5 Hydration Myths To Pour Down The Drain
The weather’s getting hot and the water bottles are coming out of the freezer.
We all know the importance of staying hydrated over the summer, but sometimes we get a little carried away.
To help set the record straight, we’re breaking down 5 hydration myths today to help you have one healthy, hydrated summer.
Hydration Myth #1: 8 Glasses Of Water Will Keep You Hydrated
While it might be a decent rule of thumb, it strains the imagination a bit to think that we could all be served by the same amount of liquid. After all, it’s not true for food.
So how much should we be drinking each day? According to guidelines from the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, it depends on age, gender, and pregnancy.
As a rule of thumb, adult males (19-70) should be getting about 3.7L of water per day, 3.0L of that as beverages. Adult females (19-70) should look to get 2.7L of water per day, with about 2.2L as beverages, including drinking water.
Translation for cups: 13 8-ounce cups for men, 9 for women.
Hydration Myth #2: If You’re Dehydrated, Water Is Automatically The Answer
While dehydration is certainly a symptom of not having enough water, it’s a symptom of other conditions, too. It’s also one of the side effects of diarrhea, along with being tired and being unable to keep liquids down. In cases like these, forcing more liquids isn’t the answer.
One potential solution could be getting more electrolytes in your body, like sodium, potassium, and magnesium - especially in cases where their loss is pronounced (like sweating, vomiting, or diarrhea).
Hydration Myth #3: Water Can’t Help Your Diet
We get it. Water is nothing. It’s no calories. It’s no fats. It’s no proteins. And that’s how it should be.
That doesn’t mean it can’t also help you maintain weight - or even lose weight. One study found that drinking two eight-ounce glasses of water a half-hour before your meal helped a group of young adults lose several pounds over three months.
(What’s more - if you feel hungry but aren’t actually sure, try drinking a glass of water. It may just be that you were a bit thirsty!)
Hydration Myth #4: Sports Drinks Are The Right Choice After Exercise
We’ve certainly seen enough commercials to think this is true. According to NCOA, there’s a specific threshold where sports drinks start to make sense. The idea is to replenish our electrolytes after a heavier exertion. The problem is that these drinks often have more than just electrolytes (like sugars and corn syrup).
So, when does water make more sense post-workout? With workouts up to 60 minutes. And don’t forget that you can always add a little dash of something natural to make your water more interesting.
Hydration Myth #5: Coffee Dehydrates You
Coffee drinkers, rejoice! Within reason, of course. Despite rumblings of coffee being a diuretic, this study found that there was little to no evidence of dehydration with the consumption of up to 4 cups of coffee a day.
By nixing this hydration myth, this means you’re able to count your coffee consumption towards your overall daily hydration goals.
(Time for me to pour another cup to celebrate!)
All that myth-busting has gotten me thirsty. While I take a break to hydrate, feel free to check out our IRLA Hydration Pack to help you set up your own hydration goals.