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From National Geographic Magazine

Eight Glasses a Day? Shattering the Water Myth
Posted Sep 21,2010

Hydration experts are ready to rewrite the popular dictum that people should drink eight glasses of water a day.

Magazines, websites, even some medical texts recommend guzzling eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. The bottled-water business loves it. Hydration experts, however, aren’t sure where the “8 x 8” rule came from—or whether it holds water.

Mike Sawka, a U.S. Army research scientist, thinks the origins lie in a 1933 study on rodent hydration. The research led to a recommendation of 2.5 liters a day, or 84.5 ounces of liquid, for a moderately active human to make up for water lost to sweat and excretions. Twenty percent typically comes from foods high in water—soup, ice cream, celery—leaving 67.6 ounces, or roughly “8 x 8.” (Exercise or heat adds to a body’s needs.)

Only you don’t need eight daily glasses of water. Other beverages count, even if caffeinated. “The body’s need to keep fluid trumps the small influence caffeine might have on losing fluid,” says University of Connecticut exercise physiologist Douglas Casa. Plus the body isn’t shy about liquid desires. Drink if you feel thirsty. If not, don’t. One exception: Hydrate before an intense workout.

When in doubt, check your urine. Dark yellow, says University of Pennsylvania nutritionist Stella Volpe, is the hue of dehydration. —Marc Silver

What do you think? Does being HIV positive affect this?

-Steve

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