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 registered dietitian and TODAY’s diet and nutrition editor. Drink when you’re thirsty! What a novel idea.
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It’s not a bad idea to consume 64 ounces of fluid a day, but it’s not a scientifically proven idea, either. It likely comes from a 1940s recommendation from the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council, which said that adults should ingest about 2.5 liters of water a day.