According to a study released on Wednesday, there are a few benefits to drinking large quantities of water. Drs. Dan Negoianu and Stanley Goldfarb of the University of Pennsylvania performed a meta-analysis study on the benefits of drinking water.
Looking at the previously published studies, they found that while athletes, people who live in hot, dry climates and those with certain diseases need a lot of water, the average healthy person does not.
Furthermore, they found no correlation between drinking eight glasses of water a day with health benefits, such as improved kidney function or smoother skin tone.
"It's required for life, and I guess that's led people to think, 'well, if a normal amount is good, then extra might be better,'" Goldfarb told ABC News. "It won't harm you, but you should understand that there's very little, if any, scientific evidence that it's going to benefit you."
Researchers also did not find any conclusive evidence to confirm that water helps in weight loss. However, they pointed out that while their study could not find any conclusive evidence that drinking a lot of water has health benefits, it does not mean that it does not.
Firstly, it has been said over the past years that people who need more water are those who live in hot, humid environments such as the summer in Canada. This is totally opposite of what the researchers have indicated above. Anyone who has knowledge of the physiological base of the human body would agree that there are a few ways to lose heat: conduction, convention, radiation and evaporation. The most common way our body uses to lose heat is by evaporation. Now, when environment is humid like it is in summer in Toronto, people tend to sweat a lot more. In fact, they tend to lose double to triple the amount of water they are supposed to lose in the first place. This is because the sweat is not evaporating and the body thinks that it needs to cool itself off more, so the sweat glands keep working.
Secondly, researchers state that you should drink when you are thirsty. However, this is not the case because by the time you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. So, now that you are already in the dehydrated state, you choose to drink as much as you need, but you only replenish 50% of water you have lost. Thus, it is better to be safe than sorry and keep re-hydrating whenever you can. It is better to overhydrate than dehydrate.
Thirdly, the body's main functions rely on the amount of water one has in its body. If you dehydrate, you increase the risk of heat syncope, heat cramps, heat exhaustion or even a heat stroke (in severe cases).
However, before it has been said that you need to drink eight glasses of water. Of course you do not need to follow it like a guideline. It depends on your body type and weight. You do not need to chug down a glass of water if you already feel hydrated. If you feel refreshed and happy, you most likely do not need to drink water. However, once you start feeling a bit drowsy, take a sip or two. Also, always remember that your body gets liquid from such things as fruits and vegetables as well as for example, orange juice. So, it is not needed to chug down eight glasses of water a day.
Fourthly, it would make sense that water makes you feel a bit fuller. If you do not believe in this, try it out. Before you eat dinner today, drink a glass of water. You will notice that you do not feel as hungry as you used to and that you will most probably eat less than you ate the day before.
If you are an athlete, make sure you are hydrating enough. It is especially important for athletes to drink enough water - not any kind of fluids. If you had a choice between water and Gatorade, take water. Gatorade works best only if your exercise regime is more than one hour. Usually, your body gets starved of carbohydrates and electrolytes and thus, Gatorade, which consists of both of these, is a good way to replenish these reserves.
Thus, you want to try to drink as much water as your body needs. The key is to listen to your body. If you start to get moody, it is a sign to drink a bit of water. Also remember that just because someone says there are no health benefits from drinking water does not mean they are right.