Nutrition The Facts and Myths of Hydration

myths of hydration

I wanted to talk a little today about the importance of hydration and bust a few myths that I believe people throw around a lot about drinking water. Staying hydrated throughout the day is important for a multitude of functions in your body like delivering oxygen to different parts of your body and helping you regulate body temperature. I mean if water makes up 60% of your body, it’s got to be important.

So, here are 5 myths about hydration that I hear pretty frequently:

1. Caffeine Dehydrates You

This myth surprised me. Experts say that coffee can be just as hydrating as water itself. In fact, a study came out showing that people who drink up to 4 cups of coffee per day ended up being more hydrated than those who drank only water. Now before you go and only drink coffee as your daily fluid, keep in mind that consuming more than 400 mg of caffeine in a day can have many negative effects on the body.

2. I Only Need to Drink Water When I’m Thirsty

Everyone needs to drink water regardless of how they are feeling. If you want to find out how much water you should drink per day, take your body weight and divide it by 2. Your result will be how many ounces of water you should drink per day.

3. More Water = Healthier

It’s no surprise that everyone should be drinking more water, but you can also drink too much water. If you drink more than your daily limit of water, you could be diluting salt and various electrolytes that your body needs. The Kidneys can only filter 20-28 liters of water per day, so make sure to drink less than 33 ounces of water per hour on average.

4. My Urine Is Clear. I’m Hydrated!

Back when I used to play soccer in High School, they would tell us to make sure our pee was clear before games to know we were well hydrated. It wasn’t until I realized that if your pee is clear that’s a sign you are too hydrated. Not the biggest deal when you are a High School athlete, but as we get older, we want to make sure we are staying well hydrated. A good way to check if you are well hydrated is if your pee color is a pale yellow.

5. My Beer Has Water in It, So I’m Good

Since I just graduated from college, this myth is still fresh on my mind. You can’t go to a college party without someone pretending that they are hydrated by drinking beer. If you didn’t already know, beer and many other alcoholic beverages reduce a hormone in your body called vasopressin. Your hypothalamus creates vasopressin to tell your kidneys to release less fluid. This is why when you drink more alcohol, you pee more. While you may think that you are staying hydrated because you are peeing more, you are actually replacing the water and electrolytes in your body with alcohol. To ensure healthy hydration while drinking alcohol, drink 1 glass of water between each drink.

Carson Gilliland Health & Wellness

Comments are closed