Eat More Water For Good Health

The ‘Eat More Water’ philosophy may start to seriously challenge the 8 glasses a day that the ‘Drink More Water’ adherents seem to favor.

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In an average day, a quarter of our liquid comes from what we eat. Most food has some water in it, even a slice of bread can be as much as 33 per cent water. But fruit and vegetables are the most water-laden, with cucumbers, lettuce, courgettes and radishes boasting more than 95 per cent.

This is why some health enthusiasts are arguing we should eat more water by consuming these water-rich foods and drink less. They say healthy hydration is about the water you hold in the body, not the water you drink that passes straight through.

Eight glasses a day is certainly a way of putting water into our bodies but it could mean eight trips to the bathroom without it doing its proper job, that is - to improve the capacity to get it into our cells.

When you eat more water, the food is surrounded by other molecules that help it get into our cells more easily, and ensure it stays in our system for long enough to be put to good use. It is absorbed more slowly because it is trapped in the structure of these foods. The water stays in our bodies longer, and brings a multitude of additional benefits.

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Studies have shown that fruit and vegetables can hydrate the body twice as effectively as a glass of water. For example a cucumber (which weighs 100g and is 96 per cent water) might deliver close to 100 ml of liquid (just over a quarter of a pint) and you’ll be stocking up on fiber and plant nutrients at the same time.

Telling it Like it is

One dietician puts it bluntly; ‘Telling everyone that they need to drink an extra eight to 10 glasses of water per day, above and beyond what they get from other beverages and food, is ridiculous advice’.

He thinks many of us have been brain washed with fairly un-scientific advice ranging from ‘spectacular’ to ‘magical’. He cites some;

  • Your brain is made of water so drinking more water will help you think better.
  • Drinking lots of water removes excess toxins from your body.
  • Not thirsty? That is the first sign of dehydration; if you wait till you're thirsty, it's too late.
  • Drinking water will give you glowing, dewy and supple skin.
  • You lose one cup of water for every cup of coffee or two cups of black tea consumed.

He does go on to say that there may be a speck of truth in all myths then warns - ‘Self-stylized health experts love to throw around nuggets like these and think that they're actually giving great nutritional advice. These sound bites are catchy, easy to tweet and, to the unsuspecting person, make perfect sense.’

He debunks some of the claims this way. ‘It is true that legitimate dehydration can affect cognition and we are always excreting toxins (thankfully) as part of urination. Pounding back extra water does not increase the amount of toxins excreted (a simple urine analysis shows this) and objective measures of skin hydration have shown that drinking water does nothing to make your skin dewy.’

Several sources claim the diuretic effect of tea, coffee and cola is minimal if taken in moderation. Clearly, the hydrating powers of veggies and fruit combined with the minimal diuretic effect of some of our daily beverages puts a dent in the 8 glasses a day advice.

When we eat more water it can reduce the 8 glasses by 25% to 6 glasses. The varied daily drinks; juice, milk, coffee, tea, soda pop etc. can reduce by another 4, leaving 2 glasses. The 8 glasses a day advice then, may need re-visiting.

Eat more water - this is a small sample of the many water rich foods

Orange 122ml
Potato 118ml
Apple/pear 115ml
Tomato 109ml
Cucumber 100ml
Watermelon slice 92ml
Grapefruit 72ml
Carrot 63ml
Celery 38ml
Handful broccoli/spinach 26ml

Source Articles

Why you should EAT water, not drink it

The Mother Of All Hydration Myths