I just stumbled across this interesting article (sure to make headlines) on whether or not water is being pushed down our throats too much by health advocates. Do we drink eight 8 oz glasses of liquid a day or can we get away with just drinking when thirsty? The authors of this study claim that there is no evidence to recommend drinking 64 oz of water a day. They also note that there is no evidence against it...meaning it is not harmful to drink this much water. Most health care practitioners know (and many a mentor has taught me), too much or too little of anything can be bad.
So what, as health care practitioners and patients, do we make of these findings? Personally, I will continue to encourage my patients to drink as much unsweetened liquids (minus diet drinks) as they feel they need (likely around 6-8 glasses a day) to help flush the body of toxins and to maintain skin hydration. Unbeknownst to many, dehydration is actually a common cause for admission to the hospital, especially in people who work outside in hot climates. Obviously in those conditions, it is recommended by everyone to drink 2-3 times your normal intake...use common sense.
Unfortunately though, many people, in their busy, hectic lives ignore their thirst and in doing so, often end up dehydrated. Dehydration can lead to headaches, constipation, fatigue or nausea and in severe cases, electrolyte imbalances, passing out or death. So, bottom line, stay hydrated at the level that you feel comfortable. If you're like me, that means carrying a water bottle (BPA-free) around constantly. If you're like many of my colleagues who go around all day without drinking anything...I'd say make a conscious effort to stop every few hours for something to drink (even if it's at a water fountain or sink). Everyone else, use common sense.
All the best and stay cool!
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Dr. Maltz earned a Medical Degree and Master in Public Health from the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston, TX. She completed a combined Internal and Preventive Medicine Residency at UTMB in June, 2011. She then completed a 2-year Integrative Medicine Fellowship at Stamford Hospital in Stamford, CT, during which she simultaneously underwent an intensive 1000-hour curriculum created by The University of Arizona Integrative Medicine Program founded by Dr. Andrew Weil.