5 Myths About Drinking Water

There's so much information out there about drinking water. What's true? What isn't?

By Joyce Shulman March 5, 2020

We’ve all heard the myths, stories, and instructions about drinking water. How much you need to drink. When you need to drink. What you need to drink. 

There's so much information out there and we wondered: What's true? What isn't? 

Here is what we found about the top five myths about drinking water:

Myth #1: You need to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day

Every body is different and how much water you need to function at your best varies based on a whole host of factors including your size, your weight, how active you are, and even the climate you live in and the temperature that day.

Myth #2: Only water counts

Nope. The hydration you get from fruits, vegetables, and even coffee counts toward your hydration. According to the Mayo Clinic, about 20 percent of most people’s water intake actually comes from food.

Myth #3: Coffee dehydrates you

Coffee drinkers rejoice -- the most current research shows that drinking coffee (or tea) will not dehydrate you! It turns out that the very mild diuretic effect of coffee or tea is more than set off by the amount of liquid you will be drinking. So yup, coffee, and tea count towards your hydration efforts!

Myth #4: You need sports drinks to stay hydrated

Not true! Most sports drinks contain water plus electrolytes and carbohydrates, and unless you are exercising for an extended period time at a high level of intensity, water will do you just fine, so save the money ... and the calories.

Myth #5: Thirst is the best indication that you need to drink

Yes and no. Your body is pretty smart and if you are attuned to its messages, then drinking when you are thirsty will help you stay hydrated. However, especially in adults over 50, research suggests that your thirst sensor might not be as reliable as one would hope. And for many, that thirst sensor is pretty subtle and easy to miss with all of the distractions in our days. So drink frequently throughout the day. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty.

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