There is a lot of information out there about what it takes to stay hydrated and it’s often tough to distinguish facts from myths. Here are some of the most common myths about hydration and the facts you should to know to stay happy and hydrated.
Everyone should drink 8 glasses of water a day.
Although it’s a nice reminder that most of us should aim to drink more, the truth is that not everyone requires 8 glasses of water a day to maintain adequate hydration. The amount of fluids that each person needs varies based on activity level, gender and body size. Other sources of fluids that contribute to hydration include carbonated drinks, juice, milk, coffee, tea, fruits, vegetables and other foods with higher water content.
Only water really hydrates you.
Not true. Many beverages with high water content contribute to the body’s hydration status, including carbonated soft drinks, juices, tea and even coffee to a certain extent. In addition, 20% of your hydration regularly comes from the food you eat.
You can’t really get dehydrated in the winter.
Not true. Both heat and air conditioning lower indoor humidity which means the humidity from our skin and breath is lost to the dry air – creating a dehydrating effect for the body. Chapped lips, dry eyes and irritated skin are all signs of dehydration. So whether working indoors or engaged in outdoor winter sports, be sure to drink plenty of water in the wintertime too to avoid the effects of dehydration.
Thirst is a good indicator and my body’s main signal that I need to drink.
Many people can use thirst as an indicator to rehydrate, but that may not always be reliable. As many of us know, thirst signals are easily ignored when it’s inconvenient to drink, and we do this regularly, so it’s tough to rely on thirst as a signal to drink. In addition, physical activity, high temperatures, stress and fatigue may increase water loss making it necessary to consume more than you usually need.
For more information on how much fluid you need to stay hydrated each day, we invite you to check out our hydration calculator.