April 06, 2011

How did the 8 GLASSES OF WATER A DAY myth starts?

I had a webchat with my mom yesterday and we talked about their health status. Thank GOD for they are doing fine. With this, my mom reminded me to take care of myself and avoid those crappy/unhealthy food which she later realized added harm to her health. Mom said, drink at least 8 glasses of water a day, watch out for sodium intake and too much sweets. I assured her that I will try to remember them. Again, curiousity strikes me why eight (8)?, not seven (lucky 7), when and where this specific at least 8 glasses a day started. How it started? I googled for some answers and found a reliable explanation. According to a certain Dr. Valtin, there's no exact evidence to support the famous recommendation to drink eight 8 oz. glasses of water per day. But, he thought it might have started in 1945 when the Food and Nutrition Board recommended approximately “1 milliliter of water for each calorie of food,” which would amount to roughly 2 to 2.5 quarts per day (64 to 80 ounces). This next sentence was overlooked, Most of this quantity is contained in prepared foods. With that overlooked sentence, the recommendation was erroneously interpreted as how much water a person should drink each day. I also discovered the amount of water content in terms of percentage for the following food:
http://survivalacres.com/information/water_content.html
But in reality, we only drink when we get thirsty and if we have the chance and not that conscious of the 8 glasses of water per day. So, it's clear to me now that it's not WATER per se, it should be FLUID intake which can be from water, above food listed or any source. Nowadays, I eat lots of watermelon, drink coffee, juice, iced tea, diet coke, eat tomatoes and just water when I take my vitamins supplements. Under some circumstances, there's a need to consume more water such as tiring physical activity and hot weather. So, you can take whatever quantity of water / fluid which can be from different sources. I asked hubby, is there any illness caused by drinking too much water? Yes, it's called water intoxication, he replied. I didn't ask more.

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