I was all ready to lament over my inability to drink 8 glasses of water a day. (Who are these perfect super women who can do that? Do they pee in bottles so as to avoid hopping up to go the bathroom every 15 minutes?) Since I started making a conscious effort to track my water intake a few weeks ago, I noticed I only drink the 8 glasses on a day when I go running. And I felt bad about that, thinking that if 8 glasses is for a regular day, then on a running day I should drink even more.
When doing some research I expected to find a bunch of articles berating me for not drinking 8 glasses--experts telling me I must be chronically dehydrated and have bad skin and kidneys full of toxins. (Actually my skin has been looking better over the last couple weeks...) But what I found was some studies saying that 8 glasses isn't for everyone (even Snopes, the urban legend de-bunker, is in on the debate). If you excercise, yes. If you live in an excessively warm climate, yes. If you're trying to lose weight, yes. But if you're a generally healthy-eating person at your ideal weight not excercising every day, then many days you get most of the "water" you need from your diet and other beverages, and may only need 3 to 5 glasses of straight-up water. Basically, if you're peeing clear, you're hydrated (that's what my coach used to tell us, too). If you're thirsty, then you're already slightly dehydrated and should start guzzling.
Everyone agrees that water is good for you. And you can't get too much of it (except in very rare instances). 8 glasses a day is a good guideline to start with, but if you can't do it, don't force yourself. Everyone's body is different and everyone's nutritional needs are different. If the 8 glasses regime works for you, then I'm in awe of how you do it!
What have I noticed since I started drinking my super amounts of water? I have to admit my skin looks better. But I also started using a new toner and night cream recently. I'm drinking less coffee. I guess that's healthy. I can't sleep through the night without waking up to pee. That sucks. I'm filling up with water and eating fewer fruits and veggies. I don't think that's too good. But now that I know I don't need to force 8 glasses upon myself, I can have a salad and skip a glass of water or two, so that should balance out.
Articles. Take 'em or leave 'em.