How much water should you drink every day? What type of drinks should you consume to stay hydrated and what drinks are harmful or unnecessary? When should you drink? These are just some of the questions that are often asked about hydration. Unfortunately some of the answers to these questions are simply wrong. Here are four common hydration myths debunked.
Myth – You Should Drink Eight Glasses Of Water A Day
There is no way to determine a general figure for the amount of water that we should drink each day. Just think about how different we all are. We are different sizes and weights. Some people are athletes, while others will live in dry or hot climates. All of these things impact on the amount of water that you need to drink every day to stay hydrated.
The fact is that for many people eight glasses of water a day is not close to being enough. You need to look at your own lifestyle and needs – and you need to look at the color of your urine. It is still the best indicator of how hydrated you are. Ideally, it should be a pale lemonade color. If it’s not, you will need to increase your daily water intake.
Myth – You Need To Drink A Sports Drink After Exercise
It doesn’t matter how hard you train, water is probably the best option post-exercise. The exception is if you are doing an endurance event so are training for longer than an hour. When this happens your body will need to replace the electrolytes that you lose during exercise, which sports drinks contain.
For most people, however, water is better. You probably don’t need the electrolyte replacements, and by drinking water you will avoid the sugar and additives that are found in most sports drinks.
Myth – You Can Catch Up On Hydration
If you have forgotten to drink regularly throughout the day you can’t catch up by drinking a large amount of water in one go. Your body doesn’t work like that – it will simply pass on through. The best approach is to drink frequently and at regular intervals throughout the day.
Myth – Coffee Dehydrates
This is possible as caffeine does dehydrate, but not when you drink coffee in moderation. Therefore it is not the coffee that you drink that dehydrates, but the quantity of coffee. So, how much is too much? Most people can drink about two cups of coffee a day and not see any dehydration effects.
One fact that is not in dispute is that you need to drink regular cups of water every day to stay hydrated. At least we know that one is true.