People who are healthy meet their fluid needs when they consume water with their meals and drink when they feel thirsty, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). So is it necessary to follow the 8×8 rule then?
Are you aware of the 8×8 rule for drinking water? The rule dictates that you should be drinking eight, eight-ounce glasses of water every day.
“Generally speaking, if you are healthy, this is a reasonable amount of water to consume in a 24-hour period for an adult,” says Dr. Susana Salcedo, an internal medical physician at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Ill. “Healthy adults can do very well with a wide range of water consumption in a day. Their fluid requirement also depends on their activity level, the temperature of their environment, and if they have any condition that increases their needs. The 8×8 rule is a good starting point but can vary.”
Dr. Salcedo also recommends to follow your thirst.
“It is an excellent indicator of your needs,” she adds. “Another guide to determine your hydration status is the color of your urine. If you are well-hydrated, it should be a faint yellow color. If your urine is much darker, it is time to increase your fluid intake.”
Many health benefits come from adequate water consumption. According to the CDC, water helps protect your spinal cord and sensitive tissues. It also helps maintain a regular body temperature, cushion joints, as well as facilitates waste removal through sweating, urinating and bowel movements.
If you struggle drinking water, here are some tips to stay hydrated from Dr. Salcedo:
- Follow your thirst
- Increase your fluid intake if your urine is darker than a faint yellow color.
- Finish a tall glass of water with each meal.
- Try to get at least one serving of a fruit, vegetable or whole grain with every meal or snack.
- If you are sick, hot or exercising, drink more water and watch your urine color.