Drinking Less Than Eight Glasses Of Water Is Still Healthy

| by Maura Turcotte

With summer in full swing, water and staying hydrated are on the minds of many.

Guidelines for years have suggested that people drink eight glasses a day of H20. However, that number may be wrong, reports CBS News.

Rather, doctors and other official studies now suggest a slightly smaller amount -- think 30 to 50 ounces a day. That equates to about four to six glasses of water a day, almost half of what "conventional wisdom" has promoted. Moreover, while drinking water is incredibly important, it is not the only method of quenching one's thirst.

"It's really about fluids in general. Doesn't necessarily have to be water," Dr. Sharmeela Saha, the director of the dialysis center at University Hospitals Case Medical Center, explained to CBS News. "Lettuce, spinach, fruits in general, soups ... those are all things that are going to have a lot of water in them as well," Saha added.

Additionally, in society today, many believe they have to constantly consume water -- even when they are not the slightest bit thirsty -- to stay healthy and alert, as well as to flush toxins out of the body. Sites regularly tout articles with such buzz words. For example, recently several headlines suggested that driving dehydrated could be as bad as driving drunk, while other sites declared that even being the slightest bit thirsty impairs all-over performance. While those sites cited several studies, further investigation reveals that those studies were funded partially by the bottled water industry, according to CBC News.

"Industries tend to sponsor studies with the hope that it's going to produce an outcome that is going to lead them to be able to make claims for benefits," Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, a University of Pennsylvania kidney specialist, said to CBC News.  

"Do you need to spend the extra money, do you need to carry around bottles of water all day to make sure that you are never thirsty, to keep staying hydrated beyond any sense that you have any desire to drink? There is absolutely no evidence that is beneficial to you," the doctor told CBC News.

Sources: CBS News, CBC News / Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons