How much to drink? – Shelby Sun

My wife is a drinker. She drinks 7-10 glasses each day – of water that is? She wants me to be like her, but I refuse.

I am stingy with my drink – only with meals or after a work-out or when my thirst nudges me to bend over a water fountain, suck up a few sips of cold water.

I dare not drink a 32 ounce bottle of Aquifina at the start of a long meeting – else I find myself loosing my concentration due to bladder pressure at the end – usually when the critical stuff is happening.

So I was delighted when the Institute of Medicine, IOM, the national body which sets standards for medicine based on latest evidence, issued a report saying I was right and my wife was not.

Well not exactly that way – but almost like that. The belief that we need to drink 8 glasses or 64 fluid ounces of water to be well hydrated – is just a myth. The belief that we cannot get our water equivalent from coffee, tea, fruits, vegetables, soda and juices is again another myth.

So how much water should be drink? The IOM report did not answer this question directly, but said that people who are well hydrated drank 91-125 ounces or 11-15 glasses of fluids per day. Some 80 percent of these fluids came from water.

Dr. Lawrence Appel who headed the panel said, “People get adequate amounts of water from normal drinking behavior – consumption of beverages at meals and in other social situations – and by letting their thirst guide them.”

Drinking water also has many benefits. It helps reduce chronic constipation or muscle cramps. Most importantly drinking water before a meal and during the meal helps to reduce obesity by filling us up and improving our digestion.

So as my wife drinks her 10th glass of fluid for the day, I watch and am reassured about my low volume drinking habit supported by the latest Institute of Medicine report. For once, we both are right.