We’re used to extreme heat in Texas, but the Old Farmer’s Almanac warns this sumer will be hotter and drier than usual, meaning that if you’re outside or working out, you need to make sure you stay hydrated.
Unfortunately, it turns out that most of what we thought we know about avoiding dehydration is actually the result of decades-old studies which have since been disproven or warped marketing messages from drinks companies.
Here are the top three hydration myths busted:
Everyone needs to drink eight glasses of water a day
FALSE. This belief is based on a 1940 studies which determined that the average human required roughly 1ml of water for every calorie consumed. For an average diet of 2,000 calories a day, that equates to about eight 8oz glasses. However, this neglects the fact that if you’re eating a diet rich in vegetables and fruit, you’re already getting a lot of water in your food already.
Coffee and alcohol can cause dehydration
FALSE. Numerous studies in the US and Germany have proven that moderate consumption of caffeine and alcohol do not cause dehydration to occur. Coffee, beer, and wine contain plenty of water and actually add to your water intake rather than detract from it – assuming that your intake is moderate. Consuming too much of either can have diuretic and other negative effects – so stay away from the Monster and Red Bull.
Energy drinks help you to stay hydrated
FALSE. Despite the marketing claims of Powerade and Gatorade, both drinks actually contain large amounts of sugar and stimulants that can be dangerous. As for those “super waters” labelled as clustered or ionized? They’re just more marketing ploys. The most effective hydration drink is one you can make yourself: water with a spoonful of honey (provides easy sugar for your muscles’ glycogen stores), a spoonful of molasses (rich in calcium, magnesium, and potassium – all important electrolytes), and a pinch of salt (sodium is an electrolyte and can also boost performance in thermoneutral conditions).