You’ve heard to drink eight cups of water a day. I can’t count how many times I have.
There is zero medical or scientific evidence supporting the advice. None. There never was and never will be.
I hear people suggest it so often, feeling they’re helping people when they’re just repeating uninformed, confused misinformation, I couldn’t help but post on it.
This site—Snopes—summarizes the science debunking the myth, with citations to the research.
I’m not going to tell you to stop repeating the nonsense, but at least now you know you’re not helping anyone.
EDIT: Here’s a New York Times article compiling more research on it, “No, You Do Not Have to Drink 8 Glasses of Water a Day.” It begins “If there is one health myth that will not die, it is this: You should drink eight glasses of water a day. It’s just not true. There is no science behind it.”
Water and thirst
Actually, I take that back. We evolved how to drink the amount of water that keeps us healthy—thirst. Drinking when you’re thirsty turns out to regulate your body’s water needs effectively. I think the only exception is for extreme athletes.
When you suggest to people not to believe their bodies’ signals, you’re recommending them to lower their self-awareness and independence. You can choose to lower your self-awareness and independence, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
Food and hunger
Speaking of thirst regulating your water needs, switching my diet to fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, legumes, and only foods without fiber removed has led me to find that eating when I’m hungry and then eating until I feel full seems to meet my food needs.
Now that each meal has a ton of fiber, I get full fast. I eat to full every meal with amounts of food that wouldn’t have made me feel full before, but now make me feel stuffed. In other words, I eat to stuffed every meal and stay the same weight, maybe slowly losing fat off my abdomen.
I conclude that we evolved an effective mechanism to regulate how much food to eat: eat when you’re hungry and stop when you feel stuffed. Foods with fiber removed probably mess up the mechanism. I grew up eating mostly foods with fiber removed and I had a layer of fat on me.
I conclude that my diet restores the effectiveness of hunger and feeling full. I love eating until I feel full. I wouldn’t want to live with a diet that made me stop eating before I feel full.
Now that I’ve started this way—eating delicious, inexpensive, easily available, fresh food—I can’t believe people choose fiber-removed food instead. It tastes worse, costs more, is less convenient, and either keeps you from eating all you want or puts on extra fat. I can believe it because I didn’t know before either, but I’m never going back.
Learn to make Meaningful Connections
with a simple, effective exercise from my book, Leadership Step by Step.
- Step by step instructions
- Video examples of me and Marshall Goldsmith
- An excerpt from my book