I drink water. A lot of water. And not much else. So as I read a headline “8 glasses of water a day 'an urban myth’” (CBC.ca) I had to read on.  

A recent study in Australia said that "Humans need to maintain fluid balance and need to drink water when required, but should also consider fluid in unprocessed fruits and vegetables and juices. There is further evidence that water and a well-balanced diet does far more than water alone". I totally disagree. Let me explain.

Although there’s the odd food diary that I see (my clients complete one before meeting for a consultation) packed fruits and vegetables that might offer enough water, but it’s the minority. I believe in our current state general health, especially with diabetes skyrocketing, there isn’t enough fresh food on the plates of the average North American.

The article suggested that a baked potato was 75 per cent water, but that water needs to help the fibre from the potato to move through the digestive system. It’s unlikely to have much leftover once it’s done that job to hydrate other organs. Moreover, I don’t often see a baked potato eaten over french fries.

Processed food has become the norm for most families. Packages fill pantry cupboards and frozen dinners crowd out fresh meat in most freezers. To say that considering fresh fruits and vegetables for water intake would leave most at a hydration disadvantage. Don’t get me started about how much coffee most people drink in a day over a large glass of cool water. Most of us ride a caffeine high all day long.

Not Drinking Enough?
Symptoms of dehydration include headache, constipation, lethargy, dry skin, dry eyes and mouth, cracked lips, muscle soreness, fluid retention, low blood pressure and fast heart rate. If you suffer with any of these, give the eight glasses a try and see what happens.

When you Need More Water
Exercise that makes you sweat; hot yoga, brisk walking or running in the heat, cycling, team sports such as soccer or football all increase the need to replenish water.

Climate: hot or humid weather, indoor heating that can dry skin out, and high altitudes.

Heath: fever, diarrhea and vomiting can all result in fluid loss and dehydration, especially dangerous for the young and elderly.

Pregnant and breastfeeding women: water requirements increase during pregnancy and while breastfeeding as large amounts of fluid are used to produce breast milk.

With most people finding it hard to cram in the recommended 5 - 10 servings of fresh fruit and vegetables a day, the situations above would require at least double that to maintain hydration. It’s unlikely to happen.

Up next: A Recipe for Lianne's Refreshing "Un-Water"