These studies do not take into account that the majority of people do not drink enough water to stay properly hydrated; and as a result will not benifit from these conditions. I do not see any evidence that drinking 8 glasses of water will hinder weight loss, and in fact, not drinking enough water will have negative results. So how does this really help? Tell us what you think.
Just as most of the rest of us have, two doctors at the University of Pennsylvania have always heard that we need to drink eight glasses containing eight ounces of water every day for optimum health, a theory often dubbed the 8×8 rule. But they did more than just drink the water. They set out to examine the health benefits associated with drinking so much water.
Stanly Goldfarb, MD, and Dan Negoianu, MD, both of the university’s Renal Electrolyte, and Hypertension Division in Philadelphia studied the data from previously published clinical trials looking for solid scientific evidence of the health benefits of so much water. They found little evidence to support the health benefits of drinking a half gallon of water every day but they found little evidence of harm in doing so either. And they were unable to uncover the original source of the advice that most of us have heard since childhood.
In some cases, such as athletes; people who live in hot, dry environments; and those with certain medical conditions, more is better but there have been no studies weighing the benefits of following the 8×8 rule in average, healthy people.
One popular theory behind the 8×8 water rule is that that much water helps expel toxins from the body by enhancing kidney function. And it does, to a degree, although there is no clinical evidence of the health benefit in healthy individuals for doing so.
Another theory says organ function throughout the body will be enhanced as long as the water is sipped slowly over the course of the day instead of consumed in a few big gulps. The researchers could find no documented evidence to support this theory, either.
Some people report an increased incidence of headaches when water consumption is low. In one small study the doctors reviewed, the group drinking the most water reported fewer headaches than the control group but the difference in the number of headaches was so small between the two groups as to be considered insignificant.
Water as a beauty treatment was also studied. Many people think drinking lots of water will increase skin tone, keeping it younger looking. What actually happens, though, is that people who don’t drink enough water have skin that becomes dehydrated, losing its turgor, which adds to the appearance of aging.
Look for “Just Add Water,” the editorial written by Goldfarb and Negoianu in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN) dated June 2008.
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