My Thoughts on Hydration
By L. Markham McHenry, D.O.
Hello It’s Dr. McHenry.
I wanted to talk to you today about an article that came out in the New York Times and was also picked up by many of the news stations, I even saw it here locally on the news. They were reiterating that in this article Mr. Carroll pediatric researcher (Aaron Carroll, MD, MS, Associate Professor/Associated Director, Children’s Health Services Research at Indiana Children’s Health Service Research) is quoting his original 2007 research that stated we do not need 8-8 ounce glasses of water per day. Much of the indications for that recommendation go way back to 1945. That’s when the original recommendation of 8-8 ounce glasses of water per day, which is roughly 2.5 liters of water, was made. In that research, right after that sentence stating that is how much water people need, it was said that the majority of this water content could be obtained by the foods that we eat and in prepared foods.
Well my point on that is the foods from 1945 are vastly different than the foods we eat today. There were not processed foods, there were not prepackaged foods, you had the meat department, the produce department and the grains department. We didn’t have all of these other foods in between the aisles to select from. We also didn’t have many different beverages to choose from. These days people drink coffee, tea, fruit drinks, soda drinks, energy drinks, many different drinks other than water. They all have a great water content but many of them have artificial colors, artificial sweeteners, additives, chemicals we do not need to expose our bodies to. The caffeine content doesn’t really scare me and I don’t believe that caffeine significantly dehydrates anybody. However, if that’s all you are drinking is caffeinated beverages all day long I might beg to differ a little bit.
Now, on the subject of how much water to drink, I still think people should target about 2.5 to 3 liters per day, especially if you are active. You may need even more if you are exercising and burning a lot of that water off and sweating it off outside in our arid environment. I encourage you, if haven’t paid attention to the InBody scale that we use during your yearly physicals, to take a look at that and see what your water content is.
If you are curious feel free to make an appointment, come in and get an updated Inbody scale measurement and we can see just see where your water content is through the impedance measurement. I find it very important to stay well hydrated, it’s a great way to curb cravings. I know myself whenever I feel the grumblings in my stomach when I am hungry I’ll drink an entire 16-oz bottle of water. Pretty soon I have more energy and my hunger pains are gone. It is a great way to battle the bulge in the middle.
So, my point with this article is I still believe it is very important to get at least those 8-8 ounce glasses of water per day and not to utilize other beverage as a replacement.
Thank you for your time and have a wonderful day.