How Much Hydration Do You Really Need?


You would think they would know better; at Brown University in Providence, RI, they even have their own branded bottled water.

A few months ago my wife and daughter were visiting the Art Gallery of Ontario and checking their bags. A woman ahead was told that she had to check her water bottle and she wailed, "But how will I stay hydrated?" My wife thought, but did not say, "you are in an art gallery, not the Sahara Desert."

But this obsession with hydration is everywhere, nobody seems to be able to get around anymore without either their own proper BPA free stainless steel bottle if they are politically correct, or their Fiji Water if they are not. Where did this come from?

The Guardian had a good article about the subject.Tim Hayward writes in the Guardian:

A decade ago the only people who carried a water supply hooked to their belt were either planning a sweaty week under canvas or heading out to be shot at. Now every desk jockey on expenses, every Boden-clad holidaymaker wants to get onto a two hour flight with enough water to support a Forward Operating Base in Helmand for a fortnight.

We have got to get over this....But what we really need, like the orchestrated howls of outrage when petrol prices hit a new high, is a campaign that strikes at the root of the problem: the idiotic belief that we need a constant supply of water or something awful will happen ... Our weapon should be ridicule. Next time you see someone with a bottle of water, be sure to point and laugh. Meanwhile restrict yourself to 5-a-day: a double espresso at breakfast, a glass of wine with lunch and a couple with dinner. I promise you won't shrivel up.

That is a little extreme as a conclusion, but it sounded civilized. More in the Guardian: Suckers for bottled water

Scientific American notes that the obsession with hydration comes from the 8x8 rule: that one must drink 8 - 8 ounce glasses of water every day. However this appears to have been discounted, and the National Academy of Sciences's Food and Nutrition board now concludes that "the vast majority of healthy people adequately meet their daily hydration needs by letting thirst be their guide."

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