Water equals life. Staying hydrated is absolutely vital, especially in the heat of summer, so why is it we still see so many stories of people passing out, getting dizzy, and becoming sick because of dehydration? Maybe it’s because they believe these four hydration myths, as pointed out by Lifehacker. Take a look and see if you’ve been living with any of these misconceptions.
- Drink At Least 8 Glasses Of Water A Day
The most enduring hydration myth is based on a totally arbitrary number. Since every person and every body is different, it follows that every individual person needs a different amount, and that amount can vary from day to day depending on your diet, fluctuations in weight, activity level— basically every aspect of your life. If you’re really concerned, talk to your doctor, but in general the rule is simple: drink when you feel thirsty. Which brings us to:
- If You’re Thirsty, You’re Already Dehydrated
Not quite. Sure, if you’re thirsty, it’s a sign you should get some water, but it’s not quite as dire as the alarmists would have you think. Actual dehydration is accompanied by nausea, light-headedness, dizziness and fatigue, and it happens when you have body water reduction of about 5 to 8 percent. Your body is set-up to feel thirsty at a reduction level of 2 to 4 percent— i.e., before you reach dehydration. Listen to your body and you’ll be fine.
- Down A Sports Drink After Exercising
Hopefully you already know this one, but just in case: advertising is lying to you. Yes, sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade have electrolytes in them, but you know what else they have? Sugar and extra calories. They can be helpful after particularly long and strenuous workouts – and apparently so is beer! – but even then, water is your best bet, especially if you drink the recommended 7 to 10 ounces for every 10 to 20 minutes of hard exercise.
- Drinking Water Equals Detoxing
In a word: no. Rather than doing the detoxing itself, water simply ensures that your kidneys and liver – the organs designed for the job – work properly. Drink too much of the stuff – i.e., past the point of hydration and way past the point of thirst – and you actually damage those organs and do the opposite of your goal. Don’t go overboard!
To a lot of you these may be obvious, but there’s so much misinformation out there it’s easy to see why many, many people are confused about this basic, important health component. Did any of these surprise you? Do you have anything you’d add to this list? Let us know, and be sure to check out the Lifehacker article for even further information.