Health & Wellness

8 glasses of water a day? The common recommendation isn't recommended at all

If you find the common recommendation of eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day hard to swallow, don't worry. As it turns out, drinking that much H2O isn't really recommended after all.

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If you think you need 8 glasses of water a day, you’re all wet

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If you think you need 8 glasses of water a day, you’re all wet

Play Video - 1:05

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Although the advice is often repeated, that much water is not needed, says Aaron E. Carroll, a pediatrics professor from Indiana University School of Medicine who co-authored a paper devoted in part to busting the water myth back in 2007.

Since the eight-a-day talk continues today, Carroll has tackled the topic again in a piece for The New York Times.

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New study reexamines the need to drink eight glasses of water a day

The suggestion likely came from a Food and Nutrition Board recommendation from the 1940s, but it seems an important part of it was ignored: "Most of this quantity is contained in prepared foods."

And while Carroll believes water is the best beverage to consume, our remaining hydration needs can be met by any beverages — coffee, tea, juice, etc.

The fact is no formal recommendations exist, as there's no one-size-fits-all approach to water needs. And since studies on the subject have failed to show that increased water consumption has a significant impact on overall health concerns, there's just no need to force the fluids down.

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