8 Glasses of Water Per Day - Is it Really Necessary, and Why?

We are always told to take 8 cups of water a day.

Yeah. Do you think I�m a horse?

That�s what I have been telling myself until I sit down and do the math:

How the expert comes up with the magic number 8

On average, we get around 3.5 cups of water from various foods, and 0.5 cup as a byproduct from our body�s own metabolism (water is produced when energy is released). At the same time, 2 cups of water is lost through lungs (breathing), 6 cups through intestines and kidney (poo and wee), 2 cups from sweating in inactive activities (like sitting and sleeping), and 2 extra cups from sweating under hot weather or exercise. As you can see we�ll need to drink 8 cups of water to fill that hole.

Just to scare you further, here are a few fun facts on drinking water:

* 75% of the earth is covered with water, of which only 3% is fresh water. Among the 3%, 2% is frozen in polar ice caps (yes, it�s fresh water), thus only 1% of water available on earth is drinkable.Take it while you can!
* We are virtually made of water — A human body is 70% water, similar to an avocado (73%), banana (75%) and a living tree (75%). Strawberry is 91% water.
* While we can normally survive without food for more than a month, we can�t live without water for more than a week.
* Drinks containing concentrated nutrients, such as milk, sugar-sweetened soft drinks, and salty tomato-based juices, count more as food than drink since they themselves increase your body�s water needs.

Composition of water

For tap water, it’s 99.89% water, 0.1% ash (whatever that is), 0.002% (5mg) calcium, 0.002% (5mg) sodium, and 0.001% (2mg) magnesium. We are talking about tap water in the US here. I’m quite sure you’ll get a lot more interesting stuff in tap water from, say, Nepal?

How much is 5mg of Calcium by the way? It equals to the amount of calcium a banana gives you, but banana is quite thrifty on this among fruits. Orange, for example, gives you 10 times of that.

How about bottled water? Interestingly, it does have more Calcium (24mg), and Perrier has even more (32mg). This is already double the amount of Calcium in an average fruit.

On the other hand, if you think the “mineral” water can give you all buzzed up with the good stuff… please note that the bottled water will give you a little bit more Magnesium and Sodium than tap water, and nothing else. And Perrier? Zippo! except the calcium.

My conclusion is to dash into the kitchen and make myself the following:

A glass of really nice water

Time preparation: 5 minutes Serving: 1


* 1 glass of water
* 1/2 lime


1. Walk slowly into the kitchen. Smell the flowers. Think of the poor children in Africa who’ve never had a drop of clean water.
2. Get the freshest lime from the fridge while making sure the water heater is on.
3. Have your favorite glass ready, besides the window. Take a rest, look out of the window and enjoy the scenery.
4. When the water is boiled and cooled, pour it into the glass. Better yet, pour into a simple water filter and then pour it into the glass. See how the water sparkles under the sunlight!
5. Slice the lime; drop a few pieces in the glass and count the cute little bubbles coming out from the slices. Cut another thin slice from the lime, twist and make a pretty garnish.
6. Get a book or magazine and dive yourself into the most comfortable sofa. Drink. Enjoy life.

About the author

Stephanie writes a light-hearted daily blog on healthy, delicious and family-friendly beverages, together with nutritional value and fun facts on foods. Know more about what you eat (or should eat) at http://www.yourdailydrink.com

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