Are You in the H2O-know?

Are You in the H2O-know?

Publish Date September 22, 2022 10 Minute Read
Author Splash Blast

Get your feet wet with our water and hydration quiz to find out.

Do you drink 8 glasses of water per day because you read that we need this much? Have you heard that drinking a lot of water makes your skin more youthful-looking? Or that sports drinks are the best choice for athletes? We’ll float by some popular beliefs about water and other beverages and let you know if they’re fact or fiction. So, grab a glass of water and let’s dive in.

Everyone needs to drink 8 glasses of water per day.

False. This depends on your height, weight, amount of activity and location. A good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water per day. So, if you weigh 200 pounds, you should drink 100 ounces of water each day. Keep in mind that this is just a guideline though, and your requirements may vary.

More than adults, it’s kids who need water proportional to their body weight. This is especially important when kids are playing games or sports, or during hot weather when they tend to lose more water from their bodies.

And according to a study conducted by the Water, Health and Nutrition Lab at the Penn State College of Health and Human Development, 20% of kids in the U.S. don’t drink water in a given day. The same 20% of kids consume twice as many calories from sugar-sweetened beverages — about 200 calories total — as children who drink water.

Does drinking water flush toxins from the body?

Yes. And no. Water that’s part of soda, tea, coffee or other sugary beverages unfortunately doesn’t count. In fact, these other drinks actually increase your need for water, because more water is required to flush these liquids (and any toxins they may carry) from your body.

Does drinking water help to keep skin moist?

There are mixed opinions. According to the Mayo Clinic, although proper hydration is important for your overall health, it's not clear whether drinking extra water affects skin hydration in healthy people.

Other sources say that water is the key to enhancing beauty and prolonging a youthful look. Also, according to these sources, drinking an adequate amount of water every day promotes fresh, soft and glowing skin, helps to maintain optimal body temperature which keeps skin moist, and hydrates and replenishes skin tissue leading to an increase in the skin's elasticity.

Are there certain times of day that are best to drink water?

Some sources say yes. Those times are:

  • After waking up to activate your internal body organs.
  • Before taking a bath to lower blood pressure.
  • Thirty minutes before eating to help in digestion, and about an hour later to give the body time to absorb the food's nutrients.
  • Before going to bed to account for any fluid loss as you sleep

Can drinking water help to promote weight loss?

True and false. Water can help to keep you full, but it doesn’t wash away fat. When you’re adequately hydrated, your body is in an optimal state to produce all the necessary hormones it needs to regulate hunger, appetite and metabolism. In addition, water has zero calories, so the act of consuming water helps to burn calories. So, when you replace sugary, high-calorie beverages with calorie-free water, you might just see the pounds start to melt away.

Does drinking water help to regulate blood pressure?

Yes. Staying adequately hydrated can help to lower your blood pressure, because it keeps a healthy amount of blood flowing to the kidneys.

How long can you live without water?

About a week. However, you can go for about a month without food.

If you’re thirsty, does that mean you’re already dehydrated?

Yes. According to the Mayo Clinic, when you're thirsty, you could already be dehydrated, having lost as much as 1-2% of your body's water content. And with that kind of water loss, you may start to experience cognitive impairments — like stress, agitation and forgetfulness, just to name a few.
Want to stay hydrated? Drink before you're thirsty and always keep a bottle of water handy.

Can you be dehydrated but not be thirsty?

Yes. The body has other ways of telling us we’re dehydrated. The Mayo Clinic says that signs and symptoms of dehydration may differ by age. Here’s what to look for and when to seek help.

Infant or young child:

  • Dry mouth and tongue.
  • No tears when crying.
  • No wet diapers for three hours.
  • Sunken eyes or cheeks.
  • Sunken soft spot on top of the skull.
  • Listlessness or irritability.

Adult:

  • Extreme thirst.
  • Less frequent urination.
  • Dark-colored urine.
  • Fatigue.
  • Dizziness.
  • Confusion.

When to see a doctor:
Call your family doctor if you or a loved one:

  • Have had diarrhea for 24 hours or more.
  • Are irritable or disoriented.
  • Are much sleepier or less active than usual.
  • Can't keep down fluids.
  • Have bloody or black stools.

Can dehydration cause a “hunger headache”?

Yes. You may notice that if you don’t eat for a while, you’ll develop what’s often referred to as a “hunger headache”. This is partly due to dehydration. Try drinking 16 ounces of water anytime you feel weak, fatigued or have a headache, and see if you feel better.

Does our sense of thirst stay the same throughout our life?

No. At any age, staying hydrated is important for staying healthy and feeling our best, according to the Cleveland Clinic. But it’s especially crucial the older we get. Did you know that starting around age 65, our sense of thirst actually decreases, but our body’s need for fluids doesn’t? Because of this decreased thirst sensation, many adults don’t drink as much water as they did in their younger days. This can lead to a whole host of preventable health problems.

Do you need sports drinks, and not water, to function in athletics?

Opinions are mixed. If you watch sports, you’ve probably seen athletes sipping sports drinks before, during or after a competition. Sports drinks contain water and electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium. Most also contain carbs. Although sports drinks can improve the performance of athletes, they’re probably unnecessary for most people. You can just stick with water. And remember, if you do choose to drink sports drinks, it’s important not to overdo it.

Can you get enough water from the foods you eat every day?

No, but they help. Although water is the best beverage for hydration, you can also add foods with electrolytes and complex carbs to your diet, which help your body better absorb the fluids you drink.

That’s good news for those who have a hard time sipping water all day (about 20% of the body’s hydration needs come from food). If you eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, this shouldn’t be hard. To hit the mark, you can follow tried-and-true nutrition advice by aiming for 2 to 3 servings of fruit and 5 or more servings of veggies daily.

That said, some foods are more hydrating than others. Opt for foods like celery, broth-based soups, fruits, vegetables and Greek yogurt. Foods that rehydrate are typically the ones that hold the most water. Just keep in mind that the fruit or veggie will lose water if it’s cooked. To optimize the hydration aspect of these foods, it’s best to eat them raw or minimally cooked. And for the best, most hydrating effect, enjoy these foods with a glass of water. As much as it’s important to eat your daily dose of fruits and vegetables, don't use it as an excuse to skimp on water.

The human brain and a living tree contain the same amount of water.

True. The human brain is 75% water – the same percentage as a living tree.

Now that you know the facts, we hope it’s a little easier to reach for water when you’re thirsty, instead of sugary soft drinks or other sweetened beverages. Remember, there are also lots of ways to make drinking water fun for adults and kids. Simple things, like adding fresh fruit or fruit frozen in ice cubes, can make all the difference. Or, you can try making a personalized water bottle or sipping from colored straws.

When wading through all the choices, keep in mind that with every sip of water, the calories saved can lead to lower rates of obesity and associated diseases, which in turn can create healthier communities and lower health care costs. Sounds like a win-win to us. So be sure to add water to your grocery shopping list, and drink to good health.