How Much Water Should You Drink?

The facts about hydration, beauty and health.

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Thirst ≠ Dehydration
Contrary to the popular myth, just because you’re thirsty doesn’t mean you’re already dehydrated. Dehydration occurs when the body loses more fluid than it takes in, but many people feel thirsty before they reach this deficit, says Rolls.

Two possible reasons for this disconnect: dry mouth and salty foods (more water is needed to dilute salt in the blood, so your thirst center sends an alert possibly causing you to feel thirsty). One small study followed young men around for a day, recording hydration markers in the blood and when they felt thirsty.  Researchers found that the men felt thirsty before any actual fluid deficits occurred in their bodies. 

Drinking Gallons of Water Won’t Hydrate Your Skin. At All.
The amount of water you drink plays zero role in your skin’s appearance, says Amy Wechsler, MD, and YouBeauty Dermatology Advisor. Although it sounds like an easy fix, it won’t help combat dry skin or clear up your acne. Bummer!

The liquid water you consume passes through you (via urine) and has no effect on outward body surfaces. A report from the British Nutrition Foundation confirmed this myth as well, concluding that there was very little evidence connecting any amount of water consumption to skin appearance.

Water-Packed All Stars

Want to test the wonders of highly hydrating foods? Dr. Murad notes these ten heavy hitters in "The Water Secret"
Watermelon: 97 percent water
Cucumbers: 97 percent water
Tomatoes: 95 percent water
Zucchini: 95 percent water
Eggplant: 92 percent water
Carrots: 88 percent water
Peaches: 87 percent water
Roasted chicken breast: 65 percent water
Baked salmon: 62 percent water

Eating Your Water May Be The Key to Long-Lasting Beauty…
Some foods, like watermelons and cucumbers, are more than 90 percent water. Howard Murad, M.D. and author of "The Water Secret" believes that these water-heavy foods play a very important role in keeping you young and vibrant.

“Over the years, our cells naturally lose water and deteriorate, making it hard for our bodies to protect against the free radical damage that leads to aging,” says Murad. So, how does he suggest you replenish your water tank for optimal wellness? Don’t run to refill your water bottle.

“Water-packed foods, like colorful fruits and vegetables, are also filled with nutrients, which help your body hold onto the water long enough to put it to good use.”

…And Weight Loss!

Water-rich foods are also the star of Dr. Rolls’ book, "The Volumetrics Weight Control Plan," but under a weight loss lens. “Water is the magic ingredient,” she says. “When it’s bound into solid food, you can eat a much bigger portion for the same amount of calories.”

In one of Rolls’ studies, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, participants who ate a chicken rice soup were more satiated and consumed fewer calories at a later meal than those who ate a chicken rice casserole with a separate glass of water.

Both meals contained the exact same ingredients; the only difference being the water placement. Another bonus benefit to eating more hydrating foods: Water hangs out in really healthy foods that many of us aren’t getting enough of, like lean proteins, high fiber foods and fish, says Rolls.

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