For many years now, water has been one of the most profitable markets in the beverage industry. However, that enviable perch may be in danger if this new study is true.
If you can’t stomach the thought of guzzling down eight glasses of water every single day, here’s some good news: You’re off the hook, more health experts are saying.
A new editorial in an Australian public health journal is the latest to bust the widely-repeated health myth we need to guzzle 64 ounces, or eight 8-ounce glasses, of water each day just to stave off dehydration. Actually, we get enough fluids to keep our bodies adequately hydrated from the foods we eat and the beverages we drink — even from caffeinated drinks like coffee and tea.
Turns out, the whole “eight glasses a day” thing “really is no longer the recommendation; the recommendation is drinking to thirst,” explains Madelyn Fernstrom, a board-certified nutrition specialist and TODAY’s diet and nutrition editor.
Drink when you’re thirsty! What a novel idea.
I’ve never consumed eight 8-ounce glasses of water in a day, possibly ever. My logic is pretty simple: how many of us have observed our co-workers going through water like they just spent the last 6 months in the Mojave? They don’t seem to be any healthier than WE are.
Or someone who always eats their half-a-dozen donuts and a bag of chips with a tall glass of water, ’cause that evens things out?
Like the study says, I only drink water when I’m thirsty. So far I haven’t been rushed to the ER due to dehydration; so far, so good, I say.
Please note that the authors of this study included coffee in their list. Much to my wife’s chagrin, I have long maintained that I like water as much as the next guy: I simply prefer it heated, and poured over coffee beans. Looks like my coffee habit now makes me a health nut. Who knew?
More from MSNBC.com:
Last summer, a paper published in the British Medical Journal grabbed headlines when it called the myth “nonsense” — thoroughly debunked nonsense,” for that matter, citing reports in 2002 and 2006 that couldn’t find any “clear evidence from drinking increased amounts of water.”
Yet the myth sticks around, likely because people have made a lot of money off the idea that we’re all on the precipice of dehydration. (And we’re definitely not — government research on more than 15,000 people in 50 states show that over three years, the average American ingested 75 ounces of water a day, Carroll points out.)
“(B)ottled water and the entire health culture around drinking more water have been very lucrative,” Vreeman explains. “Certainly, your body needs fluids and water is a healthy choice to meet those fluid needs, but many of us spend a lot of money, effort and guilt on forcing ourselves to drink more water than we really need.”
The primary beneficiary of this fascination with drinking water all day long has been the bottled water industry, and so they will likely be the ones who’ll try to debunk the debunking, or just ignore this study altogether. You have to hand it to them: the bottled water industry has possibly the best PR team ever. How else do you explain charging confiscatory rates for something that falls, free, from the sky? They’ve even convinced consumers to have developed loyalty to different brands of bottled water, which is stunning to me. Brand loyalty to WATER?
These guys are scary good.
Of course, when you can come up with a commercial as memorable as this one was, as far as I’m concerned, you deserve your success: