The ‘Eat More Water’ philosophy may start to seriously challenge the 8 glasses a day that the ‘Drink More
Water’ adherents seem to favor.
In an average day, a quarter of our liquid comes from what we eat. Most
food has some water in it, even a slice of bread can be as much as 33
per cent water. But fruit and vegetables are the most water-laden, with
cucumbers, lettuce, courgettes and radishes boasting more than 95 per
This is why some health enthusiasts are arguing we should eat more water by consuming these water-rich foods and
drink less. They say healthy hydration is about the water you hold in
the body, not the water you drink that passes straight through.
Eight glasses a day is certainly a way of putting water into our bodies but it could mean eight trips to the bathroom without it doing its proper job, that is - to improve the capacity to get it into our cells.
When you eat more water, the food is surrounded by other molecules that help it get into our cells more easily, and ensure it stays in our system for long enough to be put to good use. It is absorbed more slowly because it is trapped in the structure of these foods. The water stays in our bodies longer, and brings a multitude of additional benefits.
Studies have shown that fruit and vegetables can hydrate the body twice as effectively as a glass of water. For example a cucumber (which weighs 100g and is 96 per cent water) might deliver close to 100 ml of liquid (just over a quarter of a pint) and you’ll be stocking up on fiber and plant nutrients at the same time.
One dietician puts it bluntly; ‘Telling everyone that they need to drink an extra eight to 10 glasses of water per day, above and beyond what they get from other beverages and food, is ridiculous advice’.
He thinks many of us have been brain washed with fairly un-scientific advice ranging from ‘spectacular’ to ‘magical’. He cites some;
He does go on to say that there may be a speck of truth in all myths then warns - ‘Self-stylized health experts love to throw around nuggets like these and think that they're actually giving great nutritional advice. These sound bites are catchy, easy to tweet and, to the unsuspecting person, make perfect sense.’
He debunks some of the claims this way. ‘It is true that legitimate dehydration can affect cognition and we are always excreting toxins (thankfully) as part of urination. Pounding back extra water does not increase the amount of toxins excreted (a simple urine analysis shows this) and objective measures of skin hydration have shown that drinking water does nothing to make your skin dewy.’
Several sources claim the diuretic effect of tea, coffee and cola is minimal if taken in moderation. Clearly, the hydrating powers of veggies and fruit combined with the minimal diuretic effect of some of our daily beverages puts a dent in the 8 glasses a day advice.
When we eat more water it can reduce the 8 glasses by 25% to 6 glasses. The varied daily drinks; juice, milk, coffee, tea, soda pop etc. can reduce by another 4, leaving 2 glasses. The 8 glasses a day advice then, may need re-visiting.
Watermelon slice 92ml
Handful broccoli/spinach 26ml