinese/Australian writer, described her experience drinking 8 cups of water a day.

I increased my water intake in the middle of a week of nonstop rain.

The rain had done a great job of promoting water, and I had recently questioned exactly how much I should be drinking each day. More water should be consumed, but how much more? I soon discovered that the Australian Dietary Guidelines advise men to drink 2.6 liters of water per day and women to drink 2.1 liters (eight cups or slightly more for anyone pregnant or lactating) (10 cups). This seemed like a full-time job, to be honest. one that necessitated many restrooms stops. However, it’s an essentially full-time job since, according to Better Health, adults lose between 2.5 and 3 liters of water every day and can only go without water for a short period of time.

I inquired why this was the case from VicHealth CEO Dr. Sandro Demaio.

He claims that nearly every physical process—including controlling our body temperature and carrying blood—requires water.

“Dehydration can affect our memory, focus, capacity to stay active, and ability to execute daily tasks. Keeping hydrated can also assist in reducing overeating and mindless snacking because it’s simple to confuse hunger with thirst.”

Dr. Demaio further explained that water makes up 60% of the human body. We are merely enormous sacks of H20 kept together by skin, which explains why it can be difficult to do tasks at times.

In any event, I wanted to drink eight 250ml cups of water per day for a week. The eight cups do include things like tea and coffee (and any other liquids); however, the Australian Dietary Guidelines suggest that the majority of that amount be made up of plain water. I increased my water intake in the middle of a week of nonstop rain.

I’ll continue to drink a lot of water now that I know how much two liters are, but I doubt I’ll set the alarm to remind me to do so.

I still feel like I’m drinking a lot of liquids in one day, but I feel better afterward, like the water is washing my insides. I’m aware that’s not the correct medical phrase, but this experience has made me really appreciative of my body, which understands exactly what to do when I give it a lot of water to drink.

The good news from Dr. Demaio is that rather than being overly prescriptive with an eight-cup-per-day rule, you’re better off gauging your thirst levels by listening to your body and looking at the color of your urine to decide if you are dehydrated.

Additionally, he offers the following suggestions for ensuring adequate hydration:

  • If you want some variety, add some lime or mint leaves to your water.
  • Keep a water bottle on you always, and be sure you drink plenty of water.
  • Drink water with each meal and snack.
  • Get a glass of water to start your day.

Climate and lifestyle influence your body’s water needs.

Your climate and if you lead a sedentary lifestyle are two more crucial variables that affect your water consumption. Higher amounts of water turnover are found in those who live in hotter areas and exercise more.

According to the study, people in less developed countries had higher rates of water turnover than people in more developed ones. According to Pontzer, this is because people in poorer nations are more likely to work outside every day and have less access to temperature control. Additionally, many people in developing nations work in vocations that demand more physical exercise.

He pointed out that as the planet warms, our need for water will rise, which will make matters worse for the 2 billion people who already lack appropriate access to clean water around the world.

An expert who was not affiliated with the study, Asher Y. Rosinger, praised the work and said the conclusions “made a lot of sense.” He claimed that most of the time, people drink as much water as their bodies require.

He did, however, issued a warning that water turnover is not always an accurate indicator of how hydrated a person is.

Why you need to drink water

The head of Penn State’s Water, Health, and Nutrition Lab, Rosinger, stated that individuals use more water in those hot climates, but it’s unclear whether this is enough to meet their needs.

How much water should you actually consume? The solution is straightforward: Sip when you’re thirsty. Give water top priority and try to stay away from sugary beverages, which can lead to metabolic issues. Both coffee and tea are acceptable.

As long as you take less than 400 milligrams of caffeine, Rosinger said, they will still be hydrating even though the caffeine they contain can make you urinate more frequently. Keep in mind that food contains water as well. Fruits, vegetables, beans, yogurt, brown rice, and soups are a few foods high in water.

You should be alright, according to Pontzer, if you pay attention to your body and drink when you feel the need to.

How to Avoid Water Intoxication: 10 Risks Of Excessive Water Consumption.

Based on the publication by Madhu Sharma, RD, on November 21, 2022, with the support of Charushila Biswas, drinking excessive amounts of water might result in many unanticipated health problems.

Water is necessary for life and good health. But do you know what the consequences of consuming too much water are? Water intoxication and hyponatremia are side effects of overhydration, which also impair regular brain activities. Continue reading to discover the signs of water intoxication and how to cure it.

A life-threatening condition brought on by consuming excessive amounts of water is water intoxication, also known as overhydration or water poisoning. Hyponatremia, or a low sodium concentration in the blood (less than 135 mEq/L), is a characteristic of this condition.

Symptoms of water intoxication

Confusion, nausea, vomiting, headaches, and disorientation are signs of water intoxication. In severe circumstances, water intoxication can cause unconsciousness or even death (4). The following ten negative effects of drinking too much water are listed.

  1. Hyponatremia

A drop in sodium levels below 135 mEq/L blood serum is referred to as hyponatremia. Rapid overhydration is the cause. Sodium is a crucial salt that supports cell signaling and a number of other bodily processes. So you experience lethargy, drowsiness, headaches, and nausea as your serum salt levels drop. In extreme circumstances, it may even result in death.

  1. Cellular enlargement.

Osmosis is the process by which water enters a cell through a semipermeable cell membrane when the sodium level in your body is too high. This causes the cells to bulge up (6). Muscle tissue, organs, and the brain all suffer severe damage as a result of the body’s cells (including the brain) swelling.

  1. Vomiting.

Severe diarrhea and protracted sweating are possible side effects of overhydration. Hypokalemia, or a drop in potassium ions, is what causes it. When you consume too much water, the equilibrium between potassium ions within and outside your cells is disrupted. In fact, a tiny 1% shift in the distribution of potassium ions can result in a massive 50% shift in the number of potassium ions in the plasma.

  1. Influences the brain.

Low blood sodium levels, or hyponatremia, can result in brain swelling. Speech impairment, confusion, unsteadiness while walking, psychosis, and even death follow from this.

  1. The stress of the Heart.

In dialysis patients, overhydration can cause heart failure (12), (13). The heart is responsible for the critical task of pumping blood throughout your body. The amount of blood in your body increases when you take too much water. The heart and blood arteries are put under needless pressure by the increased blood volume. On occasion, it might even cause seizures.

  1. Overloads the Kidneys.

Acute renal damage could result from excessive hydration (AKI).

Additionally, drinking a lot of water lowers plasma levels of the hormone arginine vasopressin, which protects kidney function (16). Drinking too much water might strain your kidneys by requiring them to work nonstop. A liter of fluid can be removed from your body through your kidneys each hour. In addition, they must exert extra effort to keep homeostasis.

  1. Liver issues.

It’s crucial to understand that this issue is not brought on by just drinking too much water. Rather, it results from consuming excessive amounts of iron-containing water. Although iron overload is generally not harmful, it can occasionally result in issues with the liver. The development of hyponatremia is more likely in those with liver cirrhosis.

  1. Continual urination.

Having to urinate frequently, like once every 15 minutes, can be annoying whether you’re at home, at work, or school. If you consume too much water, your kidneys work continuously. You have to run to the bathroom as a result constantly.

  1. Chlorine Overdose Risk.

Drinking water is sanitized with chlorine. However, consuming too much water puts you in danger of chlorine poisoning. You run the chance of acquiring colorectal and bladder cancer when that occurs.

  1. Potential Coma Risk.

Water intoxication damages your body’s brain and visceral organs, which can cause comas and, in some cases, death. As a result, avoid consuming too much water in a short period of time.

Do you need professional advice on how much water is the right daily amount for you?

You lose water every day in your breath, sweat, urine, and bowel motions. You must refill your body’s water supply by ingesting liquids and meals that contain water for it to function correctly.

So how much fluid does the typical healthy adult who lives in a climate with moderate temperatures need? According to the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the following amounts of liquids should be consumed each day:

  • Men need about 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of hydration every day.
  • Women should drink about 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluid daily.

These suggestions include fluids from food, beverages, and water. Typically, food accounts for around 20% of daily fluid intake, and beverages for the remaining 80%.

Considering the post above, approved by Pontzer and Rosinger, the recommendations of U.S. National Academies make no sense…

So, what is the verdict? 8 cups of water a day or whatever?

According to research performed by Arend-Jan Meinders  and Arend E Meinders and published in PubMed in 2010,  “Skin, respiration, fecal fluid, and urine output are some of the ways people lose fluid. The solute load that needs to be expelled and the maximum renal concentrating ability are what determine the required urine volume. The minimum amount of urine that healthy persons should produce daily under regular dietary, physical activity, and weather conditions is roughly 500 ml. Solute-free water will be excreted if you consume more than 500 ml of liquids daily. It is more than enough to consume the recommended total daily fluid intake of 2,200 ml for women and 3,000 ml for men. Other than maybe preventing kidney stones from recurring, drinking more fluids does not appear to provide any significant health advantages.”

But the most important point is that the body’s demand for water is individual and specific for each person.

If you want to discuss the optimal daily amount of water you have to consume based on your medical condition and body constitution, contact Philadelphia Holistic Clinic at (267) 403-3085, and schedule an appointment with Doctor Tsan.


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