4 Myths about water

Water accounts for sixty percent of one’s body weight and whether you like it or not, it is imperative that you drink water in order to replenish the body. The body needs to keep hydrated so that it can function properly, but besides that, here are a few myths that people continue to believe.

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Myth One: You’re dehydrated if you get thirsty

Well, there is some truth to this myth, as thirst triggers the decrease in water content in the body, however, it is not as detrimental as people make it out to seem. As long as you don’t have kidney problems, the two to four percent reduction in body water is okay or tolerable when you first start feeling thirsty. However, it becomes a problem when the reduction of water content reaches five to eight percent and by this level one will experience symptoms such as fatigue and dizziness.

Fitness and exercise enthusiasts should look into their water content levels when next they decide to go on a 5k run or go all out at the gym. Never forget to hydrate or end exercise feeling parched. You should rehydrate with seven to ten ounces (a glass) for every ten to twenty minutes of heavy activity.

Myth Two: Water releases the toxins in the body

This is a myth. Drinking adequate amounts of water throughout the day does ensure that the body’s metabolism works effectively, which also functions as a natural detoxification process of organs like the kidney and liver. They work fine as long as they are given enough water, and more water than the daily intake is not going to help. Drinking too much water actually prevents the body’s detoxification process. Ironic isn’t it? It reduces the concentration of salt in the blood which results in damage to the kidneys and liver, which prevents normal functions of those essential organs.

Myth Three: The Best After-Exercise Drinks are Sports Drinks

Sports drinks are filled with electrolytes, salt ions, which aids in replacing electrolytes lost from sweat. Electrolytes are crucial for maintaining blood pH levels and nerve functioning among other functions. However, the extra intake of these ‘sports drinks’ like Gatorade are only necessary if you have been exercising hard for a long time, like long distance running or hours of hiking in the sun. Not those ten minute jogs around your community, that does not need a ten ounce bottle of Gatorade.  Gatorade is heavily marketed by companies worldwide and as such they will try to convince you that you should be drinking Gatorade and replace water, but in all actuality, the bottle of water is the better option.

Myth Four: You need to drink eight cups a day

The most popular myth is that you need to drink eight cups a day. However, Professor Heinz Valtin, Dartmouth physician, published a paper by the American Physiological Society supporting the claim that there is really no evidence behind this popular belief. Your actual needs can be more or less eight glasses of water as it is dependent on your weight. Truth is, the daily intake stipulated does not take into account persons who eat food which is high in water content, or those who exercise and lose a lot of water. There is no ‘magic number’ and based on your activity and diet throughout a given day, you should drink water accordingly. So just to repeat, water intake is dependent on your size, weight, the weather climate, daily activities and diet.

Once you drink enough to remain hydrated and satisfy your thirst, then the body can function as it should and you wouldn’t have to worry about whether or not you are drinking too little or too much water. So keep in tune with your body’s natural warning signs whether they alert you, and also outline how much water you need to remain happy and healthy.

By Alexandra Daley

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