Try as we may, we've never been able to guzzle down six to eight glasses of water per day. But is that even necessary?As ubraintv-jp.com reported in May, part of the problem with the famous rule of eight 8-ounce glasses a...

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Try as we may, we've never been able to guzzle down six to eight glasses of water per day. But is that even necessary?

As ubraintv-jp.com reported in May, part of the problem with the famous rule of eight 8-ounce glasses a day is that it fails to account for the water we get naturally through our diet.

And in a recent editorial, a general practitioner from Scotland claims the age-old advice to drink six to eight cups of water is "nonsense."


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In other words, four cups of fluid throughout the day (through food and liquids) might be enough for some people (particularly those who exist almost entirely indoors, and who barely move off the couch), while others might need 10 cups or more.


The bottom line: There's no cut-and-dry answer regarding how much total water each of us needs. So instead of fretting about whether you're guzzling enough H2O, Stokes recommends making sure you get enough fluid (in all its forms) to stay hydrated.

Here's how:

Eat water-rich foods: Hate water and can't stomach three glasses a day? Load up on water-rich foods like yogurt, grapefruit, lettuce, broccoli and watermelon (all of which have a water content of 85 percent or more)! Soup, milk and even ice pops are good options, too.

Check your pee: If it's pale or straw-colored, chances are you're adequately hydrated. If it's dark yellow or orange, well, you should probably hit the water cooler. Aim for even more fluids if you're active, if it's hot outside or both. Women should drink an additional 8 to 16 ounces of water, or an electrolyte-infused beverage, for every half hour they sweat through activity and heat.

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Concerned about getting water-logged? Unless you're training for a marathon, elderly or hospitalized with a life-threatening condition or guzzling gallons of water in one sitting, hyponatremia (or overhydration) is nearly impossible, says Stokes. If you are an athlete in training or if you play some seriously demanding sports, drinking fluids that contain electrolytes (instead of plain water) will help protect you from the condition.