Steamtherapy is all about living a healthy lifestyle - whether it's sleeping better or laughing more frequently. In this article, we call attention to water. After all, hydration is important and dehydration can be serious as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton experienced.
Chances are, you've heard these two water recommendations before: Drink at least 8 glasses of water per day, and don't drink water while exercising. Are they true or are these two big water lies?
Let's explore each in turn.
1. Drink at least 8 glasses of water every day to maintain health. True or False?
If you engage in sustained vigorous activity or are exposed to high temperatures and heat stress (think west Texas in summer with no shade in sight) then the old adage is... True.
But for the rest of us, this long-held, unquestioned health tip is False and a contender under the heading “Urban legend and folklore.”
Despite having heard for decades the magical number of 8 glasses of water daily, it turns out there is no evidence to back up the advice.
Fortunately you will not do yourself harm taking in that amount of water. You might have to visit the bathroom more often, and that’s about the only downside. (Of course if you have a beautiful bathroom such as the ones we have seen when installing steam showers, you might see those extra visits as an upside to drinking lots of water.) However, the reality is that most of us get enough hydration through the foods and beverages we normally intake.
If you are someone who likes hard numbers to aim for, then try the water intakes recommendations from the Institute of Medicine:
- Men should consume the equivalent of about 125 ounces of water daily
- Women should consumer about 91 ounces of water daily.
Keep in mind that includes water in foods, so take the stress off yourselves about filling up regularly at the water cooler.
In fact, we hope you minimize stress altogether. If you feel like taking a sip of water, why, help yourself! If you get to the end of the day and find yourself counting ounces and feeling guilty, you can now relax.
2. Drink before and after exercise, but not during. True or False?
“Don’t drink while working out and wait two hours after eating before exercising.” Sound like advice you got when growing up?
Crazy as it may seem now (especially to endurance athletes), until the late 1960s athletes were actively discouraged from drinking fluids while training. The fears were that performance would suffer and the athletes would have gastrointestinal issues if they sipped or swigged water during exercise.
Of course we know better now. We also know that exact water needs depend on many factors such as:
- air temperature
- indoor or outdoor location
- exertion level
- gender (men need more water than women, on average)
The general rule of thumb is to take in 5 to 10 ounces of water every 20 minutes of training. That assumes you are working out and needing to replace fluids... Right?
And as moms say, “put a water bottle in your car.”