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Hydration Fact and Fiction

By Sara Butler

Your body needs water to be able to function optimally, and especially in the summer when the heat is turned up you need to make sure you’ve got water on hand to keep you hydrated. Still, there are a few myths out there about hydration that deserve to be addressed, if for no other reason than you can whip out your knowledge at a dinner party and impress everyone!

Here are a few of the most prevalent hydration myths you should know about.

Myth No. 1: You’re Always a Little Dehydrated

Have you heard this one? Some people seem to be under the impression that everyone is in a constant state of just a little dehydration, but it’s simply not true. If you eat a diet that is healthy and balanced you don’t just drink your water but eat it too.

Twenty percent of the water you need every day comes from the moisture contained in the foods you eat. It would do your body good to avoid eating a lot of dry foods, such as crackers, that are highly processed and seem to zap all the moisture right out of your mouth. Try some fruits and vegetables for snacks and get your water in the way nature intended!

Myth No. 2: If You’re Hungry You Might Just Be Thirsty

This is a very popular idea, and it may surprise you to find out that it’s a myth. The fact of the matter is your body knows the difference between when it wants food and when it wants liquid. When you feel snacky it’s probably just because you’re bored, it’s a habit, or you’re feeling stressed -- not because you are dehydrated. When you’re hungry your stomach will rumble and feel empty, and when you’re thirsty your mouth mayl feel dry. It’s not hard to read your body’s messages if you know what to look for.

Myth No. 3: You need 64 ounces of Water Each Day

The truth is 64 ounces is a random number. There’s no evidence that drinking eight glasses of water is going to give your body what it needs. How much you need depends on a number of factors including if you’re a man or a woman, what kind of climate you live in, and how much you exercise. A better rule of thumb is to drink half of your weight in ounces of water each day, but don’t forget you’re getting water through eating, too.

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