To many of us, water is tasteless and odorless, so why drink water at all? The average person's body is at least 55% water--that's more than half of our body composition. So it makes sense that water is a key health ingredient for all of us. But what are the healthy benefits of drinking water and what are the myths?
Some myths about drinking water are:
Myth #1: Bottled Water is Healthier than Tap Water
Neither bottled water manufacturers nor public water treatment facilities are required to rid your water of 100% of the contaminants. So while the purity of your water should always meet the basic state and federal standards, if you want a purer product, you'll need to do investigate your favorite bottled waters and your local suppliers to see whose standards and products may be higher. Just because it's bottled doesn't mean it's better.
Myth #2: Everyone Should Drink 8 Glasses of Water a Day
There is no scientific evidence for 8 glasses a day, but many doctors and nutritionists recommend 6-8 as a barometer to keep you hydrated. It's not because 8 glasses is a magic number, but it is because of the health benefits of preventing dehydration and promoting healthy body function. Since we are all different sizes, shapes, work in different climates and exert ourselves in different ways, that number will be unique for everyone.
Myth #3: Drinking Lots of Water Helps Clear Out Toxins
While it's true that healthy hydration promotes proper kidneys function (which does include clearing toxins), lots of extra water does not flush a greater amount of toxins (than what the liver would normally do). A standard amount of water for your body demands is sufficient.
Myth #4: Drinking Lots of Water Gives You Healthier Skin
While some people may feel strongly that this is true for them, there are no studies that indicate this is true. Proper hydration helps keep all aspects of the body healthy, but it is only one factor.
Myth #5: It's Easy to Become Dehydrated During Your Workout
Unless you are working out in a very hot environment and not drinking, dehydration shouldn't be a concern. You do need to drink additional water if you are working out, but not an excessive amount. If you are urinating a lot during you workout (or the urine becomes very dark), you may be getting dehydrated and need to increase the water you drink during workouts. Monitoring your weight before and after exercise can help you determine the proper about for you to drink.
While none of these myths may be true, there are still a lot of health benefits to staying hydrated with water. Water has no calories, will quench your thirst when you become thirsty and has no artificial ingredients or fats for dieters to worry about. It is a plentiful and inexpensive source of hydration and can even provide a mini, 30-minute metabolism boost when consumed cold. So drink up!