5 Ways You’re Drinking Water Wrong

5 Ways You’re Drinking Water Wrong

In 1945, The Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences claimed that the body needed two-and-a-half liters of water a day (which is actually ten cups of water a day, even more than the widely-referenced eight)—without citing a clinical study! Not only did people take this recommendation as fact, they also ignored the next sentence: “Most of this quantity is contained in prepared foods.”

From the looks of it, it’s clear that we’re a culture obsessed with getting those fabled eight glasses of H2O a day. In 2016, bottled water sales exceeding soda sales for the first time in recorded history, and there appears to be a new artisan bottled water brand introduced to the market daily.

But while ensuring that you’re adequately hydrated is important, how many of us view hydration doesn’t quite jibe with what the science tells us. Below, we’ve found the most common ways you could be drinking wrong, and what you should be doing instead. Read up, drink up, and don’t make these water mistakes count as one of the 40 Habits That Make You Sick and Fat.

1 You Discount the Water Content of Solid Foods

About 20 percent of our daily H2O intake comes from solid foods — fruits and vegetables in particular. Although it’s good to be mindful of how much water your body asks for, you can also hydrate with fruits and veggies, most of which are largely water. A cucumber, for example, is 96.7 percent water. Lettuce, celery, tomatoes, watermelon, grapefruit and green peppers are more than 90 percent water. Unlike pure water, however, these foods are rich in a range of nutrients and vitamins. Eating a significant percentage of your water is an excellent way to achieve your health and fitness goals. While you’re at it, why not also stock up on these 26 Foods That Melt Love Handles?

2 You’re Drinking More Water Than You Need

According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), “the vast majority of healthy people adequately meet their hydration needs by letting thirst be their guide.” If you’re forcing yourself to chug through gallons of water, you might be drinking too much. And yes, there is such thing as “too much,” especially since there’s no scientific proof that drinking extra water has any health benefits.

Drinking too much can cause hyponatremia, which is also called “water intoxication”, a condition in which the sodium levels in the blood become dangerously low and can result in swelling in the brain, seizures, and coma. Under normal conditions, you’d have to drink a huge amount of water to experience hypernatremia; however, if you’re a serious runner or a particularly salty sweater, you could harm yourself by downing H2O too quickly. For these people, sports drinks such as WTRMLN WTR can be useful in replenishing sodium and electrolytes in the body.

3 You’re Avoiding Caffeine Unnecessarily

You likely know that caffeine can boost your metabolism and help you focus, but there is one widely held believe about this morning beverage that might be steering you in the wrong direction: coffee’s dieuretic qualities. “Recent research shows that caffeine doses between 250 and 300 milligrams—about two cups of coffee—will minimally increase urine output for about three hours after consuming it,” says Susan Yeargin, Ph.D., assistant professor of athletic training at the University of South Carolina. In other words: the myth that drinking caffeine causes you to excessively pee is largely just hype. Specifically, a 2014 study published in the journal PLOS One found there to be no evidence of dehydration with moderate daily coffee intake. So, don’t avoid your cuppa! In fact, not only is coffee a great source of water, but it’s also the most common source of inflammation-fighting antioxidants in the American diet.

4 You Leave A Glass on Your Night Stand

One thing that isn’t on the list of 30 Things to Before Bed to Lose Weight? Drinking water. The reasoning is quite intuitive: “If you drink too much right before bed, you may find yourself waking up multiple times in the middle of the night to urinate,” says Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDE. Instead, she says, “start to taper off your fluid intake about three hours before bedtime,” which will allow your body to process the water and use the restroom before snuggling under the covers.

5 You’re Still Drinking Water Out of Plastic Bottles

We’ve said it dozens of times, and we’ll say it again: stop drinking your water from plastic bottles! These throw-away bottles are commonly made with Bisphenol A (or BPA for short), a hormone-disrupting chemical that can negatively impact fertility in both men and women, may promote cancer, and has also been been linked to obesity. To stay hydrated on the go, buy a BPA-free refillable bottle.

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