Water Fact and Fiction

Image Credit: flickr user likeablerodent

Staying properly hydrated is important to your everyday health, not just while exercising, but do you know how much water you should be drinking on an average day? Wondering if cold or warm water is better for you? Curious about those crazy stories you’ve heard of people drowning their bodies with too much water?  For the answers to all these questions keep reading…

Every person is different, but a safe bet as far as daily water consumption for a woman is about 9 cups and for a man about 13 cups. Remember, we’re talking the actual measurement “cups” not the big gulp carry cup you lug around. If you’re wondering why you need all this water, the answer is pretty simple: “every system in your body depends on water.” When our bodies don not get enough of this crucial resource, we become dehydrated. I don’t know how many of you have suffered from a serious case of dehydration, but I can tell you first hand that it is absolutely horrible. Dehydration can cause headaches, loss of energy, muscle cramps, and in severe cases can lead to shock. Not fun stuff people. Drink your water.

Lots of people have heard the myth that drinking cold water is somehow bad for you. Although, it’s unclear how this myth got started, it is clear that it is completely false. Drinking cold water is in fact better for you than drinking warm water, because cold water leaves the stomach and is absorbed into the body faster. What about that rumor that drinking cold water burns calories? Turns out this one is true, but with a big old not as good as it sounds asterisk. Although drinking cold water does burn calories, the amount is pretty small. Drinking one cup of cold water (8 fluid ounces) burns about 8.75 calories. If you drink the recommended nine cups of cold water you will burn about 78.75 calories in a day, and 551.25 calories in a week.  If you look at the nutrition facts on just about anything you eat, you will see that is a small drop in the bucket, but it is still five hundred calories you would not have burned otherwise so that is something.

But don’t go consuming copious amounts of cold water thinking you are going to lose a ton of weight. Just like with anything else, too much of a good thing becomes bad. Water Intoxication is real and can occur when you take in more water than your body. The excess water floods your bloodstream and can lead to problems as minor as swelling and severe as death. The good news is that unless you are a marathon runner or taking part in some crazy stunt, your chances of Water Intoxication are slim. The easiest way to prevent Water Intoxication is to only drink to fullness, simply put: if you feel full, don’t keep drinking.

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