Water, including flavored varieties, flushes out waste materials to detoxify the body—definitely an important function. Water also maintains blood volume, allowing the body to consume adequate oxygen to improve physical performance. Contrary to popular belief, however, recent studies show that drinking eight glasses of water a day does not contribute to weight control. This can be only accomplished by eating less and moving more.
The recommendation to drink eight glasses per day is a general guideline that does not take individual needs into account such as body fat percentage, caloric needs, kidney function or how much a person sweats. Older adults, young children, athletes, and those who do physical work in hot climates are at the greatest risk for dehydration. As we age or when physical activity is extreme, the thirst mechanism that normally guides us may not work. When engaging in a high level of exercise or when working in hot climates, it is good to drink eight ounces of water every 20 minutes to avoid dehydration.
For the average person, the general recommendation of eight glasses per day is fine. Tap water is fine for fluid replacement.
However, it’s important to remember that alcoholic and caffeinated beverages only count for half due to increased loss of fluid from them. Save the sugary sport drinks for endurance activities but flavored, low-calorie waters may make it easier to achieve those eight glasses per day. With the long days of summer upon us, it’s a good idea to keep toting your water bottle around to stay hydrated.