Most of us have heard that our bodies need eight cups of water every day to stay healthy and hydrated. Some think that’s the minimum we should drink to prevent the chronic dehydration that doesn’t trigger the usual warnings of dryness, like thirst.
But some experts are pushing back on this rule, saying there is little science to back up the claim. They say we need drink only when we’re thirsty since our bodies are good at telling us what we need. Plus, some studies show a little dehydration may improve athletic performance.
The reality is no one really knows how much water we need. We do know that water makes up half our weight; keeps our cells, kidneys and cardiovascular system finely tuned; and may have a role in protecting us from some illnesses. We can survive without food far longer than we can go without water. It is safe to say that water is one of the most important elements to life.
- Lawrence Armstrong – Professor of Exercise and Environmental Physiology and Director of Human Performance Lab at the University of Connecticut
- Alex Hutchinson – Science journalist; writer of the Fast Lane column and Sweat Science blog for Runner’s World,; author of Which Comes First, Cardio or Weights? Fitness Myths, Training Truths and Other Surprising Discoveries from the Science of Exercise; marathon runner
- Rebecca Stearns – Chief Operating Officer at the Korey Stringer Institute at the University of Connecticut; marathon runner
- Rachel Berman – Registered Dietitian and Head of Content at Verywell.com; author of two books, Boosting Your Metabolism for Dummies and Mediterranean Diet for Dummies