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Old 05-06-2012, 05:17 PM   #11
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Fact or Fiction? You Must Drink 8 Glasses of Water Daily: Scientific American

Quote:
Advocates of the 8 x 8 [eight glasses of eight ouncesof water a day] guideline sometimes claim that thirst is a poor hydration indicator. They assert that many people are so chronically dehydrated they no longer recognize their bodies' signals for water. Barbara Rolls, professor of nutrition sciences at the Pennsylvania State University, disagrees. Her studies, she says, "found no evidence that people are chronically dehydrated." Although some drugs can cause problems with thirst regulation and the elderly may not experience thirst as intensely as younger people, Rolls maintains that most healthy people are adequately hydrated.

Weight loss is another benefit often touted by proponents of the 8 x 8 guideline. They claim people mistake thirst for hunger, which causes them to eat when they are really just thirsty. They also allege that drinking water suppresses appetite. Given the obesity crisis, every little bit (or drop) helps.

But Rolls disagrees, arguing that "drinking water and waiting for pounds to melt away does not work. We all wish it were that simple." She explains that "hunger and thirst are controlled by separate systems in the body. People are unlikely to mistake thirst for hunger." Furthermore, she reports that her studies "never found that drinking water with or before a meal affected appetite." Nevertheless, there are some elements of truth in the misperception. Rolls did find that water-rich foods—as opposed to stand-alone water—tended to help people consume fewer calories. And, she says, "there is a way that water can help with weight loss—if you use water as a substitute for a caloric beverage."
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