Healthy Hydration starts with water, but does not end there

Staying hydrated is so important for so many aspects of your health! From your brain and kidneys to your skin and energy levels, simply keeping hydrated is one of the easiest solutions you can apply for your overall health.

But how much is enough? We have been told that you need AT LEAST 8, 8-ounce glasses of water each day. This coaching was provided to us by our health establishments and official institutions as “evidence based” advice. Turns out, it was not. Please read this solid review by H Valtin: “Drink at least eight glasses of water a day. Really? Is there scientific evidence for 8 x 8“?

That issue speaks to the quantity of fluid. Now let’s talk about the quality of the thing you’re drinking.

Even if you’re not sucking back swimming pools of water each day, you might think that staying hydrated would be a simple matter of including more water in your life. Where it gets confusion is in the plethora of products (and their urgent ad campaigns), from “smart” water to sports drinks, and all of them want to convince you that their product is the one you should buy.

This randomized trial (funded by Coca-Cola, who makes sports drinks) wanted to create a hydration index. This index would show how well drinks can hydrate your body, compared to water.

The data are presented in this graph. Other than the oral rehydration solution (like Pedialyte), the best drink for hydration is actually milk. Yeah, milk. Perhaps because of its associated proteins, the body hydrates better with this than even water itself.

Another interesting point of note here is that the sports drinks (think, Gatorade) that sweaty athletes drink on TV was worse than water for re-hydration!

So the bottom line is that hydration is critically important for your health. You don’t have to drink swimming pools of it every day, and don’t be fooled by the ads about hydration drinks!

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